During the first day of her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden attended the Conference ‘Smart Growth for the New Climate Reality’, organized in the premises of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The conference was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Environment and Climate of Sweden Isabella Lövin, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mirko Sarovic, Minister of Spatial Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of the RS Srebrenka Golic, and FBiH Minister of Environment and Tourism Edita Djapo.
Crown Princess Victoria gave a keynote speech - the only speech she is supposed to give during the visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina - and underlined that Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina are connected through relations on many different levels.
“Sweden was a home to 60,000 refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and most of them remained in Sweden. They have built their lives and participated in building Swedish society in order to create a better and more dynamic state“, said Princess Victoria.
She underlined that the fight for a better environment and the fight against climate change was of extreme importance, adding that she and her husband, Prince Daniel Westling, will work on this issue together with young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, just like they do in many other parts of the world.
After the conference, Minister Lövin praised good cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“This visit focuses on protection of environment, entrepreneurship and participation of youth, reforms on the path towards the EU, and the ways to improve the lives of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sweden has been one of the greatest aides to Bosnia and Herzegovina for years”, said Lövin. She reminded that Sweden allocated a total of EUR 18 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018 alone.
Sweden is one of the largest donors in climate financing worldwide and the largest donor per capita to the UN Green Climate Fund. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden is the largest donor within the sector of Environment and Climate contributing with EUR six million per year.
The country is also engaged in supporting Smart City projects, such as the project implemented by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to improve the air quality in several cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sweden also contributes to energy efficiency in public buildings in the entire country, co-financed together with local authorities, and implemented by UNDP.