Highlights for Wednesday, 10 October 2007
The Sixth Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” opened Wednesday 10 October 2007, at the Sava Center in Belgrade, Serbia. Conference Chair Saŝa Dragin, Minister of Environmental Protection, Serbia, opened the meeting. Over 1,000 delegates were welcomed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Serbia Boris Tadic. Delegates also heard a presentation from Sviatoslav Kurulenko, First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, Ukraine, who passed the “Environment for Europe torch” from Kiev to Belgrade. Marek Belka, Executive Secretary, UNECE and Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP also made opening presentations. As a finale to the opening session delegates enjoyed a Serbian dance and acrobatic performance.
In the morning plenary session delegates heard keynote addresses and interventions on assessment and implementation. They discussed the state of environment and addressed monitoring and assessment, the implementation of multilateral environment agreements, and the findings of UNECE environmental performance reviews. In the afternoon plenary two special sessions were convened: a joint session on education for sustainable development (ESD) and a session on biodiversity progress and challenges. Delegates heard keynote addresses, interventions from countries and organizations, and roundtables on both issues. Before closing, delegates also adopted draft statements on ESD and on biodiversity.
In the evening ministers, heads of delegation, ambassadors and high-level officials attended a reception hosted by Bozidar Delic, Vice President of Serbia.
Opening Ceremony - Dancers welcomed participants
Group photograph prior to the begining of the opening session
Marek Belka, Executive Secretary of UNECE during his keynote address
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director
State of the environment and monitoring and assessment
Jaqueline McGlade, Executive Director, EEA, made a presentation on the fourth pan-European assessment report on the state of the environment (Belgrade assessment)
Implementation of multilateral envionmental agreements and findings of UNECE Environmental Performance Reviews
Bert-Axel Szelinski, Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
Joint session on education for sustainable development
Dais during the session on education for sustainable development
Chairperson Spyros Taliadouros, Deputy Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs, Greece
Zoran Loncar, Minister of Education, Serbia
Edward Picco, Minister of Education, Canada
Agrieszka Bolesta, Undersecretary of State, Poland on behalf of Jan Szyszko, Minister of Environment, Poland
Alzhan Braliev, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, Kazakhstan
Engelbert Ruoss, Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe
Åsa-Brit Karlsson, State Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Sweden
Jacqueline Cramer, Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Netherlands, made a presentation on the key findings of the report on progress in implementation of the UNECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development.
Abdujabor Rakhmonov, Minister of Education, Tajikistan, made a statement on Central Asian countries.
Slobodan Backovic, Minister of Science and Education, Montenegro, made a statement on SEE countries on ESD
Victor Tvicun, Minister of Education and Youth, Moldova
Chairperson Spyros Taliadouros (right) consults with Ella Behlyarova (left), UNECE
Biodiversity - roundtable
Participants during the roundtable on biodiversity
L-R: Rob Wolters, Executive Director, European Centre for Nature Conservation (ECNC), European ECO-Forum, and Helen Oddveig Bjørnøy, Minister of Environment, Norway, on behalf of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS), co-chaired the roundtable.
Vera Coelho, GEOTA, Portugal
An eleven year old Crotian student receives an award for his environmental poster
Delegates received organic apples at the end of the evening session