The purpose of this paper is to account for how local governments and citizens perceive sustainable development in Kosovo and explore bottlenecks and opportunities they face in this regard. A combination of document analysis and information gained through public debates shows that local governments are in a favorable position to respond to and address today’s local development challenges in Kosovo. Our findings indicate that local governments can play a vital role in educating, mobilizing, and responding to citizens to promote overall sustainable development in the longer term, albeit a relatively new concept in Kosovo.
In terms of challenges and opportunities, we identified the most pressing issues that have been divided into common themes with the corresponding opportunities and possible solutions. The importance of public debates lies in that they offer the opportunity for citizens and interested stakeholders to express their concerns and open societal discussions on topics that are rarely mentioned. The practicality of this process combined with the power of the media act as reinforcing mechanism to contribute and influence local and central level decision-making to address and consider issues citizens are most affected by. This democratic process is something Balkan Green Foundation stands for to enable sustainable development from the community level by providing constructive pressure as a civil society organization.
The public debates organized throughout nine municipalities in Kosovo defined the most pressing issues and gave insights on solutions that are put together in this report. Recommendations derived from the direct interaction with citizens, officials and CSOs who participated in public debates. Moving from the local level up to the central level is key to ensure a more inclusive and participatory decision-making process. Raising awareness about important topics, particularly environment and energy, which are not considered of high priority at the central level, is very important in ensuring ownership to the communities and creating sustainability in the process.
INTRODUCTION - Page 6
THE ENERGY SECTOR IN KOSOVO - P. 7
METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION - P. 8
COMMON THEMES: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES - P. 9
ILLEGAL LANDFILLS - P. 9
DEFORESTATION - P. 11
TOURISM - P. 13
HYDROPOWER - P. 14
POWER PLANTS - P. 16
INDUSTRIAL WASTE - P. 16
INFRASTRUCTURE - P. 17
RECOMMENDATIONS - P. 18
CONCLUSION - P. 20
ANNEX - P. 21