The head of the IKS NGO from Petrinja, Tamara Jovičić, told a press conference that now is a unique opportunity for reconstruction that will enable a better life in that area.
She said the appeal called for ensuring everything that had not been ensured by the post-war reconstruction, adding that that was the only way to revitalise the area, create jobs and provide a reason for young people to remain there.
Post-earthquake reconstruction and investments in infrastructure should be based on promoting energy efficiency, the use of local renewable energy sources and the fight against energy poverty, the NGOs said.
They added that instead of investing in reconstruction projects dependent on fossil fuels, one should use and invest in the development of local resources, both human and technological, in line with the European Green Deal.
The NGOs said that sustainable reconstruction can be achieved if long-term, systematic and smart investments are made with money from the Reconstruction Fund and donations but also from the Fund for a Just Transition and Economic Recovery and the EU multiannual financial framework.
Criteria for eligibility for financing from those funds need to be fair, transparent and socially inclusive and it is essential to simplify application procedures, it was said.
The reconstruction of buildings needs to be in line with standards of zero or very low energy consumption, with the use of locally available renewable energy sources and sustainable circular waste management, which includes recycling the debris caused by the earthquake, it was said.