The Sustainable Development Goals in North Macedonia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in North Macedonia:
28 March 2023
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ZERO WASTE: SHIFTING TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
The day is a call to action to reduce waste and shift towards a more sustainable future for all. The world generated 2.24 billion tons of municipal solid waste in 2020, of which 45% was mismanaged. This is exacerbating the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution. Ms. Inger Andersen, the Executive Director of UNEP, notes that we cannot continue to take from the Earth and throw away valuable resources when we are already in debt to the planet. Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, emphasizes the importance of reducing waste at all levels, from the individual to the international. Achieving zero waste requires the involvement of all stakeholders, including national and local governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, communities, women, and youth. Promoting zero-waste initiatives can help advance all the goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 11 on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and Sustainable Development Goal 12 on ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. The International Day of Zero Waste is an opportunity to highlight the importance of reducing waste and promoting responsible production and consumption patterns. By committing to reducing waste and shifting towards a more circular system, we can improve the quality of life for people and prevent waste from harming both the environment and human health. Join the movement towards a more sustainable future on March 30, 2023, by celebrating the International Day of Zero Waste. Together, we can work towards a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable world for all.
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23 March 2023
United Nations Country Team in North Macedonia discusses and commits full support for country’s strategic and development priorities
United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in North Macedonia convened to reflect on its work and efforts to support the country's development and progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The retreat brought together representatives from 14 UN entities with operational activities for development in North Macedonia to discuss some current priority topics, i.e. human rights and support to the Government with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and progress towards the formulation of the National Development Strategy (NDS). UNCT discussed in detail the UPR process and identified ways to support the Government and the Macedonian society with consultations leading to the country’s review by the Human Rights Council. This is an important public and constructive dialogue between the country and UN Member States, during which a country presents what actions it has taken to improve human rights and declare what it will do to address the remaining challenges. In addition, many UN activities in the country in 2023 will also contribute to the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and promote national commitments to advance human rights for all. During the second session, the President of North Macedonia, Mr. Stevo Pendarovski, shared his views on the current context and the strategic outlook for the country and discussed with UNCT the role of the UN in the country. In the third session, UNDP team presented the National Development Strategy process, allowing participants to provide substantive input and identify strategic contributions from the UNCT. In wrapping up, other important processes supported by UN in North Macedonia that need to be considered in formulating the NDS, such as the demographic analysis, anticipatory governance on migration, health strategy etc. were discussed. It was emphasized that the NDS process needs to remain inclusive for a wide group of citizens, streamline Sustainable Development Goals and include a strong leaving no-one behind component – which remains the key value added from UN. UN in North Macedonia remains dedicated to supporting the country in achieving its development and strategic priorities, goals and looks forward to continued collaboration with the government and other stakeholders to advance human rights and sustainable development.
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22 March 2023
World Water Day
Water is critical to our health, our economy, and our environment. As the United Nations recognizes on World Water Day, this precious resource is also central to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all. It's essential that we celebrate water on this day and commit to protecting it for future generations. SDG6 is a crucial goal that requires a concerted effort from individuals, communities, and governments worldwide. As we celebrate World Water Day, let's remember that every action we take to conserve water and protect water sources contributes to this vital effort. From reducing our personal water usage to supporting policies that promote sustainable water management, we all have a role to play in achieving SDG6. By prioritizing water conservation efforts, we can help ensure that future generations will have access to the clean and sustainable water sources they need to thrive. Let's celebrate this World Water Day by taking action to protect this vital resource and working towards the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
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02 March 2023
FAO continues push to address land abandonment in North Macedonia
The abandonment of agricultural land in North Macedonia is a pressing concern, with approximately 32 percent of arable agricultural land in the country having been abandoned – a much higher rate than in most other European countries. Land abandonment has significant implications for North Macedonia, including environmental degradation and lost opportunities to boost sustainable food production and address rural poverty. Continuing its efforts to address this issue, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Macedonian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy held a workshop in Skopje on 17 February to bring together FAO experts and representatives from the ministry’s Land Policy Working Group to discuss solutions. During the workshop, attendees discussed a forthcoming FAO report on farm structures, land market development and land abandonment – one outcome of an FAO project in North Macedonia to support the development of agriculture land markets and, ultimately, bring abandoned land back into production. “The insights gained by the ministry into the situation with abandoned agricultural land in the country are very useful for the purpose of the amendments to the Law on Agricultural Land, currently under preparation,” said Dragancho Stojchev, State Legal Adviser at the Macedonian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, in his opening remarks. “We believe that the findings of the FAO analysis and the recommendations provide an excellent basis for the ministry to develop a comprehensive set of policy interventions to address land abandonment and improve the inefficient farm structures.” The current land turnover in the agricultural sales land market – 0.5 percent of total agricultural land, or around 1 700 ha – is too low to address the farm structure challenges in the country, according to the FAO analysis. Policy responses should prioritize the development of agricultural land markets and focus on increasing turnover and promoting land mobility to enable farm expansion, provide new and young farmers with access to land, and offer opportunities for the development of small farms into commercial family farms. The report identifies several root causes of land abandonment, including: the basic natural conditions of the land parcels; farm structures with small average farm sizes and excessive land fragmentation; dependence on irrigation and poorly functioning irrigation schemes; and other economic reasons leading to outmigration of youth from rural areas and, eventually, to land abandonment. Morten Hartvigsen, FAO Land Tenure Officer, emphasized that this comprehensive analytical work is a positive step towards identifying and monitoring abandoned agricultural land – a precondition for any other measures and actions to address the issue. FAO recommends a holistic package of policy interventions to address land abandonment and improve farm structures, he said. Integrated policy responses and interventions should combine land policy with other related areas, such as agriculture, economics and taxation, ultimately contributing to greater profitability for family farms and increased incomes and livelihoods in rural areas. FAO has been working on land consolidation in the region for years, supporting agricultural land market development and improved management of state agricultural land in line with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security. LINKS: Mainstreaming National Land Consolidation Programme FAO regional Initiative: Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms Legal guide on land consolidation European good practices on land banking - FAO study and recommendations
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28 February 2023
Developing the capacities of preschool caregivers for social and emotional learning at preschools
In the first years of children’s lives, children’s brains develop at an unprecedented speed. Social and emotional development at this age does not just enhance children’s emotional wellbeing, but also their ability to learn, work with others, and develop foundational skills for formal learning and social interaction in school years and beyond. Outside of the home, preschool teachers and caregivers play a key role in stimulating social and emotional and emotional development in children. For this reason, between 2019 and 2022, UNICEF rolled-out the programme on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) with all preschool teachers in all public preschools in the country. To further sustain the effects of the programme, UNICEF is currently supporting further expansion of the programme to preschool caregivers, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. As part of this process, a bespoke training programme for preschool caregivers was developed, based on the SEL programme implemented with preschool teachers. The programme is currently being used for a series of capacity-development trainings of caregivers. Throughout February, three rounds of trainings are being organized for more than 100 caregivers who will then be working with peer support teacher mentors to disseminate the training through the professional learning communities at their preschool. The trainings are taking place at Hotel Karposh in Skopje. The first round took place on 11 & 12 February, while the remaining two sessions will take place on 18 & 19 and 25 & 26 February.
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