Conference Day 3 of the Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW): “Sustainable agriculture and the protection of biodiversity”

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On 3 June 2021, Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW) continued with the third day of the conference that addressed the topic of sustainable agriculture and the protection of biodiversity.

The discussion panel on “Sustainable Agriculture and the Protection of Biodiversity” was moderated by Kaltrina Rexha, Project Coordinator at the Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) and the list of panellists included the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD), Imri Demelezi, Professor Halil Ibrahimi from the University of Prishtina, and President of the Beekeepers’ Association ‘Nucleus’ in Gracanica, Mladen Dokic. Meanwhile, Miran Vatovec from the European Union Office in Kosovo attended virtually.

The moderator of the panel, Mrs Rexha from INDEP, started the discussion with a summary of the current situation on agriculture and biodiversity in the country. “In recent years, investments in agriculture and state aid to this sector have multiplied. But, on the other hand, in the Red List of Threatened Species, 86 species are critically endangered, 110 endangered, 60 vulnerable/deteriorated and 114 endangered”, said Mrs. Rexha.

From MAFRD, Deputy Minister Demelezi started the discussion with the fact that, in order to initially understand the term sustainable development, we must understand that in any potential economic development must be incorporated the environmental component. In this regard, he said: “The Kurti government has integrated for the first time the component of inclusiveness, i.e. the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in the development of public policies”. Deputy Minister Demelezi said that it is important to review the policies, strategies prepared so far and the fact why there are no results so far. In this regard, the amendment of laws is the starting point for progress in this area. “Amending the current legislation in accordance with the European Green Deal and EU legislation is an important issue”, concluded Deputy Minister Demelezi.

Mr Vatovec from the EU Office in Kosovo focused on the Green Agenda which has sustainable agriculture and biodiversity as one of the priority components. “The EU has prioritized the consolidation of these topics and the EU constantly advocates for the drafting of strategic documents that help the sustainable development of these fields”, said Mr Vatovec.

Professor Ibrahimi from the University of Prishtina said he was happy that the topic of biodiversity in Kosovo is finally being addressed, because so far biodiversity in Kosovo has not been discussed at all. “Biodiversity in Kosovo is very rich, probably one of the richest in the region and beyond. Since biodiversity surrounds us and has a great impact on human health, environmental policies and causes must be drafted, always based on real data, but the latter are clearly lacking in Kosovo”, said Mr Ibrahim. According to him, improvements are achieved only if the scientific work in the field is taken into account and put on the agendas of policymakers.

Whereas, Mr Dokic said that local products should be monitored and institutional mechanisms should be established to monitor the categorized organic products that we use. He further added that it is important that the voice of farmers is heard and that they are involved as stakeholders in drafting strategic documents such as budget, agricultural policy, etc. “Among other things, we need to raise awareness about the livelihood of some insects like bees, which are essential for the life cycle and humans. Also, the education and awareness of farmers about the use of pesticides should be a priority”, said Mr Dokic.

The full video of this discussion can be found at this link: https://www.facebook.com/KSDWeek/videos/851311299068093

Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW) is organized since 2018 by the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, Office of the Special Representative in Kosovo, GIZ, Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) and Balkan Green Foundation (BGF). KSDW remains the single largest event in Kosovo in the field of sustainable development. The fourth edition of Sustainable Development Week (KSDW) 2021 is held from 31 May to 11 June 2021.

This year’s activities are being organized in parallel with EU Green Week.

For more, follow KSDW on social media at @KSDWeek and ksdw.rks-gov.net.

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