Kosovo is already grappling with the far-reaching consequences of the triple planetary crisis, encompassing climate change, environmental degradation, and biodiversity loss. Furthermore, climate change is anticipated to have substantial repercussions in the Western Balkans, including Kosovo. These effects will manifest as increasing temperatures, shifts in precipitation patterns, and a heightened risk of forest fires, droughts, crop damage, soil erosion and flooding. These impacts are already taking a toll, as rising temperatures, heatwaves, forest fires, reduced snow cover, heavy rainfall, and floods are all disrupting the region’s ecosystem, agriculture, water resources, and socio-economic stability.
The recent flash floods that occurred in Kosovo in 2023 serve as a clear illustration of the severity of these challenges, resulting in loss of life, property damage, crop failures, and the temporary displacement of numerous residents. Recognizing the urgency of addressing these environmental and economic shocks, there’s a growing need to accelerate the shift towards sustainable practices in Kosovo.
The loss of jobs and financial setbacks affecting various sectors, coupled with diminishing incentives for private sector actors, particularly women, to engage in eco-friendly initiatives, underscore the critical importance of supporting these actors in spearheading the green transition. Embracing a green recovery strategy not only offers the potential to create new employment opportunities and rebuild the nation’s economy but also paves the way for a climate-resilient future, bolstering Kosovo’s competitiveness.
UNDP Kosovo is launching the second edition of the Kosovo Green Challenge to support green recovery in the private sector by fostering an enabling environment with a people-centered approach. This acceleration programme is a pivotal and holistic initiative aimed at steering us towards recovery from the dual challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and energy crises. It seeks to establish a conducive environment, while placing the well-being of the most marginalized communities at the forefront of its priorities.
We invite micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) looking to bolster their resilience, but lack the necessary knowledge and funding, to submit innovative solutions, addressing the interconnected environmental, economic, social, and health crises. These crises underscore the importance of pursuing an equitable and inclusive green recovery.
The BOOST x Kosovo acceleration program will handpick a maximum of 30 MSMEs that demonstrate significant business potential for making the shift towards environmental sustainability as a crucial component of a green recovery. This programme will focus on developing sustainable business models, enhancing risk management capabilities, and fortifying disaster resilience. Through their participation, these enterprises will propel their innovative solutions to the next level and amplify their impact. We place particular emphasis on supporting women-led MSMEs and those poised to generate significant employment opportunities, fostering a comprehensive transition toward a greener future.
At the end of the programme, 10 MSMEs will be awarded grants, with a total budget of 70,000 EUR to be distributed (a 20% co-financing is requested from the MSMEs).