The Sixth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development was held in Yerevan, Armenia, on 29 September – 1 October 2015. The Forum was organized by the Government of Armenia, UNDP Armenia, UNECE and several other UN related agencies. Habitat for Humanity International joined as a co-organizer.
The first day of the conference was a high-level conference sharing project and policy best practices mostly from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The second and third day were dedicated to parallel workshops. Registered participants were beyond 250, regular attendance about 150-200. Participants represented government ministries, UN agencies, researcher institutes and NGOs. The Armenian government was represented by several ministers.
Habitat for Humanity involvement
Habitat had an opportunity to be part of the opening plenary session. Susana Royas Williams,HFHI Director of International Shelter Initiatives, promoted our policy position related to common REELIH project with USAID. Susana also represented HFHI at the closing plenary where she reinforced our key messages.
We were invited to have a panelist and give a presentation at the Day 2 Workshop on Energy Efficiency in Buildings led by UNDP office in Armenia and UNECE Housing and Land Management Unit. Gyorgy Sumeghy, HFH EMEA Advocacy Manager, gave a presentation on Improving Residential Energy Efficiency in Eastern Europe, show-casing REELIH project, the REELIH project in detail from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Eco-system of stakeholders approach.
We were also given an opportunity to organize our own workshop/panel during the Day 3 in the afternoon. Session 1 was dedicated to have a discussion on our Armenian experience of REELIH project. Session 2 was dedicated to the Eco-system of stakeholders approach. Session 3 was a policy dialogue between international organizations such as UNDP, UNECE etc.
Outcomes of the Habitat workshop
HFH Armenia demonstrated experience based on the REELIH and condominium projects and on the conference they organized previously with the support of the Visegrad Fund. The representative of the government mentioned that the government is changing the legislation on condominiums and the most of the recommendations formulated by HFH Armenia after the Visegrad conference will be included in the new draft. The session on Armenia sparked a good debate between Armenian participants.
In the second session, Metropolitan Research Institute (MRI) presented the findings of their regional research “Analysis of subsidy schemes aiming to support energy efficient renovation of multi-family buildings in selected countries of Central and Eastern Europe” (case studies from Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Romania). Through presenting this research we were able to demonstrate that we are engaged in research and we have evidenced based knowledge to share.
In the third session, having the representatives of international organizations at the table we were able to demonstrate our convening power and also who we contribute to the regional policy discussion as a key partner with a special message.
Residential Energy Efficiency for Low-income Households project is one of the many assistance projects supported by the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Since 1992, the American people through USAID have provided a broad range of development programs in Armenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, shifting from an initial humanitarian emphasis to assistance for economic, political and social transition.