Without state funding of Moldova's nature reserves, we all may lose forests and nature, environmentalists warn

18.5.2021 - PRAGUE / CHISINAU
PHOTO: Arnika

Moldovan natural reserves and protected areas are threatened by destruction because of lack of financing from the state budget in recent years. On the occasion of International Day of Biodiversity, environmental activists warn the public about plundering forests to pay for employees of nature reserves administrations. A demonstration “Let's finance our nature!” at the Ministries of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment and of Finances (str. C.Tanase, 9) will be held on May 21st at 11 o'clock. 

“The nature reserves in Moldova lack finances from the state budget. Lack of money pushes their administrations to exploit natural resources of all of us, mainly forests, to get money to pay salaries and operation of their offices,” explains Ilya Trombitsky, director of the network of river-keepers Eco-TIRAS. “We want the ministries to pay attention to how saving money in the wrong place threatens our natural wealth and biodiversity,” he continues. 

“In the last years in Moldova, practically nothing for biodiversity conservation purposes was spent from the National Environmental Fund. The problem is that officially, nature reserves are state enterprises subordinated to the Forestry Agency. It does not permit the function for nature protection, research and restoration,” Trombitsky adds. Moreover, in the last 9 years, the national forest-covered area has practically not been expanded, but remained at the level of 11%, despite the governmental plans for a significant increase, as the forests play a very important role in formation of the hydrologic regime in the country frequently suffering from droughts. 

Even though forests represent about 30 % of Czech territory, they are mostly spruce monoculture, and suffer heavily from the impact of climate change. Similarly as in Moldova, the huge biodiversity decline is observed in rivers and wetlands. Majority of rivers are channelized, and wetlands were destroyed to make place for intensive agriculture. Water and water related ecosystems are at the same time the richest ecosystems in our geographic regions, comparable to rainforests. “Although we have similar problems, national parks in Czechia fall under the Ministry of the Environment and at least part of the funding is secured from the state budget. The Moldovan nature would deserve stronger protection,” says Vlastimil Karlik, an expert on nature conservation from Arnika.

Biodiversity Day [1] was proclaimed by the United Nations to increase understanding, awareness, and positive action surrounding biodiversity issues. In 2021 is being celebrated under the slogan: We're part of the solution #ForNature. “We believe that all of us, and in this case mainly responsible ministries, should be part of the solution, so we have to take action and stand for the interests of our nature before it's too late,” closes Trombitsky.  

Joint project Adoption of Moldovan rivers of non-governmental organizations Eco-TIRAS (Moldova) and Arnika (Czechia) is financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Transition Promotion Program.

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Notes:

[1] The International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day) is a United Nations–sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues. It is currently held on May 22. More information: https://www.un.org/en/observances/biological-diversity-day 

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