The auditorium of the National Library “Pjeter Bogdani” hosted today the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), and World Health Organiation, who awarded the winners of the ‘#EcoKosovo2’ campaign and exhibited the best submissions in an event that brought together partners, stakeholders, contestants, and guests, among them, ministers Matoshi and Ismaili, representatives of international community and heads of UN agencies in Kosovo.

The recently completed online environmental advocacy campaign included a photo and video competition and provided the youth of Kosovo the opportunity to develop visual content based upon the topic ‘How does pollution affect your daily life?’. #EcoKosovo2 received over 500 hundred photos and 30 videos, capturing the environmental problems that exist within Kosovo.

Ms. Ulrika Richardson, UN Development Coordinator, in her welcoming speech reminded participants of the deteriorating environmental situation in Kosovo: “Environmental pollution is one of the biggest problems affecting lives of people in Kosovo. Air pollutants, along with poor waste management, abuse of the natural resources and widespread use of fertile land for construction, are seriously threatening the health of Kosovars, children and elderly in particular,” she said.

Ms. Richardson specifically thanked the Government of Luxembourg for supporting the development of the environment and health sector in Kosovo, including the “Healthier Kosovo” project which launched today and part of which was the #ecokosovo2 campaign.

Mr. Fatmir Matoshi, Minister for the Environment and Spatial Planning, spoke of the positive movement that has begun towards the environment in Kosovo, and the role that institutions and civil society have in being apart of that change.

Ms. Anne Dostert, Chargée d’affaires Embassy of Luxembourg, also spoke of what can be achieved when multiple organisations and institutions work together to improve the environment, the importance of raising awareness of environmental issues amongst the general public, and how we must look at innovative ways to protect the environment in Kosovo.

The winning photos and videos were selected by an independent jury, composed of: Valdet Salihu – producer, editor and animator; Fjorarba Kryemadhi - distinguished photographer, painter, artist, and video director; and Visare Hoxha-Istrefi – high ranking official at the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.

The jury had a difficult time in selecting the final winners due to the number of high-quality submissions but were pleased to announce the following recipients: Getoarba Prokshaj (1st place photo). Rinor Ramadani (1st place video), Adea Ademi (2nd place photo), Gëzim Hysenaj (2nd place video), Ermal Koraqi (3rd place photo), and Shaip Kçiku (3rd place video).

Wining photos and videos can be viewed at this link: https://www.facebook.com/ecokosovo/

The exhibition will be displayed at the National Gallery until 14 February.

For more information, please contact:

Burbuqe Dobranja, UNDP Communications Associate

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 410; mobile: 049 720 800; e-mail: burbuqe.dobranja@undp.org

Danijela Mitić, UNDP Communication Analyst

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 412; mobile: 049 720 824; e-mail: danijela.mitic@undp.org

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