On the June 2 and 3, 2017 the sixth meeting of the Youth Parliament of the Sava River Basin was held in Belgrade (Serbia). It was attended by 60 students and teachers from 9 secondary schools from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The schools have been selected on the basis of competition entitled “Climate change impact on the lives of the Sava River Basin”. They are from Kiseljak (Secondary School Ivan Goran Kovačić), and Visoko(Secondary school “Hazim Šabanović”) from BA, Zagreb (Administrative school and the Orthodox high school”Kantakuzina Katarina Branković”) (HR) Smederska Palanka (Palanaka high school) and Belgrade (High school “Patriarh Pavle”) (RS) and Ljubljana (Biotechnical educational center Ljubljana-high school and veterinary school and Biotechnical educational center Ljubljana-Food school (SI). As an award for the outstanding contribution to the popularization of the Youth Parliament of the Sava River Basin the Tourist school from Belgrade was also invited to the event.
On the first day students gathered on the Great War Island at the confluence of the Sava and the Danube River. The representatives of the Public Utility Company Zelenilo Beograd presented the main features of this very important protected area in the heart of Belgrade. Students took a walk on the island and learned about its biodiversity with large number of birds and great variety of plants growing on the island. Representatives of the Institute Siniša Stanković demonstrated the monitoring of biological elements. They emphasized the presence of invasive species in the water, which appeared as a result of climate change.
Second day of the Youth Parliament was held in the Hotel Palace in Belgrade. First, the students elected their representatives for this year’s Parliament committee, which consisted of one representative from each country from the Sava River Basin. By convention, the president of the Parliament is always from the host country.
After the setup of the Parliament committee, each school presented to other participants the school hour at which they applied for the competition.
After the presentations they were divided into four groups. The first group, composed of members of the committee had a task to develop a proposal for the action plan of the parliament for the next period of one year. The second group discussed how to present this year’s Parliament on websites and social networks. Remaining students were divided into two thematic groups. The first one, which was moderated by a representative of the WWF, worked on reducing and adapting to climate change, while the debate in the second group, moderated by the representative of Young Serbian investigators, related to the question of how young people could change the system of decision-making on climate change (Changes by changes).
At the plenary session the main messages of Youth Parliament was set as follows:
- It is necessary to support the work of Youth Parliament, its objectives and purpose! This can be achieved through social networks, for example Facebook and Parliament Web site, as well as presentations at the different levels (e.g. at various academic conferences, local events and the like.)!
- Climate change affects the lives of all live beings, therefore it is necessary to raise awareness and cooperation on these topics!
- It is necessary to adapt to and mitigate the effects of the climate change!
- It should be necessary to ensure higher participation of the young in decision-making process!
- Climate change can be addressed at the local level, as well
- All messages can be summarized in a single one: Join and inform!
Sponsors of this year Parliament were Coca Cola HBC from Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia, UNDP from BA and Public Utility Company Srbijavode.
Presentations form the 6th Youth Parliament are available below: