5 June 2012, Belgrade – On the occasion of June 5, World Environment Day, the EU delegation in Serbia and the Ministry of Environment organized a programme entitled Green World – Green Serbia, aimed at raising environmental awareness, which is one of the basic European values, and informing the public of the strategy and projects initiated in this field. The government and the Ministry assess that, with the help of green economy, another 50,000 work positions could be opened in Serbia, Minister of Environment Oliver Dulić said. More from Aleksandra Novaković.

Two years ago, a drive entitled Big Cleaning of Serbia was organized and showed that the joint participation of citizens, economy and NGOs could produce significant results in the field of environment protection, said Dulić. This year’s WED theme is Green Economy: Does It Include You and, truly, green economy represents future not only for Serbia, but for the whole world, emphasized Dulic. Green economy is the topic of this year’s summit in Rio de Janeiro, where all the governments of the world will express the positive aspects of this type of economy in terms of its progress towards sustainable development. Since 2009, the Serbian government has been trying to turn environment protection into an economic branch as well, which is to stimulate local communities to open new work positions. On the basis of green economy, 10,000 new jobs have been opened so far. Last year, Serbia adopted the National Environment Protection Programme and is about to fulfill EU conditions in this sphere. The progress is reflected in the fact that this year the amount of recycled generated waste has dropped, whereas the amount of recycled collected waste has risen. Serbia has also reached positive trends in the opening of recycling centres, tire recycling, building of waste water processing plants throughout its territory, etc. Thanks to green economy, the Roma population as well has been gradually involved in these projects, which helps them resolve their social status and send their children to school, concluded Dulić, calling on all the Serbian citizens to join the Big Cleaning of Serbia drive on June 9, thus giving their contribution to a clean environment.

The EU delegation head in Belgrade, Vincent Degert, said that the EU was helping Serbia in this field through various ecological projects. He emphasized it was necessary to invest some 10 million euros to reach maximum results. The EU has helped Serbia harmonize its laws with EU ones and improve its administrative and educational capacities. Investments have been made in the Obrenovac thermal power plant, the building of a recycling centre in Subotica , the building of a regional landfill in Duboko, etc. Green economy has already been bringing profit and numerous benefits. It is also necessary to deal with the ecological catastrophes that have been striking the Earth for two decades and which can be prevented by means of joint actions only, said Degert.

On this day, the Green Initiative launched a drive entitled What Kind of Monuments Is Our Civilization Leaving Behind? It is estimated that more than 40% waste materials in Serbia end up in illegal dumps, by rivers, town squares, parks or children’s playgrounds, and that some 50 million euros are left on landfills yearly, in the form of recyclable secondary waste. By the way, 40% of waste materials on average is recycled in the EU annually, whereas the percentage in Serbia is up to four times as low.