Regional conference Vuchko 2018

In the period from August 30th to September 2nd, 2018, the eighth Regional conference VUCHKO took place in Jahorina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

This year’s agenda was primarily focused on “Climate changes in the region”, as well as the possibilities for sustainable development. By encouraging a discussion based on climate changes between the members (Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Albania), the main goal of the conference was to give them an opportunity- as young, progressive members of the society who are also the ones most affected by climate changes, to offer solutions for further sustainable development.

Jani Makraduli, the Deputy Minister of Environment and Physical Planning of the Republic of Macedonia, held a speech during the opening of the conference, and thus presented the current situation in Macedonia, as well as further plans for the country's actions in order to achieve sustainable development.

Maja Mitevska from Eko Logic took part in the panel based on "Energy Transformation" or "Fair Transition" where she highlighted the biggest challenges that the Republic of Macedonia is currently facing regarding the process of energy transition, as well as the opportunities that would facilitate this process. Maya added that the Republic of Macedonia as a candidate country for the European Union is currently enduring a huge challenge in the direction of harmonization of national laws with European directives.

During the conference, a visit to a small, private hydropower plant was conducted, where the issue of the existing laws, challenges and obstacles faced by investors and legal regulations has been addressed. During the visit of the non-governmental organization Eko-Forum Zenica, an organization dedicated to reducing industrial pollution, opened the issue about Zenica as one of the most polluted cities, primarily due to the existing metal industries. In conversation with the representatives, the experiences and good practices of this organization that is focused on raising awareness among the citizens about the consequences caused by pollution were shared, mentioning that at the same time, the organization is waging a battle with the local metal industries and the country to eliminate this problem. Afterwards, a visit of a local solar power plant was made, during which the experience about the possibilities for using renewable energy sources and the numerous challenges that investors are facing were shared.

During the preparation of proposals by the conference participants on how to add climate change and sustainable development in the political agendas, Sashko Jovanov, a representative of Humanost, presented the part based on raising social awareness through the preparation of an educational agenda for children from an early age (Eco Schools) by civil society organizations that are dedicated to environmental protection, climate change and raising awareness for the need to implement the Global goals for sustainable development.

Among the participants from Macedonia, there were representatives of non-governmental organizations whose primary focus is climate change and sustainable development: Eko Logik, Humanost, as well as representatives of the Social Democratic Youth of Macedonia (SDYM).


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