Best Innovations for Afforestation of Serbia Selected

October 7, 2022

With the support from the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection selected the best project proposals received in response to the "Challenge Call for Innovative Solutions in the field of Forest Ecosystem Restoration and Greening". This public call was announced within the project "EU for the Green Agenda in Serbia" in March this year.

The expert jury selected 14 of the 26 proposals for innovative solutions that had arrived, and these will be provided with mentoring and technical support to further develop their ideas.

In the first phase, the selected teams will undergo training in fields like business planning; a legal framework for afforestation; sustainable management of forests in public lands and privately owned forests; product promotion; market research; as well as assistance in the development of specific analyses, project documentation, etc. The co-funding project preparation phase starts in October 2022 and will end in December 2022.

After the end of this phase, at least 2 best solutions will receive co-financing so they can be applied in practice. Part of the co-financing, in the amount of 90,300 euros, will be provided from the project funds, and the candidates will be trained on how to attract additional funding sources. Additionally, UNDP will set up an innovative solutions presentation round to commercial banks and the donor community to secure additional funding sources.

Local self-governments and public companies, as well as associations that manage privately owned forests, applied to the Challenge and proposed ideas for afforestation in public and privately owned areas, which will contribute to the increment of the area under forest vegetation and improvement of the quality of forest ecosystems, to preserve and improve biodiversity and increase resistance to natural disasters and extreme weather conditions caused by climate change.

The implementation of these ideas will also have a positive impact on air quality, preservation of the quality of agricultural land and reduction of the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment and will also lead to the preservation and creation of new jobs, including jobs for marginalized groups.

The list of selected solutions can be found on this LINK.

The project "EU for the Green Agenda in Serbia", with the financial support of the European Union and in partnership with the Ministry of Environmental Protection, is implemented by UNDP, in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden, the European Investment Bank and the Government of Switzerland.