The colourful mural which portrays how human society can intertwine with nature and the environment rather than conquer it, was unveiled today at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Sarajevo. The mural, painted by artist Rikardo Druskic in the light of the World Environment Day marked each year on 5 June, carries a strong message and turns the most visited Sarajevo green promenade into an open-air gallery, accessible to everyone.
”If we don’t stop our dependence on fossil fuels and start building environmentally sustainable societies, it will be a growing threat against our health and prosperity. We need to start acting now to become climate smart and protect the planet and all its inhabitants before it is too late. Together we can turn the current negative developments regarding environment and climate around. The mural will be a beautiful reminder that everybody has a role to play in this work.” underlined Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden to Bosnia and Herzegovina during the ceremony.
This street artwork was created within the Green Economic Development project, funded by Sweden, and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The theme of this year's World Environment Day is biodiversity.
Steliana Nedera, UNDP Resident Representative in BiH stated “A biodiversity friendly, low carbon, green growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina is achievable. By engaging talented artist, we intended to create a visual reminder and to send the message to citizens that protecting our natural habitat is of utmost importance for people, planet and the economy.”
Nedera also added that with Sweden’s support and in partnership with governments on all levels in the country, UNDP will continue to work on accelerating progress in the area of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources as it can be a powerful vehicle for economic recovery of the country after COVID-19 crisis.
Preserving biodiversity is crucial to ensuring a healthy life for the future generations. The environment of the entire planet is under constant pressure resulting from the excessive use of fossil fuels. The emergence of COVID-19 and other viruses is an indirect consequence of human impact on natural ecosystems.
“The message that the artist is sending through this artwork needs to remind us of the World Environment Day. Every person has two homelands. The first one is the place of birth. The other one is common for all of humanity, that is planet Earth. Let us take care of the planet and love it as much as the first one” stated Izet Bijelonja, dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Sarajevo.
Rikardo Druskic, the author of the mural, has had the opportunity to draw in different parts of the world. His mural „The Green Man“ was created using ecologicaly freendly colors, and represents as a symobol of rebirth. Demonstrates the cycle of new growth which we see each spring.“
At the ceremoney were present Ingrid Macdonald, UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Fuad Čibukčić, Director of Environmental Protection Fund of the Federation of BiH.
Since 2018 Sweden through the GED project allocated the funds, and UNDP implemented, for energy retrofit of the building, purchased equipment for measurement of air pollution and purchased 3D printers and scanners for students and professors of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Sarajevo.
The GED project is funded by Sweden and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, the Environmental Fund of the FBiH and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund of the Republic of Srpska, the entity ministries of spatial planning and energy, cantonal ministries, municipalities and other partners. The Green Economic Development (GED) project aims to facilitate favourable conditions for investments in energy efficiency projects, increase the number of green jobs, as well as to contribute to environmental protection and economic development of Bosnia and Herzegovina.