Climate change is not an abstract concept about a distant future: it is affecting young people – right here, right now. The consequences of climate change are already clear and present. Rising temperatures, higher sea levels, air and soil pollution, and extreme weather events affect not only the world we leave for future generations, but we all feel the consequences already. Where does it come from? – To reach the true answer we must ask ourselves how we live our daily lives.

Countries of the Western Balkans are characterized by intense linear consumer habits – resources are enormously depleted, waste is generated and disposed of in large quantities, and young people are not adequately informed about the impact of such consumption on increasing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pressure causing climate change. The Western Balkans Fund recognized these problems and decided to financially support the implementation of CENER 21’s new project initiative – Young Western Balkan Ambassadors of Positive Changes.

The project aims to strengthen the capacity of young people for developing sustainable consumption systems in order to adapt appropriately to climate change.

Within the Project, CENER 21 will implement the following activities:

  1. Two-day online workshop on “Identifying inefficient consumption problems, and opportunities for sustainable consumption” with practical calculations of the environmental footprint of consumer habits.
  2. Online quizzes on the topic of sustainable consumption of resources, products, and waste management at the local level. Quiz winners will be awarded with tablets.
  3. Seven Day Challenge for youth with practical implementation of sustainable consumption and resource conservation activities through three challenges – Zero waste lifestyle; Writing an essay on the topic “How to integrate sustainable consumption terminology into the education system”; and writing an essay on the topic “My idea on integration of circular consumption into extra-curriculum”. 7-day challenge 1st place winners will be awarded with laptops, while 2nd and 3rd place winners of each challenge will be awarded with tablets.

Once the planned project activities are successfully completed, CENER 21 will host online quizzes and 7-day challenges winners, stakeholder representatives, WBF representatives, as well as partner organizations at an official award ceremony, planned to be held in Sarajevo in December 2022.

The project started on June 15, and during the 7 months of project life, it will be implemented by the joint forces of the Center for Energy, Environment and Resources – CENER 21 from Sarajevo (BiH), Environmental Engineering Group – EEG from Novi Sad (Serbia) and Montenegrin Center for Energy Efficiency – CCEE from Podgorica (Montenegro). The total budget of the project is 14,870.00 €, of which WBF provided 11,030.00 € of funds.