Does your country have a Rio+20 preparatory committee?
Montenegro's national preparations for Rio+20 are coordinated by Division for the Support to the National Council for Sustainable Development (Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism) and a Rio+20 committee was formed in December 2011. More than fifty civil servants work under the auspices of the Team and its sub-groups.
Montenegro's National Council for Sustainable Development, a multi-stakeholder body chaired by the Prime Minister, has been actively involved in the Rio+20 preparation process. On April 24-25th, the Council with its international and local partners organized a Conference on "How to reach sustainable development and green economy in Montenegro?" The main goal of the Conference was to provide a platform for consultations with all societal stakeholders – academia, local self-governments, businesses, NGOs and citizens (through twitter) – on Montenegro’s platform for Rio+20.
Finally, the Division together with UNDP started an initiative to involve NGOs more actively in the processes of preparation by organising mini Rio summits throughout Montenegro and leading discussion with people on some of the most important topics in the area of sustainable development.
Has your country completed a sustainable development review?
Montenegro's sustainable development review focuses primarily on the period after 2006, when Montenegro proclaimed its independence. An important addition to the review is the Analysis of Achievements and Challenges of the Ecological State, which the National Council for Sustainable Development prepared for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of proclamation of Montenegro as an ecological state (1991-2011). The Analysis contains clear recommendations to the Government of how to proceed with further implementation of ecological state as well as analysis on what have been done in this areas in last two decades.
Is your country planning on announcing new initiatives at Rio?
Montenegro is still developing its initiatives for Rio+20.
What is your vision for success at Rio+20?
The outcomes of UNCED in 1992 and WSSD in 2002 were highly relevant for Montenegro and had to a significant extent affected national level policy making. The Rio principles, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, should continue to serve as the guiding principles and basis for international cooperation and move towards sustainable development.
Rio+20 will be a unique opportunity to renew political commitment for sustainable development, to reinvigorate global SD efforts and to emphasise the need for integration of environmental, economic and social pillars. International organisations, in particular the international financial institutions, national and local governments, all other groups (in particular vulnerable groups, women and youth, civil society, academia and business sector) must be involved in order to ensure sustainable future.
UN Member States should lead discussions at the Rio+20 Conference with the aim to ensure outcomes that will address global, regional and national challenges and provide for tangible, effective and action-oriented results. These outcomes will need to make a positive impact across the world now as well as future generations.
Developed countries need to continue and enhance provision of assistance to developing countries ensuring at the same time improved effectiveness and coordination.
The success of the Rio+20 will to a large degree depend on the way the most significant global challenges – climate change, sustainable consumption and production, Millennium Development Goals, water scarcity, degradation of marine ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, unfolding energy, food and economic crisis – will be addressed. The Conference needs to provide commonly agreed guidelines for adequate responses while at the same time ensuring their flexibility and applicability for different levels of governance and county specific conditions.
Cooperation in the areas of technology and research and development, as well as knowledge and technology transfers between developed and developing countries are needed, alongside with education, training programmes and capacity building activities to ensure adequate skills, information and technologies to address new and emerging challenges, and climate change in particular, exist around the world.
Public awareness raising activities and strengthened management tools are needed to shift behaviours towards more sustainable lifestyles.
Montenegro has recognized the significance of addressing the causes of climate change and adapting to it. Improved cooperation and coordination on national, regional and international levels is needed in order to successfully address climate change threats. Integration of climate change concerns into development planning is very important as the changing climate poses significant risks to economic growth and development of the country.
A more significant emphasis on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) is needed on the national level. Further integration of SCP requirements into sectoral policies for energy, industry, transport, agriculture and services is needed.
Integration of development policies under the sustainability umbrella is necessary to provide for land use practices that will safeguard long term development opportunities and quality of life. Rational use of space, in particular in the coastal zone, efficient use of resources such as water and energy, and preservation of ecosystem services are necessary preconditions for sustainable response to new and emerging challenges.
Efforts to provide for economic growth and development need to be paralleled by more robust mechanisms and tools for balanced regional development and equitable sharing of benefits among all society groups.
What other major activities are happening in your country at the subnational, corporate, and civil society levels for Rio+20?
In order to ensure as active as possible participation of all citizens and stakeholders, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, together with the UNDP Office in Montenegro, launched a call for interested NGOs to partner with the government in organizing mini Rio summits throughout the Montenegro. The mini summits are being organized throughout April and May 2012.
At the corporate side, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has launched a first national CSR network, composed of representatives of business sector, NGOs, government (national and local level) and academia.