Sasa Linic, Serbia
- Employment: United Nations – Food and Agriculture Organization, Beijing, PR China, FAO/GEF Partnership - Team Manager
- Scholarship: CEEPUS Program
- Duration: 03/2004-06/2004; 03/2005 – 07/2005
- Motto: "The way you think will determine how high you can go."
Sasa Linic received his Master of Science degree in Natural Resources Management and Ecological Engineering from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Universität für Bodenkultur), Austria and the Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand in 2008.
His professional journey, blended with diverse advisory engagements, made him versed in all aspects of sustainability concepts applicable to for-profit and non-profit organisations. Before his graduation at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), he joined the United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) in Rome, Italy, as a project assistant, working on the impact of Climate Change and adaptation/mitigation measures in Sub-Saharan countries. In May 2009 he continued to work for the FAO/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Joint program in Vienna, Austria, examining the capacity of agriculture to reduce CO2 emission in affected regions (East Africa; West Africa; South-East Asia).
In July 2013, he joined the IAEA Laboratory in Monaco, dealing with fund mobilization around the Ocean Acidification phenomenon, with emphasis on decreasing exposure of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In 2015, he joined the partnership between the United Nations Development Program and the Prime Minister’s Office of Serbia and worked on developing nation-wide strategic programs, revitalizing the country’s economy and attracting foreign direct investments (with emphasis on achieving Sustainable Development Goals).
Since mid-2017, he is back at the UN FAO, using his overall experience to work on developing the FAO/GEF portfolio for the People's Republic of China. He is responsible for supervising day-to-day operational activities of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) projects executed by national partners. The ultimate objective of the FAO/GEF partnership is supporting sustainable agriculture and mitigating environmental risks caused by anthropogenic activities. As environmental challenges are interconnected, the program is also addressing biodiversity, nature conservation and wetland management, thus opening space for other activities in symbiosis with nature and generating jobs for local residents.
The OeAD through CEEPUS changed my life forever, by opening the doors to the European Union and giving me a new dimension of life. While I was struggling in Belgrade to learn entire books (old school method) and pass exams, in Vienna, I was chasing ambitiously high marks. After life in isolation and sanctions, I couldn’t recognize myself and my hunger for knowledge. In the BOKU library, where I enjoyed spending time outside of my lectures (a place I always visit when I am in Vienna), I felt literally like a “kid in a candy shop”. The library was more than a source of information – it was a hub for social activities. I was living at BOKU, day and night. The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) attached particular importance to the human side of studies. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon system, where studying is more like an industry or machinery, emotionless, at the BOKU, stress doesn’t exist, and the focus lies on applicable knowledge and experience. Professors were equal members of a community, where mutual respect is all-over highly noticeable, and everybody is helping each other. Being part of such a community means living with the world. We had a lot of colleagues from Africa, Asia, America (North & South), Australia and, of course, all parts of Europe. Social media was not as much developed as it is nowadays, so we focused on being social and visible in real life. ICQ, MSN, AOL messenger and Skype were the only tools used for chatting or calling back home. Mobile phones were an expensive option and TeleRing was the only Austrian Operator being responsive to students and their needs.
I am still in contact with many colleagues from all around the world which is a great advantage in my work.