Montenegro
Information
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Member State
  • Name: Montenegro
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Gross domestic product (0 hits), GDP (3 hits),

Full Submission

1 Introduction

This Report presents in a condensed form the main findings and recommendations from several activities that were carried out in the framework of national preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) to be held in Rio in 2012 (also known as Rio+20). The Report draws on the following:

- Assessments and information included in the Questionnaire on experiences, success factors, risks and challenges with regard to objective and themes of UNCSD;

- Results of the compatible national processes, such as an assessment of the key achievements and weaknesses exhibited with implementation of the Declaration on Ecological State (analysis prepared by National Council of Sustainable Development to mark 20th anniversary of the adoption of Declaration);

- Stocktaking report and consultations with various stakeholders;

- Key discussion points and messages from the national multi-stakeholder conference on sustainable development held in October 2011.

The Questionnaire was submitted to the UN in December 2010 and it contains a comprehensive set of answers pertinent to the objective and themes of UNCSD, including information on experiences gained during the past 20 years in the area of sustainable development as well as views on successes, risks and challenges.

The Stakeholder Conference on Sustainable Development was held in October 2011, organised by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, with the support of UNDP. The objective of the Conference was to provide a forum for debate on achievements and problems encountered with the implementation of sustainable development in Montenegro and to identify/ reach consensus on priority issues of relevance at the national level, priorities relevant for regional actions as well as those that could be significant for the decisions at the UNCSD itself.

2 Sustainable development commitments over the past 20 years: the key developments in Montenegro

In the wake of 1992 Earth Summit in Rio (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development or UNCED), Montenegrin Parliament adopted a Declaration on Ecological State in September of 1991. The Declaration has stated a high level of commitment to preservation of natural environment and balanced development, and these strategic determinations were later reflected in Montenegrin Constitution which defines the country (inter alia) as an ecological state. The Declaration has also been recognised at the Rio Summit and enlisted as one of the Conference documents.

During the 1990s little has been done to operationalize and implement the concept of ecological state and Rio Summit outcomes. The first steps were taken to set up a modern legal and institutional framework for environmental protection and integrate environmental concerns into development planning, however the negative developments of the decade (including wars and breakdown of former country, pronounced political and economic instability, international isolation and similar) hindered these efforts and prevented achievement of progress towards sustainability. Consequently, the opposite trends ? deterioration of conditions and indicators for the three pillars of sustainable development - characterised much of the 1990s.

Montenegro took part in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 in Johannesburg by reaffirming the ecological state idea. In the beginning of 2000s the region entered a more stable period and the country turned towards development of a comprehensive and systemic response to sustainable development challenges. The progress throughout the decade has been steady, although not as rapid and effective as desired. The past decade was also a decade when Montenegro renewed its statehood and joined the United Nations as an independent state, and embarked on a path of European integrations. The country has received a status of candidate country in 2010 and is expected to start with accession negotiations in the forthcoming period.

When it comes to mechanisms and policy instruments for sustainable development, it is worth of mentioning that National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) has been operational since 2002, while National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) was adopted in 2007.

3 Political commitment to sustainable development, progress achieved and gaps in implementation

3.1 National efforts to implement sustainable development principles

The main characteristic of the country's evolving legal framework in all the areas pertinent to sustainable development is its progressive harmonisation with the EU acquis, as a part of the accession process. The EU integration is a strong driver for implementation of sustainable development concepts in Montenegro as European regulations and policies are seen as one of the most progressive ones worldwide, striving to achieve goals of competitive and knowledge based economy, equitable and inclusive society and preserved natural environments.

In addition to intensive work on aligning national with the EU legislation, a large number of strategic documents were adopted during the past five years for areas and sectors significant for sustainable development, including inter alia spatial planning, energy, transport, waste and wastewater management, climate change, biodiversity, forestry, agriculture, regional development and others. Furthermore, much has been done to improve policy and strategic frameworks for public participation, development of partnerships among stakeholders, application of principles of solidarity and equity (within current generation and among generations), equal access to resources and services (including health and education), poverty reduction and similar. As for the local level, a limited number of municipalities have developed local sustainable development strategies, environmental action plans and similar documents addressing sustainability issues.

Montenegro is committed to implementation of Millennium Development Goals and is monitoring the progress in this area. Country specific Human Development Reports are prepared periodically.

Montenegro has ratified three major UN conventions (on biodiversity, climate change and on combating desertification) and is at the various levels of implementation of responsibilities undertaken at ratification. In 2010, the First National Communication to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has been completed, as well as National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Besides these major UN conventions, Montenegro is a party or signatory to around 60 multilateral environmental agreements.

Regarding the institutional set up for sustainable development, National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) as an advisory body to the Government plays an important role. The Council was established in 2002 and it is currently composed in a way that provides for participation of different stakeholders ranging from the national and local government representatives to members of academia, business and the NGO sector as well as independent experts. The NCSD task is to, inter alia, consider all the strategic documents pertinent to sustainable development (SD) and issue related opinions and recommendations to the Government, thus contributing to policy integration. The Council's mission is to promote and communicate sustainable development and contribute to implementation of SD principles in Montenegro. The Office for Sustainable Development, which used to operate as a separate body at Government level, acts as a Secretariat to the Council and also has a mandate to ensure coordination of the line ministries in the processes of the adoption of long term policies. As of June 2011, the Office has been integrated in the relevant ministry (Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism).

With regards to the public sector, competences and responsibilities for sustainable development are spread over a large number of administrative bodies and public institutions. Status and mandate of the part of administration responsible for environmental protection has often changed over the course of the past two decades. Environment is now predominantly under competence of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism (a composite ministry responsible for spatial planning, construction, communal issues ? including waste and wastewater, housing, and tourism, in addition to environmental protection). Other ministries, administrative bodies and institutions that have competences relevant for sustainable development include: Ministry of Economy; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; Ministry of Internal Affairs; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of External Affairs and European Integrations; Ministry of Education and Sport; Ministry of Science; Agency for Environmental Protection; Nature Protection Institute; Hydro-meteorological Institute; Public Enterprise National Parks; Public Enterprise for Public Maritime Domain; Centre for Eco-toxicological Research; Water Administration; Forestry Administration; Public Health Institute; Real Estate Administration, and others. Local self-governments also have important competencies for implementation of SD principles.

Civil society has contributed significantly to formulation and implementation of sustainability policies, especially during the last decade. Contribution of civil society stakeholders has been particularly important when it comes to opening and discussion of sensitive issues and to identification of societal problems that have a negative impact on development perspectives and equal rights of all citizens. A number of scientific and research institutions are operating in Montenegro and they comprise an important segment of total capacities for development of knowledge based economy/ society and for fulfilling sustainability objectives. Business sector is another highly significant stakeholder for sustainable development.

International organisations have, through various forms of assistance, played a very important role in implementing SD in Montenegro. UN assistance was particularly pronounced with development and implementation of SD policies and standards and development of national and local capacities.

3.2 Progress achieved and remaining gaps in implementation

A more substantial progress with implementation of sustainable development was evidenced during the past decade, as opposed to 1990s when, despite some significant events, little has been done on balanced development within three SD pillars (economy ? environment ? society). The progress can be primarily attributed to improvements in legal and strategic frameworks, as well as to certain steps forward with institutional solutions. This primarily refers to the establishment of National Council of Sustainable Development, the Office for Sustainable Development and the adoption of the National SD Strategy, harmonisation of numerous national regulations with the EU legislation (and advancement in the EU integration in general), as well as to adoption of important documents for biodiversity, forests, climate change, waste and wastewater management, regional development, energy efficiency etc. Environmental Protection Agency has been established and decisions brought to remediate certain environmental 'hot spots' (some of these decisions have been realised and remediation projects completed), and a new national park (fifth one - Prokletije) has been declared. A progress has been achieved in the area of access to information and participation in decision making, and slight improvements in the overall development were recorded (as measured by the Human Development Index).

It should be noted however that indicators showing progress (or opposite trends) in relation to SD goals are not always available. Situation is somewhat better when socio-economic aspects of sustainable development are considered (including indicators such as poverty rate, human development index etc.). Sustainability indicators for socio-economic development aspects have been mainly revolving around same values during the past 7 ? 8 years, with some variations in both directions (increases and decreases). Classical economic indicators (such as GDP, employment etc.) have exhibited positive trends throughout the last decade and have peaked in 2008, before the effects of economic crisis. In the years prior to 2008, Montenegrin economy was one of the fastest growing in the region. In depth analysis on the extent to which this growth was sustainable is not available.

When it comes to environment, there are no composite indicators (such as ecological footprint or similar) that could show whether environmental performances of Montenegrin society/ economy are sustainable. Generally speaking, environmental statistics and indicators are not sufficiently developed; a GEF (Global Environmental Facility) project is currently being implemented to address these gaps.

Implementation of laws, policies and strategies is still not fully adequate and should be further improved. Other identified challenges that also contribute to implementation weaknesses include insufficient levels of harmonisation among sectoral policies, low level of integration of environmental concerns in sectoral/ economic policies, inadequate estimation and lack of financial resources necessary for implementation, lack of sufficiently developed monitoring and enforcement mechanisms and similar.

Necessity of cooperation and partnerships among stakeholders based of the principles of transparency and participation has been recognised as a precondition for sustainable development. When reviewing developments over the past 20 years in Montenegro, positive examples of synergetic conduct of different stakeholders towards common sustainability objectives can be identified, as well as examples of opposite practices. Lack of integrated approaches is pronounced. Institutional framework and stakeholder cooperation are certainly areas where it is possible and necessary to achieve substantial improvements in the forthcoming period.

Though the organisational infrastructure for sustainable development is in place, but certain challenges persist. Some of the issues that decrease public sector capacities to adequately respond to challenges and requirements of sustainable development are overlapping competences, insufficient or ineffective coordination, and lack of necessary skills and preparedness for strict enforcement of regulations. The areas over which these deficiencies have had an impact so far i.e. problems they generate include: deterioration of protected areas; illegal construction; illegal waste disposal; conversion of agricultural land; unsustainable forest cutting; poor enforcement of regulations for industrial pollution of air, water and soil; inadequate water management, etc. Problem of insufficient capacities (human, technical and financial) in public administration bodies has been also noted, especially on local level. Scientific and research capacities for numerous, often new and complex environmental, climate change and sustainable development issues can be also assessed as insufficient. This refers to human resources, equipment, assets and projects undertaken by these institutions.

The role of civil society stakeholders and their contributions to sustainable development need to be further strengthened through continuous efforts to allow for meaningful participation in policy and decision making. Existing partnerships need to be extended and new ones built to harness potential of this stakeholder group to its full potential. Relative to the role of civil sector in the society, capacities are significant. This is mainly due to flexibility and openness of civil society stakeholders. On the other hand, there is a room for improvements. Media, for example, could do more on awareness raising agenda and with better/ more in depth coverage on all the issues from the sustainable development corpus.

Despite some positive examples during the last few years, the level of involvement of business sector and its contribution to sustainable development goals has remained at relatively low level. Concepts such as sustainable consumption and production and corporate social responsibility are not widely applied. Development of public-private partnerships is still at initial stage.

During the past decade, the UN assistance was to a large degree extended through UNDP office in Montenegro and was referring to issues such as establishment and operation of the Office for Sustainable Development, functioning and reform of NCSD as well as to preparation of NSDS. Assistance from UN DESA was received in improving the existing set of core indicators of sustainable development. Furthermore, the UN system provided an essential support to Montenegro in the areas of:

? Climate change (strengthening capacities to address climate change and analyse its impacts on people, economy and environment);

? Biodiversity (building capacities for development and implementation of adequate policies, improving management of protected areas);

? Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of Millennium Development Goals and preparation of Human Development Reports;

? Preparation of strategic documents for regional development, public administration reform etc.

Continued support of the UN system and cooperation towards Montenegro?s sustainable development is expected in the future through the ?Delivering as One? initiative, based on consultations between UN agencies and Government partners.

Notwithstanding achieved progress, challenges with implementation of sustainable development goals remain numerous. They have been exacerbated lately by global challenges such as climate change and financial/ economic crisis. In addition, long lasting negative trends that have been recorded within the country, such as spatial degradation, inadequate waste management, non-compliance with regulations, regional development disparities, poverty and economic vulnerability, inequitable distribution of benefits among social groups, inefficient use of resources and similar, make facing these challenges a more demanding and difficult task. Due to pressures to achieve rapid economic improvements in the transitional period, there has been insufficient ability to translate the growing political commitment to sustainable development into concrete transformative actions and policies.

Lack of longer term perspective in policy formulation has been frequently seen due to pressures to achieve rapid economic improvements, and so despite formal advocating of the SD principles ? the need to renew political commitment to this concept is evident.

Priorities identified through the hitherto preparations for Rio+20 and the key challenges for accelerating progress towards sustainable development over the course of the next decade are:

? Sustainable management and use of space;

? Waste and wastewater management;

? Biodiversity protection, preservation of resilience and stability of ecosystems, and rational use of water and forests;

? Energy efficiency in all sectors and orientation towards new and alternative energy sources (especially solar and wind energy);

? Decrease of currently large regional development disparities and poverty eradication.

In order to address these challenges it will be necessary to:

? Further harmonise national legislation with the EU acquis, international conventions and UN recommendations as well as to strengthen commitment and readiness (also capacities) to implement regulations and undertaken responsibilities fully and efficiently;

? Improve governance system (to enable stronger involvement of stakeholders in decision making and building of partnerships);

? Develop and implement educational and awareness raising programmes in order to recognise and adopt values, principles and standards of sustainable development;

? Build institutions and capacities at all levels; improve coordination;

? Ensure provision of adequate financial support from the national and local budgets for implementation of sustainability policies and strategies;

? Integrate climate change into sectoral policies; develop climate change adaptation strategies;

? Provide for continuous development of scientific, academic, business and administrative capacities in order to promote and stimulate innovation;

? Establish statistical system that will generate adequate basis for adoption of policies for sustainable development and their evaluation.

3.3 Recommendations

3.3.1 International level

(1) 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.

(2) The forthcoming UNCSD or 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.

(3) 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.

(4) Developed countries need to continue and enhance provision of assistance to developing countries ensuring at the same time improved effectiveness and coordination. 3.3.2 National level

(1) High level political commitment to sustainable development has been exhibited in Montenegro in the past period on strategic and policy level however it proved insufficient on the level of practical implementation and for delivering substantial results. It is therefore necessary to work on renewing and strengthening political commitment for implementation and for integration of all three pillars of sustainable development.

(2) Government should have a leading role in SD implementation and integration, while other stakeholders need to be fully included in decision-making and assessment of the scope and dynamics in fulfilling the commitments. Accountability is important for all stakeholders. Partnerships must be strengthened both within the country and with international actors.

(3) Coordination between line ministries, national expert, research and scientific institutions as well as between national and local levels of administration has to improve and effective mechanisms for information and knowledge sharing need to be established. Clear delineation of competencies and capacity building is necessary to this end.

(4) The process of EU integration and SD implementation are synergetic processes that are reinforcing each other. Advancement in transposition and implementation of European standards (especially in areas such as environmental protection, energy, competitiveness, regional and rural development, social inclusion and equity) will yield benefits for sustainability agenda and vice versa. It is therefore of the utmost importance to vigorously pursue the EU accession priorities.

(5) National Sustainable Development Strategy needs to be renewed to take into account progress made and remaining/ emerging challenges. Implementation of the updated Strategy needs to be improved by securing adequate political backing and wide acceptance, as well as by setting aside adequate resources both for its implementation and progress monitoring. A strong move from proclamations to actions is necessary.

(6) Funding sources for implementation of sustainable development policies and actions need to be diversified to include both public and private sources. Additional efforts are needed to mobilise more funds from already recognized sources and to use them more effectively, as well as to identify new sources of finance.

(7) Knowledge and data availability need to be improved to ensure that informed decisions are made and sustainability achieved.

(8) Comprehensive education and awareness raising programmes need to be continuously developed and implemented to incorporate sustainable development values and principles into everyday life.

4 Addressing new and emerging challenges

From the long list of new and emerging challenges that are expected to put sustainable development on test globally, the following have been recognised as the most relevant ones for Montenegro:

? Climate change;

? Sustainable land use/ management of space and linkages with biodiversity conservation, water management and energy;

? Inefficient and harmful consumption and production patterns;

? Degradation of coastal zone and marine ecosystems;

? Further progress towards fulfilment of Millennium Development Goals, particularly regarding the position of vulnerable groups and regional development, since these are areas of particular interest in the national context;

? The unfolding of global financial crisis and recession and related negative impacts on the national economy.

Climate change is a relatively new policy area in Montenegro. Country specific assessment of potential impacts on communities, environment and the economy and efforts to develop adequate responses are in the initial stages. Sustainable use of space and degradation of coastal zone/ marine ecosystems are, on the other hand, recognised as re-emerging challenges for sustainable development due to prolonged negative trends that threaten to cause irreversible changes and thus affect future development prospects. Similarly, efforts to contribute to full implementation of Millennium Development Goals and related national priorities of eradicating poverty and providing for balanced regional development emerge in somewhat changed form in light of economic crisis of the past few years. Adapting to and overcoming the impacts of crisis and creating innovative and sustainable approaches to growth is another new area, as is the need to establish sustainable consumption and production standards and practice. Taking into account the size of the country and its limited resources, addressing all these challenges in an efficient and effective way is of vital interest.

Existing mechanisms for addressing these challenges are not well developed, nevertheless significant efforts have been made to establish coordinating bodies (such as National Council on Sustainable Development; establishment of climate change council is being considered), to develop adequate strategies and to implement projects that pilot sustainable approaches in dealing with these problems. Furthermore, Montenegro has been contributing to establishment of regional mechanisms and networks on economic development, coastal zone management and climate change (Regional Forum on Climate Change for the Western Balkans being an example).

At the local level, individual positive examples in addressing some of the new and emerging challenges have been recorded (including efforts to develop sustainable transport systems, increase energy efficiency for public buildings and lighting, etc.). However, a lot remains to be done to ensure proactive role of local communities in addressing the stated challenges.

The country has so far received significant technical and financial assistance to address new and emerging challenges and related areas, such as biodiversity and nature protection, climate change, energy efficiency, regional and rural development, organic agriculture, sustainable tourism development etc. There are continuous efforts and projects to enhance education for sustainable development at all levels, nevertheless both scope and effectiveness of these programmes needs to be further improved.

Sustainable consumption and production is a new theme on Montenegrin development agenda where significant progress is of the utmost importance for the future given current and inherited wasteful and polluting production and consumption patterns. Assistance in this area has so far come through projects aiming to introduce cleaner production processes, and an assessment of technological needs for climate change mitigation and adaptation is on-going.

It is necessary to provide continued and increased support for, in particular, climate change adaptation and mitigation, use of sustainable renewable energy sources, agriculture and sustainable tourism, as well as for introduction of sustainable consumption and production patterns in key sectors (energy, transport, construction etc.). Further assistance is also necessary for strengthening capacities for integrated policy making and strategy development.

4.1 Recommendations

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) Public awareness raising activities and strengthened management tools are needed to shift behaviours towards more sustainable lifestyles.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

(7) 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.

5 Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication: experiences and aspirations

Similar to the situation on global level, there is still no consensus on the meaning of term 'green economy' and no applicable definition. However, some examples of policies and measures that could be characterised as efforts towards green economy development have been recorded. These include implementation (limited but evolving) of the polluter pays principle, introduction of the concept of low-carbon development into national strategies and plans, increased attention paid to biodiversity protection and energy efficiency, incentives for research and development, introduction of clean technologies, strengthening of statistical system and information basis, adaptation to climate change and similar. The concept of green economy is generally understood as a way of achieving sustainable development and it includes social aspects such as poverty reduction, equitable regional development and building up of human capital.

Pollution charges are in place (although with limited effects) as a way of implementing polluter pays principle. Nevertheless there is still a need for more comprehensive and effective application of market based instruments for greening the economy. Legislation, strategies and action plans to improve resource efficiency are being developed, and specific projects are implemented in the areas such as energy and waste management. Incentives for energy efficiency improvements in small and medium sized enterprises, public buildings and housing sector are increasing both in number and scope.

Even though there is no integral strategy on the development of green economy, some fundamental concepts and principles have been established in the National Sustainable Development Strategy. Regional Development Strategy (2010) links reduction of development disparities (within the country) and increase in employment to the concept of low-carbon development in the main economic sectors and envisages introduction of measures for encouraging private investments into green businesses. Preparation of the new strategy for construction sector based on green standards is planned, and measures to promote sustainable growth have been recorded in various sectors (examples include organic agriculture, eco-tourism, renewable energy sources etc.).

A diversified policy mix is needed to achieve green, inclusive and competitive economy. Market-based instruments include environmental taxes, charges and fees, tradable permits and subsidies. Carbon pricing, which comprises carbon taxes and emission-trading schemes, has a central place in global attempts to achieve green economy. Non-market instruments include regulatory and voluntary approaches. Legislative or regulatory instruments are based on performance standards, licensing and banning of certain products or practices, while voluntary approaches include ratings, labelling and certification. Within the EU accession process, Montenegro needs to develop adequate policy mix that will deliver results in its transition to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Priority sectors for green economy development in Montenegro include energy, tourism, construction, agriculture and forestry. More specifically, opportunities exist for increased use of renewable energy sources (particularly sun and wind), improved energy efficiency, introduction of the environmental standards (low carbon buildings) into construction, development of rural, mountain and eco-tourism, organic agriculture, rural development, sustainable forestry etc. Besides these, greening opportunities exist for transport (introduction of combined transport, improvements in public transportation systems) and waste management (waste minimisation reuse and recycling).

There are also untapped opportunities with sustainable public procurement (the new Law on Public Procurement has recently been adopted by the Government and it includes general provisions for introduction of both environmental and social criteria for the public procurement rules) and introduction of voluntary instruments such as labelling and eco-certification schemes. Partnerships with scientific institutions and business sector need to be developed in order to support development of low-carbon technologies and green jobs creation. Development of adequate human and technical capacity is a prerequisite for transition to a green economy. Availability of international assistance is also very important.

Discussions held during the national multi-stakeholder conference on sustainable development (October 2011) confirmed Montenegrins aspirations to become a pilot country for thorough restructuring and greening of the national economy based on the principles of social equity, resource efficiency and preservation of the environment. The idea and possibility to secure support for such an endeavour has been tested during the 19th Session of UN Commission on Sustainable Development in May 2011, when it was generally evaluated in a positive manner. Rio+20 Conference is seen as an opportunity to pursue this idea further, marking the twentieth anniversary of the initial presentation of Montenegro as an ecological state at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

As for the expectations from UNCSD, Montenegro holds a position that the existing momentum for green economy development should be utilised to re-emphasise complementarity between economic growth, preservation of the natural environments and resources, and stimulating employment and social equity. The Conference should also provide guidelines for development of green economy and ensure commitment and support of developed countries to the developing ones through technology transfers, information sharing and continued financial assistance.

Sustainable development and green economy should not be understood as concepts that exclude or replace each other. The recommendations/ guidelines for implementation of the green economy concept should be adjustable to individual countries? contexts and include examples of best practices and successful instruments. Measurable indicators for monitoring results should be defined. Linked to this, definition of targets would be desirable.

5.1 Recommendations

(1) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines green economy as the ?one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities?. This definition is compatible with the view advocated in the UNCSD preparations that greening the economy can be a tool to help achieve sustainable development and eradicate poverty. In this context, green economy is considered to be at the heart of renewed efforts to integrate environmental and social considerations with economic decision-making. Montenegro supports these views and sees green economy as a low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive economy.

(2) The multiple crises in recent years have underlined the need to reorient current economic growth models. Global community needs to rethink development together. Growth should be inclusive, equitable and strongly oriented towards poverty eradication. Environmental impacts of this growth have to be reduced through sensible policies on energy, water, agriculture, marine environments, land/use urbanization, climate change, and job creation.

(3) Progress towards green economy needs to be measured. Rio+20 should contribute to the adoption of a new set of indicators complementing GDP and integrating economic, social and environmental dimensions in a balanced manner.

(4) Technology, finance and capacity building needed for the economic transformation have to be provided and developing countries supported in their efforts to pursue sustainable development. Technology cooperation and technology transfer should be strengthened.

(5) Financing for a green economy as a means for sustainable development and poverty eradication needs to be secured and to come from various sources ? public and private. New/ innovative sources need to be identified.

(6) Ecosystem services valuation represents an important tool and a good argument in advocating for green economy. Structure and functions of ecosystems that support our economy and well-being i.e. ecological resilience, have to be maintained.

(7) Increasing resource efficiency can yield economic savings and social benefits and reduce environmental impacts of production activities. On the other hand, these are necessary to gain competitive advantages on global markets and adjust to increasing global competition for resources and environmental constraints. Furthermore, strong commitment is needed for moving from just increasing the eco-efficiency in the production processes to improving the eco-effectiveness in the context of the life cycle approach.

(8) The transition to a green economy requires a well-balanced policy mix and financing mechanisms. Choosing the most cost-effective and efficient policy mixes for the green economy needs to be country specific and to rely on specific information and analysis. To this end, it is necessary to develop adequate national capacities and to secure international coordination. Full cost pricing should be a central element of the policy mix across all sectors.

(9) Measuring progress is the first step to managing the transition towards a green economy. Information-gathering tools and processes need to be strengthened at all levels. This is an area where significant benefits can be gained through improved cooperation and information exchange (within countries, on regional and global levels).

(10) Active engagement of the private sector and civil society in green economy discussions and implementation is necessary to promote sustainable practices and fully utilise employment potential of the green economy. Workers? education and training will play an important role in facilitating transition to a green economy.

(11) Private sector, through investment, trade and innovation, has a prominent role to play in delivering a green economy. The governments have a responsibility to create conditions to ensure that this will happen, especially by stimulating green innovation at the level of small and medium sized enterprises. Partnerships at all levels in the key green economy sectors and areas are of the utmost importance.

(12) Transition to a green economy will require significant efforts on education and awareness raising for all stakeholders, including consumers and businesses, environmental and non-environmental parts of administrations and others, to allow for informed decision-making. Governments should stimulate green markets creation through green public procurement and similar instruments.

(13) Investing in energy and resource efficiency has proven to be a win-win solution regardless of countries? economic structures. The same applies for waste prevention, reuse and recycling. Replication of best practices from other countries/ regions and expansion of current programmes would be a welcome support for Montenegrin ambitions to move to a green economy.

(14) The United Nations system (most notably UNDP) has been providing continued assistance to Montenegro with sustainable development and green economy agendas. Building national and local level capacities for green economic policymaking and a focused analysis of and investment in key economic sectors with an effort to decouple economic growth from resource consumption remains an important area for future assistance too. This is all the more important in the Montenegrin context, considering that the major contributors to the country?s GDP are sectors that rest on a vibrant, resilient environment and natural capital (i.e. tourism). Running down this capital will directly result in the loss of jobs and income.

(15) National and local governments, civil society, international organizations and business sector have been carrying out a number of initiatives which are contributing to a transition towards the green economy. Such initiatives need to be further strengthened and scaled up in the forthcoming period to assist Montenegro with its green economy aspirations. At the same time, a significant shift in perceptions and priorities and will need to be achieved in the country, starting from decision makers down to general public.

6 Institutional framework for sustainable development: experiences and aspirations

As already discussed in chapter three of this Report, institutional framework for sustainable development has been reasonably well developed in Montenegro and rich experiences have been gained with different solutions over the course of the past two decades. This is not to say that the practice has always been satisfactory and yielding positive outcomes. On contrary, areas where significant improvements are needed have been identified and they include but are not limited to strengthening of capacities and clarifying roles, improved coordination, efficient and effective operation, etc.

Positive experiences include establishment and work of the National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD), improved participation and a more significant role played by civil society, business sector and academia and independent experts, strengthened capacities of environmental and other parts of administration for policy integration and implementation, etc. On the local level, a pilot project to establish local sustainable development council has been completed in December 2010, while few other municipalities established different inter-sectoral mechanisms to follow up on development policies implementation and sustainability issues.

As regards the cooperation between government and other stakeholders, non-governmental organisations and independent experts, as active members of the NCSD, stand out as one the main counterparts in the process of consultations and preparations of policies relevant for sustainable development. The business sector and trade unions are more involved in the work of the Social Council, which gathers representatives of the Government, employers and employees, but are also represented in the NCSD. Participation of the business sector has increased significantly after the reform of the NCSD, which provided for a more specialised and continuous work of the Council throughout the year. Local self-governments participate in policy making through the Union of Municipalities as well as through direct membership in some of the advisory bodies. Academia, universities and other educational and research institutions have an important role too. Cooperation with international organisations is highly significant.

Some of the most significant challenges national institutions need to address and key tasks lying ahead of them in the attempts to provide adequate backing for sustainable development include:

? Raising awareness at all levels ? from decision makers to general public ? on the need for integrated approaches to development planning and policy making;

? Improving cooperation, coordination and information sharing for streamlined responses to complex problems;

? Development and strengthening of institutions and capacities at national and local levels, with particular focus on the latter;

? Clear delineation of competences among the key institutions;

? Establishment of transparent mechanisms for effective engagement of all stakeholders in policy and decision making;

? Establishment of an efficient system for monitoring the progress with implementation of sustainable development principles and standards (primarily through creation of adequate mechanism, but also through strengthening of statistical capacities in institutions tasked with data collection and analysis);

? Development and implementation of comprehensive awareness raising and educational programmes to promote sustainable development values and principles.

As regards the international level, a large number of institutions and agencies are operating in the areas relevant for sustainable development. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development, however, does not have the mandate to coordinate globally implemented initiatives, programmes and activities and its resources have been significantly reduced in terms of its ability to provide technical/expert support to the member countries.

Establishment of integrated and rational coordination system would largely contribute to fulfilment of sustainability objectives. This due to the fact that insufficient coordination, overlapping responsibilities and use of various concepts without sufficient effort to integrate them, have been also evident for these actors. Within the UN system, it would be useful to assess cumulative performance at the level of overall organization rather than the results achieved within frameworks of individual UN agencies. An already applied approach through which the UN system attempted to accelerate its endeavours and increase coherence and efficiency of its operations was the so-called "Delivering as One? approach.

Montenegro expects that the UNCSD will adopt decisions on reforming the existing institutional framework for sustainable development and contribute to governance improvements at all levels. Clear and strengthened mandate of lead agencies and enhanced coordination to consolidate and align the activities would be welcome. Recommendations on more effective ways of delivering support to developing countries would make another welcome output of the Conference.

6.1 Recommendations

(1) The UNCSD should emphasise importance of governance for sustainable development at all levels.

(2) The need to reform institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD) is apparent in order to provide for adequate responses to current and future challenges, to bridge gaps in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda as well as to accelerate global action towards a greener and more sustainable economy and eradication of poverty. International Environmental Governance (IEG) needs to be strengthened as a part of the broader IFSD reform.

(3) The IFSD reform should be guided by the need to improve the integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, enhance transparency and participation, and simplify administration and implementation while maintaining ability to address complex issues.

(4) Montenegro supports a strengthened role for the UNEP and better coordination across the UN system in integrating environment into development, and in supporting sustainable development. Revision of the role of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development is, in our view, necessary. As a part of the UN system that has so far played a leading role in sustainable development efforts and was directly present in the country, UNDP should continue to play an important role as the only agency with capacities to speak on all three pillars of sustainable development- social, environmental, economic; UNDP?s capacities and experiences should be utilised in the best possible ways.

(5) Sustainable development progress needs to be measured and information widely shared. One of the UNCSD outcomes should be increased emphasis on monitoring and evaluation.

(6) Montenegro supports the proposals to streamline and reinforce the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) system and to reinforce and mainstream the environmental dimension within the UN system, as was for example the case with the "Delivering as One" initiative.

(7) On the national level, it will be necessary to review mandates of certain institutions, improve their coordination (horizontal and vertical) and work on capacity building. For efficiency purposes, existing institutions should be consolidated whenever possible, but at the same time there will be a need for creation of new institutions to address the EU integration and sustainability agendas. The practice of NCSD providing advices on policy integration to the Government and overseeing implementation of NSDS should be maintained.

(8) Institutional framework for sustainable development in Montenegro needs to be expanded to include Parliament in an effort to strengthen the oversight and monitoring function.

(9) Capacity building is especially relevant for the local administrations; establishment of local councils on sustainable development should be promoted and supported whenever feasible.

(10) Achieved progress in consultations and participation of relevant stakeholders should be maintained and improved in the forthcoming period. In Montenegrin experience, NCSD with evolving/ improved structure has proven to be a useful tool to enhance stakeholder participation and wide consultations, and there is potential to replicate this experience to other countries.
Copyright (c) United Nations 2011 | Terms of Use | Privacy Notice | Contact | Site Map | New