One way to help is to protect the area from future flooding and improve ways to fight its unhealthy consequence. UND Serbia, with support from the Government of Japan, have constructed dams and torrential barriers, improved the existing water supply, established surface runoff sewage lines and shored the lands along with riverbanks to protect schools, houses, wells and roads.
This new reality of climate change means that individuals and society need to adapt. For people like Sergej, this meant breeding indigenous species. But for those not living off the land, it might take a different form. Like increasing energy efficiency in public buildings or adopting more renewable energy sources, like biomass.
UNDP Serbia and GEF are helping local communities find innovative solutions to become climate resilient.
For instance, biomass, produced by agricultural and forestry sectors, is rarely used for energy generation in Serbia, even though it comprises 61 percent of the total potential of renewable energy sources. So UNDP and GEF provided seed funds for the construction of six biogas combined heat and power plants, set up an online biomass e-trading platform and ensured that further investments in biomass facilities carry less risk for private sector investors.
In Serbia, since the majority of waste is not recycled in any way, it ends up in the fields or discharged into rivers, bot polluting the environments and endangering animal and human lives.
Climate smart innovation pioneers have received funding to implement their ideas in practice. For instance, one company collects organic waste from restaurants, and then with the use of innovative processing technology they produce energy, hot water and fertilizer. Another recycles discarded cooling devices, extracts the freon gas which is contributing to CO2 emissions, and produces a new absorbant product from the leftover polyurethane foam, which helps in oil leaks.
As Roza says, “Things are changing.” But that also can be for the better.