Partnership is an imperative, regarding the fact that the environment’s fate lies entirely in our own hands.
The “Partnership for Green Novi Sad” conference took place in our City, in late 2019. It was supported by The City of Novi Sad, OCD representatives and OSCE Mission in Serbia.
What was The Conference about and why is partnership for green Novi Sad an important element of the City’s sustainable development?
The development of environmental protection policy, by establishing The Green Chair mechanism – through forming a working group from which OCD representatives will participate in The Green Chair’s, will establish a continual cooperation between The City’s agencies and The OCD with the aim of creating local policies directed at sustainable development and economic prosperity, bearing in mind the wellbeing of the environment.
The Head of Novi Sad Municipal Assembly Zdravko Jelušić initiated the Conference, by stressing that The Novi Sad Municipal Assembly was the first local assembly which introduced the institution of The Green Chair.
In the past seven years, according to the Public Utility Company “Urban Flora” (JKP “Gradsko zelenilo”), more than 23 thousand trees were planted, with less than 3 thousand removed. The Mayor also initiated the planting of an additional 10 thousand trees.
However, that begs the question of whether it is sufficient to merely plant and raises the concern of maintenance. Such matters, and other environmental protection essentials will be consistently facilitated by The Green Chair’s planned activities, from its inception onwards. Instituting The Green Chair of The City of Novi Sad will be a major contribution towards realizing the measurements adopted in the “Declaration on Environmental Protection” in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina in mid-2019.
Municipal Assembly MP, Mira Radenović, highlighted that the continual advancements in the cooperation between the civilian sector and decision-makers, through increased public agency in the decision-making process is the best method of tackling many challenges in creating environmental policies. She sees the partnership as a way of looking at the environment. Accoding to her, to address someone as partner, there is first thing to be establish, the trust. If we can put trust in our partnership, we become a team, which with a sufficient base can make a positive difference.
Will The Green Chair make a difference? We, as co-initiators of The Green Chair, strongly believe that certainly will be the case, with sufficient support from our fellow citizens.
During his speech, John Clayton – The Head of the Democratization Department at OSCE Mission to Serbia, gave his support to The City of Novi Sad’s initiative and stated that Novi Sad is already a green city. He believes we all bear responsibility for protecting our environment and that measures taken should bring people of all generations together alongside every aspect of the community, boost the economy and raise the standard of living beyond the financials. He believes that a healthy and sustainable environment should be one of the main priorities and that The Green Chair offers the possibility of hearing many voices regarding the topic.
What do you think? Is Novi Sad ready to bring together different voices and fight for a healthier and cleaner environment, together – holistically, by facilitating and creating partnerships, as well as collaborating with experts and utilising their know-how?