The Western Balkans Climate Resilient Growth Roundtable held on March 11, 2015 in Vienna, brought together a multi-sectoral set of representatives from Western Balkan countries as well as participants from the European Commission and development partner organizations to review the main findings for Western Balkans from the recent World Bank Turn Down the Heat report and discuss actions needed at both the national and regional levels to scale-up and complement current climate resilience efforts in the region.
The participants of the roundtable welcomed the presentation of the Turn Down the Heat report, noting in particular that the report’s regional perspective helps better apprehend climate risks, which often transcend national boundaries.
The discussions highlighted that countries in the Western Balkans are already taking action to address climate change, mainly along the water, agriculture and disaster nexus. Some have undertaken, or are carrying out, in-depth assessments of climate risks and solutions for key resources (e.g., water) or sectors (e.g., agriculture). Some are preparing, or have developed, climate strategies or action plans. And some are learning how to deal with, and prepare their response to, the consequences of climate change, especially in the aftermath of disasters.
Participants emphasized important areas of intervention across two or more countries, including: climate policies and institutions; integrated water resource management; disaster-risk management; agriculture; and, energy.
The event was an opportunity for a dialogue and learning from each other. The participants noted that the regional collaboration is already happening, at different scales – notably, river basins, and in various fora. They further acknowledged regional cooperation has great potential to share relevant knowledge, information, and experiences to engage and inspire climate action.