KOSID: Waste Management through Circular Economy, the solution towards environmental degradation
Prishtina, 29th of June, 2017 – Within “Climate Diplomacy Week 2017,” Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development (KOSID), in cooperation with the European Union Office in Kosovo, organized the roundtable discussion with the topic: “Advancing waste management implementation in Kosovo with Circular Economy.” Discussions at the table tackled Kosovo’s current stance and potentials on implementing policies and action plans for advancing the country’s waste management strategies and implementation with Circular Economy through a proper development of legal, economical and infrastructural mechanisms.
Head of Directory for the State of Environment at the Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA), Afrim Berisha, said that as an Agency, their primary focus is monitoring the situation of waste and collecting information from companies and municipalities on the waste system. "Through our research, we have noticed that the waste structure in Kosovo includes 32% of recyclable waste, while only 5% of them are recycled. Therefore, efforts need to be put further on the development of specific strategies focusing on reuse and recycling of waste - strategies that will lead Kosovo towards sustainable development in line with the advancements of the countries of the region and beyond,” Berisha said.
Dajana Berisha, Executive Director, Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ), a KOSID member organization, stated that “Waste management remains a problem for the country that affects every individual, economic operator, donor, etc. - so this fact should not be treated as a problem of a single sector, but rather as inclusive." According to Ms. Berisha, "the transition of waste management in Kosovo with the Circular Economy has the potential to promote economic, social and environmental benefits, and as a result, understanding the nature of this system is important for creating effective institutional policies and strategies in the country."
While Gazmend Selimi, Programme Manager at the EU Office in Kosovo, said that since 2003, the European Union is a main donor in supporting the environmental sector in Kosovo. "With the assistance of donors, Kosovo needs to choose an economic model in terms of effective waste management that is sustainable and profitable, and should develop legal regulations in conformity with the European Union model that embraces the concept of Circular Economy for sustainable development," said Selimi.
Furthermore, Driton Vatovci, Legal expert at GIZ for Urban waste management, said that “with the inclusion of Circular Economy in waste management, Kosovo can benefit in two main aspects - economic development and environmental protection." Vatovci also informed about GIZ’s initiative, Clean Environment Race, which aims to improve waste management services in Kosovo’s municipalities, simultaneously assisting the country in reducing them.
The moderator of the discussion, respectively the representative from KOSID, Rinora Gojani, said that among other things, civic awareness, human capacity development, and the offering of incentives, are important to present a wiser solution to environmental protection in Kosovo. Further, Gojani stressed the importance of adopting state policies in line with the trends and directives set by the European Union, as the Circular Economy is revealing the potential to be one of the most effective ways to prevent environmental degradation and enable job creation.
During discussions with participants, it was agreed that the inclusion of Circular Economy as a new concept for waste management in Kosovo could bring tremendous benefits in fostering sustainable economic growth, thereby enhancing environmental protection and promoting resource productivity in the country.
“Climate Diplomacy Week 2017 in Kosovo” is organized by EU office, having as a main purpose raising citizens' awareness on topics related to air pollution, waste management and energy efficiency in the country.