Sara Pavkov

Head of Cabinet, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Republic of Serbia. UNFCCC Bureau Vice President, 2021

Sara’s ascent in the UNFCCC process was sudden, to say the least – she went straight to the top. At her very first COP in 2021, she served as Vice-President of the UNFCCC Bureau as the representative from Eastern Europe. Clearly, she swam rather than sank, saying she was “the lucky one” because this happened as soon as she joined the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Serbia. She accepted, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learning a lot from the chance to be at the COP26 Presidency desk, and playing a key role in the World Leaders Summit and Ministerial segment of the COP. “I didn’t have any troubles – the Secretariat was very helpful,” she says, cheerfully unfazed. 

She also enjoyed the dinner organized by the Women Climate Leaders Network. “The relationships we form here will make us stronger and more empowered,” she says. 

At heart, Sara is an environmental activist who loves the outdoors. She has been an activist throughout her university days at the Department of Biology and Ecology in the University of Novi Sad, where she is still pursuing a PhD. She is also sub-coordinator of the Backo Podunavlje Biosphere Reserve – often called the “Amazon of Europe” – and of the Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve.

Sara was appointed Head of Cabinet at Serbia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection in 2021, and has been Special Advisor to the Minister since 2020. She is the Deputy President of the Negotiating Group 27. She has also been involved in the activities of the Provincial Institute for Nature Protection since 2017, and worked on various projects at the local, provincial and republic level in Serbia, both in non-government and state institutions.