The two-day conference, under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania and the Regional Rural Development Standing Working Group (SWG) in South-Eastern Europe, brought together more than 140 experts from 12 countries to discuss the impact of climate change on agriculture in the Western Balkans. The focus was on policy measures to mitigate climate-related changes and thus enable and promote organic agriculture. In particular, sustainable wine production, including the search for appropriate markets, and sustainable forest management were discussed. With an eye on the future, the forum was also dedicated to youth in rural areas and the development of functional knowledge and innovation systems in agriculture.
IAMO's Southeast Europe Research Group was represented at the event by five researchers. Dr. Daniel Müller gave a keynote speech on the topic "Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture and Recommendations for Adaptation in the Western Balkans". As part of the activities of the Agricultural Policy Dialogue Western Balkans, Dr. Judith Möllers and Dr. Thomas Dufhues presented upcoming survey work addressing the role of youth in rural development in the Western Balkans in one of the working groups. The RuWell project manager, Dr. Antje Jantsch, as well as Dr. Arjola Arapi-Gjini also participated in the conference.
The concluding declaration calls on policy makers to take necessary measures, to include current problems, for example food security and high energy costs, and to advance the implementation of the Green Agenda in the Western Balkans.