Centre for Sustainable Development to support Montenegro and the region
As of early 2014, Montenegro is leading on yet another important process. A joint venture of the Government of Montenegro and UNDP – the Centre for Sustainable Development was inaugurated with an inspiring goal, so that what we do today has a positive impact on generations to come. The establishment of the Centre was very timely bearing in mind the demanding requirements of the EU accession. While the activities will be focused on Montenegro, the Centre aspires to collaborate with the countries in the region, which share similar challenges.
At the kick-off media conference, Mr. Branimir Gvozdenović, Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism in the Government of Montenegro said: “The main idea behind the Centre was to merge available resources, knowledge and expertise of the national institutions and UNDP, so that we can effectively respond to the challenges stemming from the global and local processes of sustainable development, by jointly achieving national development goals and applying innovative solutions.”
The Centre’s mission will be aligned with the concrete needs of Montenegro and Western Balkan countries, focusing specifically on: sustainable tourism, sustainable energy, (including energy efficiency and renewable energy sources), managing resources and ecosystems, as well as climate change adaptation and safety in the environment.
Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro conveyed that the Centre will have full support of UNDP and its Administrator Ms. Helen Clark. “As you may recall, UNDP and the Government of Brazil established the Global Sustainable Development Centre as a follow up to the Rio Summit. Bonds between Montenegro’s and Rio Centre, together with the global network, will open up vast opportunities for exchange of experience, knowledge, practices and promotion of the partnerships. We hope to become one of the hubs supported by the EU,” said Mr. Vrbensky.
Ms. Jelena Janjušević, Manager of the Centre in her presentation of the future activities, also shared the information on financials: “In 2014, the Centre’s budget amounts to 3.1 million USD. The highest allocation in the amount of USD 1.3 million goes towards resource management, sustainable energy portfolio is worth USD 800.000, whereas USD 560.000 are planned for tourism. The portfolio for the upcoming four years will exceed USD 6.5 million.”
The Centre begins its operations as a programme jointly implemented by the Government of Montenegro and UNDP, by transforming UNDP’s Economy and Environment Cluster. That said, one of the key activities in 2014 pertains to defining the legal framework and the Centre’s legal status. Main functions of the Centre are defined as: (i) Linking global and regional processes with national response; (ii) Applied research, policy analysis and evidence based policy-making; (iii) Acting as bridge between science and policy; (iv) Innovation for sustainable development; (V) Knowledge management, advocacy and partnership promotion and (VI) Project implementation.