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UNDA Project 1819AE: Serbia - Raising awareness on waste management and climate change


In Serbia, two areas for improving public awareness have been identified: waste management and climate change. Waste management has been one of the key sectors of UNECE support to Serbia and, as such, all of these projects would be less successful without raising awareness to inform the public of the importance of proper waste management. Moreover, Serbia is seeking to improve public awareness of climate change in order to encourage all citizens to support and participate in activities to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

To support Serbia’s waste management campaign, a survey was undertaken to provide an analysis of waste management stakeholders and baseline assessment of current public awareness and barriers for proper waste management on the information in the local and regional waste management plans and other available documents.

Through this survey it was shown that there are currently no established systems of training or strengthening of public awareness for solving the problem of waste in Serbia. Thus, there is a lack of awareness among citizens on many matters regarding waste management. A Waste Management Public Awareness Programme has been proposed by the UNECE in order to achieve higher rates of recycling and separating waste, as well as a reduction in the amount of waste disposed in landfills and amount of biodegradable waste. This should start from education in school curriculums up to the level of experts and officials. Two workshops have been planned for this summer for the cities of Ivanjica and Kraljevo, which will aim to increase awareness raising on waste management through communication campaigns in Serbia. A methodology and tool to measure the impact and success of the public awareness campaign has also been developed, which will be imperative in measuring the progress of such efforts.

In order to address the lack of awareness of climate change, an assessment of the current level of public awareness regarding climate change was prepared, followed by the development of a Public Awareness Campaign and Action Plan. The initial assessment identified the needs and gaps among the various target groups by gender, and mapped the existing public awareness raising activities. It also identified which actors had the most influence and potential influence on citizens’ behaviour, including news and media sources. Based on this report, a subsequent Climate Change Awareness Programme and Action Plan was developed targeted towards governmental institutions; industry and business leaders; schools; journalists and the media; and NGOs. The Action Plan also covers the issues of which actors will be responsible for different issues, time frames, financial resources and the risks and benefits of implementation.

Raising awareness is a key part of environmental policy. It instigates support for policies, encourages environmentally friendly practices, and is especially important for international environmental issues. It is hoped that these raising awareness activities in Serbia for waste management and climate change will develop the knowledge and awareness needed to support more environmentally friendly practices across the country.