It's our environment: share, show that you care and get engaged!

© Marija Piroški

Belgrade, 4 December 2018 – As a part of the Human Rights Week and joint commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a special event “It is our living environment: share, show that you care and get engaged” was organised by the OSCE Mission to Serbia with the aim to promote stronger public participation in the decision-making process in the area of environmental protection.

Volunteer teams of the Arhus Centre engaged representatives from Kragujevac, Niš, Novi Beograd, Novi Sad and Subotica, as well as the Forest Protection Movement from Sremski Karlovci and Solagro team from Belgrade, who presented activities and promotional campaigns aimed at improving public dialogue in resolving environmental issues to the event participants.

Participants also watched a film titled “A Plastic Ocean”, directed by Craig Leeson, which illustrates the damaging effect of plastic that ends up in the ocean, gets degraded to particles that attract poisonous substances and then enters the food chain.

The film was followed by a panel discussion on how to intensify public participation in consulting processes related to environmental protection through examples of good practice that create new channels for dialogue. Introductory speeches were held by Ivan Karić, State Secretary in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and John Clayton, Head of the Democratization Department in the OSCE Mission to Serbia. The panel participants included Sabina Ivanović, Head of the Department for Environmental Impact Assessment in the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Saša Paunović, President of Paraćin Municipality, Zvezdan Kalmar from the Centre for Ecology and Sustainable Development (CEKOR) from Subotica, Darija Šajin, the founder of the Arhus Centre from Novi Sad, Maja Dželatović, Corporate Affairs Director and Senior Consultant in Rakita from Bor, and Dragana Ratković, a reporter of the Radio and Television of Vojvodina, with Prof. Violeta Orlović-Lovren as the moderator.

“The best solutions for environmental challenges can be achieved if all stakeholders provide their contribution. A sustainable living environment is the one that enables economic growth, while respecting the right to a healthy and safe environment and this concept is possible if there is open dialogue with the civil society,” said John Clayton, Head of the Democratization Department in the OSCE Mission to Serbia, in his opening speech.

The OSCE Mission supports activities aimed at improving living environment safety by strengthening democratic principles of good governance. By providing support to policies that enable stronger engagement of civil society organisations and other stakeholders in decision-making processes and the right to legal protection in the area of living environment, the OSCE Mission promotes sustainable development concepts.


Human Rights Week:

By marking the Human Rights Week from December 03 until December 10, Serbia will be on the global map of countries which celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights this year.

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is an important document in the history of human rights. It was drafted by various legal and cultural representatives from all the regions of the world. The UN General Assembly proclaimed the Declaration as a shared standard of achievement for all peoples and nations, in Paris, on December 10, 1948. The Universal Declaration – the most relevant document in the world - is available in more than 500 languages and it is as significant today as it was when it was adopted.