The second module of the Climate Change Academy, attended by young activists of political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), NGOs and the media, has marked the conclusion of the educational segment of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) activities undertaken as part of a project funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The first module involved participation of parliamentarians from Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliamentary Assembly, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliament, Republika Srpska National Assembly and the Brčko District Assembly.

“It was indeed very useful for me, and I believe for other MPs, to get information on how Bosnia and Herzegovina fares when it comes to the commitments taken on so far, as well as the existing plans for the adoption of other strategic documents related to climate change. The information we’ve received in the Climate Change Academy helps us to track the implementation of our commitments and contribute, to the fullest extent possible within our means, to the achievement of the set goals.” said Jasmin Emrić, Member of the House of Representatives of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliamentary Assembly.

The Academy participants had the opportunity to learn about climate change and its impact on the economy, agriculture, water management, human health and other vulnerable sectors, with special focus on adaptation to climate impacts that BiH has been at a particular risk from in recent decades. Emphasis was also placed on the obligations arising from international conventions and agreements which BiH has undertaken as part of the global effort to fight climate change.

“Problems that sometimes seem very distant and abstract, such as climate change, nevertheless have a substantial bearing on all our lives. However, it is important that, while being the chief culprit behind climate change, humans are also the ones who can do the most to reduce its negative impacts. Climate change adaptation is one of the ways to do so, and I believe it’s extremely important to recognise this problem in the strategic documents of political parties. Also, it is something that I’m going to take up more substantively in future together with other colleagues from the Academy.” says Anja Grubačić, a young political activist.

Through implementation of various educational activities and training events, UNDP seeks to raise awareness of the urgency of climate change as well as share direct knowledge and evidence with decision makers at all levels of government, which is key to implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, says Raduška Cupać, Energy and Environment Sector Leader at UNDP.

Elected officials and young Academy participants alike agree that the negative consequences of the climate crisis call for a systematic approach, awareness raising across all sections of society and reaching a social consensus on how to reduce its catastrophic effects. Climate change is everyone’s problem and working together to combat it is crucial. The Climate Change Academy is part of the project to “Advance the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) process for medium-term investment planning in climate sensitive sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, which is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and Ecology of Republika Srpska, the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism of the Federation of BiH, and the Entity Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management.

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