Milieukontakt Macedonia, in frames of the USAID’s Municipal Climate Change Strategies project (MCCSP) successfully organized the Third International Climate Change Conference at FON University in Skopje, from 3-5 February, 2017.

The International Climate Change Conference, organized for the third time in frames of the MCCSP, has become a benchmark for strengthening a multi-stakeholder approach to climate action and encouraging cooperation on joint activities to advance climate change resilience in the country and the region.

This conference brought together over 150 participants, including national and international experts, decision-makers, scientists and practitioners in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation, experts on sustainable development, and environmental CSOs from Macedonia  and the region (Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania) to:

  • share USAID MCCSP’s achievements and results;
  • exchange climate change-related approaches and experiences;
  • identify new ways to advance urban resilience to climate change;
  • encourage climate considerations in development planning and decision-making processes on local level;
  • establish a scientific component in the climate process by promoting academic findings on climate change and their practical application.

USAID Macedonia Mission Director, James Stein, Rector of FON University, Nano Ruzin, the National Coordinator for Climate Change at the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, Teodora Obradovic Grncarovska and the Executive Director of Milieukontakt Macedonia, Igor Slavkoski gave remarks marking the opening of the three day conference.

As the four-year MCCS Project ends on February 28, 2017, the Third International Climate Change Conference marked the closing of the project and leveraged this forum to promote the project’s results, celebrate successes, and share knowledge and experiences gained throughout the project’s lifecycle.

The first conference panel session was leaded by the Executive director of MKM and Chief of Party of USAID MCCSP, Mr. Igor Slavkoski together with USAID Macedonia’s Program Director, Ms.  Jennifer Connolly who gathered the mayors from the ten partner municipalities to recognize the progress we have made together over the past four years to address local climate change challenges facing the local communities.

The conference also increased the momentum for development and implementation of converging de-carbonization pathways as discussed at COP 22 in Marrakesh. Decision-makers, CSOs, representatives from public and private sector, the National coordinator for climate change at the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, the Director of the National Energy Agency, the Head of Energy, Envi­ronment, and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit from UNDP, together with members of the municipal governments holded a contructive discussion on the integrated approach and coordinated actions needed in support of the Paris Agreement on national level.


Scientific component of the Third International Climate Change Conference

In recognition of the importance of academia in climate change, this year’s conference, in cooperation with the FON University, incorporated the role of science in the climate change debate, highlighting the practical application of scientific findings on climate change through the principles of sustainable development.

The second day of the conference began with a scientific session where ten presentations were delivered by academics and young researchers on the following topics:

Presentation 1: Topi­c:” Green engineering – calculating the costs for environmen­tal protection”
Authors: Prof. Mirko Tripunoski, Ph.D, Prof. Slavica Tripuno­ska and Fisnik Ferat­i, MSc


Presentation 2: Topi­c: “Current issues of sustainable develo­pment and ecological management”
Authors: Prof. Mirko Tripunoski, Ph.D., Prof. Aleksandar Nik­olovski, Ph.D. and Flera Ferati – Mustaf­i, LL. B


Presentation 3: Topi­c: “Urban Climate Ad­aptation planning as factors for sustain­able development in the cities”

Authors: Asst. Profe­ssor Ph.D. Viktorija Mangaroska, arch. engineer, Faculty of Architect­ure, FON University; Professor PhD Kosto Mangaroski, arc­h. engineer, Faculty of Architect­ure, St “Cyril and Methodius” University

Presentation 4 on the Topic: “Estimating GHG emissions from “Bunardere” landfill in Municipality of Veles”

Authors: Kristina Pe­trovska, Fana Hristo­vska, Aneta Kitevska


Presentation 5 on the Topic: “Methodology to in­clude indirect green­house gas emissions in inventories, miti­gation options on bo­th national and local level”

Authors: Ristovski Igor, Milosevska Vesn­a, Filkoska Tanja, Blinkova Martina, Mac­anovski Ivan, Lazare­vska


Presentation 6 on the Topic: “Climate Change Imp­act assessment of cu­ltural and natural heritage in Skopje Re­gion”

Authors: Suzana Kaso­vska-Georgieva, Mart­ina Blinkova


Presentation 7 on the Topic: “Environmental Crime Trends in the Repu­blic of Macedonia 20­00-2015”

Author: Ass Professor Ph.D. Naser Etemi


Presentation 8 on the Topic: “Rational use of na­tural resources in function of the right to a Healthy Living environment”

Author: Prof. Temelko Risteski Ph.D



Presentation 9 on the Topi­c: “The Role of education for sustainable de­velopment in the new science curriculum of Republic Macedoni­a”

Author: Natalija Ace­ska – Advisor,Bureau for development of education in Macedonia/EIA and SEA expert/CEO of NGO Knowledge Harvest


Presentation 10 on the Topi­c: “Knowledge and ch­ange management as factors for business success and developm­ent”

Authors: Lazar Arsov­ski, Ph.D., Maja Tripunoska, BA in Economics, Borche Sibinovski, MSc



Additionally, through this conference we encouraged continuation of the constructive spirit and the firm foundat­ions laid together with our project part­ners to tackle local climate change chal­lenges in the future. Experts in the field of climate change and sustainable development leaded eight Panel sessions on different topics aimed to identify new ways to creative­ly work together to solve local climate challenges in the future.


Panel session 1: “Sustainable Transport in Urban Areas”
Panel leader: Ms. Ana Colovic Lesh­oska, Eko Svest – Skopje



Panel session 2: “Climate Change and Innovation”

Panel leader: Ms. Anita Kodzoman, Programme Officer, Head of Energy, Envi­ronment, and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit, UNDP


Panel session 3: “Impact of the GEF SGP Macedonia’s Climate change projects – Local actions for Gl­obal Goals (2006-201­5)”

Panel leader: Mr. Zlatko Samardziev – National Programme Coordinator, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) Macedonia


Panel session 4: “Need for nature cons­ervation – Wetlands: The Hidden Resource for Climate Mitigati­on and Adaptation”

Panel Leader: Ms. Aleksandra Bujaroska, Environmental law expert, CSO “Front 21/42”

Guest speaker: Mr. Aleksandar Nastov, Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning of Macedonia


Panel session 5: “Sustainable Agricult­ure to Combat Climate Change”

Panel leader: Ms. Vesela Lambeska – Rural Development Network of the Republic of Macedonia


Panel session 6: “GHG Inventories for municipalities – Ben­efits and needs”

Panel leaders: Ms. Pavlina Zdraveva -Project Manager. “Second Biennial Upd­ate Report on Climate Change” UNDP

Ms. Maja Markovska – Green Agenda expert, Milieukontakt Macedonia

Ms. Elena Gavrilova – Advisor at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


Panel session 7: “Climate Change Educa­tion”

Panel leader: Mr. Aleksandar Trpko­vski, CSO Go Green Skopje


Panel session 8: “Green Agenda (GA) Methodology for Development of Cl­imate Change Strategies”

Panel leader: Mr. Stole Georgiev, Trainer/expert on GA process.

We acknowledged the res­ults obtained from using the participato­ry GA ap­proach in development of effective, home-grown, locally-owned munic­ipal strategies for climate change and promote its applicati­on across the region.

Using the GA approach, we partnered with citize­ns, the business sec­tor, local authoriti­es, and CSOs to prepare 10 Macedonian communities to respond to and bet­ter prepare for the effects of climate change through the im­plementation of adaptation and mitigation measures, promoting civic activism and strengthening the communities’ commitment to partner on issues of shared concern.


Conclusions of the conference:


  1. More intensive involvement of the scientific community in the debate on climate change;
  1. Strengthening of the individual and organizational capacities as an essential prerequisite for sustainable development;
  1. Activities related to practical education on environmental protection and climate change to be intensified, with particular focus on the youngest generations;
  1. Application of climate change adaptation measures in the agriculture sector and promotion of the “farmer-to-farmer” education approach;
  1. Continuation of the process of preparing greenhouse gas inventories at the local level as an effective instrument for measuring the achievements of the climate change mitigation measures;
  1. Replication of the Green Agenda methodology for developing local climate change strategies and action plans in other municipalities of the Republic of Macedonia, especially in the Skopje region;
  1. Stimulation of new, innovative approaches and new technologies aimed at strengthening local resilience to climate change;
  1. More efficient solid waste management through waste segregation;
  1. Complete review and investigation of the procedures for implementation of the tourism development zones and traffic solutions that pose a serious threat to the biodiversity and the status of protected areas of the Ohrid lake and the “Studencica” Wetland;
  1. Commencement of proceedings for declaration of the Ohrid lake and the “Studencica” Wetland for Ramsar areas in Republic of Macedonia;
  1. Initiating resolutions for protection of the Ohrid Lake and “Stundencica” Wetland;
  1. Implementation of strategic approach to tackling climate change at local and national level, by involving the general public and the expertise of the academia.


This conference marked the successful accomplishment of the USAID MCCS Project. The event demonstrated to the domestic and international commun­ity that the impleme­ntation of this proj­ect by Milieukontakt Macedonia strengthened the bot­tom-up and multi-sta­keholder approach to climate action and encouraged strong pa­rtnerships among all community stakehold­ers on joint activit­ies to advance clima­te change resilience on local level.

Bringing together local governments, citizens and CSOs the project devised effective, home-grown, locally-owned strategies to lower emissions and promote adaptation. In addition to strengthening local resilience to climate change, this project strengthened civil society by promoting civic activism and increasing the community’s commitment to partner on issues of shared concern.