In 2021, four organizations from four Southeastern Europe countries joined forces in the project “Climate Bridges”, funded by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI).
We – the Center for Energy, Environment and Resources (CENER21) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Association Green Istria from Croatia, the Urban Research Institute (URI) from Albania and CIPRA ... International Lab from Austria – are organizations working in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation for multiple years. With the adoption of the “Green Agenda for the Southeastern Europe,” this climate change became a political priority. However, a lot needs to be done to achieve the ambitious goals of this strategic roadmap. In order to implement measures on a broad scale across the Southeastern Europe, some structural necessities should be in place. One of them is a strong trans-national cooperation between all actors, because an effective climate change policy cannot only be local. However, historically shaped cooperation between Southeastern Europe countries is still in its infancy. This is where “Climate Bridges” comes in.
We strive to establish a strong and interconnected network of many stakeholders in Southeastern Europe working together to address climate change. We envision that this network will support the implementation of climate and sustainability measures across the region and contribute to the implementation of the goals of the “Green Agenda for the Southeastern Europe” at the local and regional level. To achieve this, we hope to foster exchange and cooperation between dedicated organizations and authorities from different countries which have not worked together so far but share the same vision for Southeastern Europe. We want to motivate them to join forces, learn from each other, share ideas and cooperate for an effective climate policy in Southeastern Europe.
Our approach is based on the belief that climate mitigation can only be successful if cross-border cooperation is also strong. Capacity building is key in strengthening cooperation among transnational partners. CSOs and (semi-) governmental organizations from different Southeastern Europe countries are being connected to each other through to build a transnational climate network. To this end, the “Climate Bridges” project follows a holistic approach that starts in three different areas and consists of different steps and activities.
A good practice competition will make stakeholders and climate action visible and raise awareness for what is already happening. Two events will allow organizations to exchange ideas and practices. Through the work with pilot regions local climate mitigation strategies will be developed that can be replicated by other municipalities. This supports the implementation of climate actions on a local and regional level. Through analysis and comparison of climate change governance frameworks with alpine experiences, recommendations for a better transnational climate policy will be developed.
This website will be the basis for all activities, interested organizations and other stakeholders can sign-up and connect with others, receive access to information and share their projects.
The best practice competition will be held in spring 2022 and the winners will be announced in November during an award ceremony that will include trainings and workshops.
In the meantime, we will find a pilot region in three Southeastern European countries, namely Croatia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina and start working with them on their climate strategies. We will also find a partner region in the Alps for each pilot region, to foster knowledge exchange.
At the end of the “Climate Bridges” project, we will organize a final conference for all interested stakeholders. This event will mark the actual creation of the network and initiate a hopefully long, close and fruitful cooperation on climate mitigation and adaptation in the Southeastern Europe.