Department of Sustainable Development and Investments is Department within the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning responsible for and implementation of policies for sustainable development, environment and climate change, as well as preparation and implementation of Environmental Investment Programme and capital investments in the area of environment.
Sustainable development is development that satisfies the needs of present generations without jeopardizing the possibility of future generations to satisfy their needs. Sustainable development is a development that is socially responsible and fair, environmentally acceptable and relying on the basic postulates of civil society. It assumes integration of criteria for protection of natural, social and cultural capital in each policy. This further assumes balancing the economic, social and environmental goals and their integration whenever possible through creation of mutually supportive policies and practices and identification of compromises when goals integration is not possible.
Ultimately, it means systematic approach in thinking and strategic approach in planning. It also means behavior with incorporated fundamental criteria of sustainable development thus producing sustainable results in all human activities.
- Adjustment of economy to man’s needs and limitations posed by environment. (Sustainable development is sensitive to human needs relative to social status, education, culture, sex. In this sense, social and economic development and protection of the environment area inter-dependent components of sustainable development. Democracy, observation of human rights and fundamental freedoms which include the right to development, transparent and accountable governance of all sectors of the society, as well as effective participation of citizens in public life are also important part of necessary grounds of social and man focused development).
- Taking responsibility for the quality of our own development
- Long-term vision and model of fair and advanced world (because, sustainable development is not an issue of choice. It is imperative. We must do whatever possible even if this means certain sacrifices in the period of change and transition. We have to leave to our children a world worth living in, a world of clean and healthy environment and fair society. This is our duty that we must do. Romano Prodi)
Harmonization with the European environmental legislation in the Republic of Macedonia which is also a candidate country for EU membership is very intensive, taking place through completion of national laws, bylaws and procedures. The focus of these activities is placed in the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, through active participation of the relevant national decision makers. Local self-government is also involved through delegated obligations in the domain of environment planning and management at local level.
In this process, gradual building of institutions is of particular importance, through provision of human and financial resources and other measures necessary for law transposition and fulfillment of the obligations deriving from it. Support to the application of measures of inspection and sanctioning for inadequate behavior is very high ranked. Besides all this, the scale of investments in infrastructure or so called “hard” measures is relatively modest in the past period.
The reasons for the above are the levels of the required investments in conditions under which the level of the revenues acquired from payment of service users is in most cases insufficient even to cover operational costs for infrastructure maintenance and this provides low environmental standards. Problem also occurs in the implementation of environmental investments due to insufficient capacity of state bodies and local self-government to support critical phases of investment cycle: Planning and prioritizing, Preparation of projects and project documentation, Provision of finance and/or co-finance; Construction of facilities/infrastructure and facilities/infrastructure operation.
Macedonia faces severe challenge concerning adequate utilization of available financial resources in reaching compliance with environmental requirements. In doing this, institutional, social and cultural barriers will have to be recognized and overcome, especially for sectors requesting interventions at regional level involving heavy capital and operational costs.
Republic of Macedonia, besides Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, belongs to non-Annex I Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (so called developing country). On the other side, it has the status of candidate country for EU membership (where all Member States belong to the group of so called developed countries). This means that the Republic of Macedonia shares the overall goals and principles of the Convention: contribution to achieving stabilization in the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at the level that would prevent negative anthropogenic impacts on climate system, as well as the principles of equity and shared but differentiated responsibility, acceptance of requirements and conditions of developing countries, principle of precaution, and the principle of promotion of sustainable development.
The country is obliged to report regularly on national level with regard to climate change abatement and mitigation, through preparation and submission of National Communications on Climate Change. These documents are prepared in accordance with the guidelines of the Convention for developing countries and include certain obligatory chapters: GHGs inventory, climate scenarios, measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation, provisions on environment friendly technology transfer, research, education, training and strengthening of public awareness of climate change.
So far, three National Communications on Climate Changehave been produced (2003, 2008, 2013), with financial support of the Global Environmental Facility implemented through UN Development Program (UNDP). Preparation of National Communications on Climate Changeis also legal obligation under the Law on Environment.
As candidate country for full EU membership, the country has undertaken series of preparatory activities for future easier implementation of the European climate acquis, which is very complex and includes several sectors.
FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT
Department of Sustainable Development and Investmentshas three primary functions, the first of which is development of national policy for environment and sustainable development through proper quality analysis of problems and opportunities, setting priorities and preparation of relevant programmes and strategies in line with recommendations and priorities set at international level. Department also cooperates with other bodies of the state administration and other partners in the process of integration of different policies towards sustainable development and application of strategic environmental assessment. It provides support to other units of the Ministry through analytical services and policy planning services. For the purpose of For the purpose of providing environmental investments related to recommendations contained in strategic documents, the Department carries out economic analysis and other methodological analysis in projects definition, as well as the programming process itself.
The Department also performs the function of national cooperation towards fulfillment of high priority tasks under the cooperation with local self-governments and other ministries and governmental institutions. This Department is able to recognize specific needs of the units of local self-government and other institutions and assist them in the process of adaptation of Ministry’s services in their work.
The Department coordinates the activities of preparation of strategic documents, programmes and project proposals in the area of environment. Furthermore, it makes recommendations and takes active part in their implementation, guiding the work of project offices towards implementation of the obligations under the ratified global multilateral agreements, as well as international agreements at EU level.
The second primary function of the Department has been established on the basis of the needs for investment in environment, especially in the spheres of wastewater management and waste management, as well as remediation of industrial hot-spots. In this context, the Department is actively involved in the preparation of investment programmes, with particular accent on the preparation and implementation of Environmental Investment Programme in accordance with the Law on Environment. Furthermore, the Department takes care of the preparation of dossiers/technical documentation of investment projects throughout the project life cycle, especially in the segments of their implementation and monitoring. The Department attributes particular importance to the preparation and implementation of projects financially supported by donor community and EU’s pre-accession assistance.
The third primary function of the Department concerns research and analysis of policies, documents and programmes at local, national and international level in the area of climate change, as well as preparation of planning documents in the area of climate change.
The work of the Работата на Department of Sustainable Development and Investmentsis performed through four units:
Unit for sustainable development
Unit for projects preparation
Unit for investments
Unit for climate change