The Republic of Moldova and Ukraine must work out a common strategy for protecting the Nistru River, which would clearly stipulate that the main objective is the ecological restoration of the ecosystems and branches of the river. The second objective of this strategy should be to extend the protected areas in the Nistru River Basin, from the springs in the Carpathians up to the Black Sea, and to incorporate them into a Republic of Moldova – Ukraine Transfrontier National Park. In a news conference at IPN, where there was presented the Statement of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on the “Fate of the Nistru under the Pressure of Hydroelectric Plants”, Alecu Reniță, who heads the Ecologist Movement of Moldova, said a program with international assistance is needed to restore the forests in the Carpathians.
Alecu Reniță noted the mentioned objectives imply the involvement of the river communities, direct involvement of the regional and Moldovan authorities. This would create possibilities for the Nistru to become a European river administered according to the integrated water resources management, which would guarantee that no venturesome project will penetrate that area. This way, both of the states, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, will ensure the ecological security in the Black Sea Basin.
By the statement, the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum demands to declassify the negotiations on this subject and to ensure public participation in the formulation of decisions referring to the future agreement on the ensuring of the functioning of the Nistrean hydropower complex. It also demands to strengthen the capacities of the team of negotiators on the part of the Government of the Republic of Moldova, by clearly defining the negotiation mandate.
Lilia Curchi, local coordinator of the working group on environment, climate change and energy security of the National Platform, said the NGOs asks for the European Commission’s assistance in the negotiation process. “Given the expertise and rich experience of the European Union in the integrated water resources management and production of hydroelectric power, this can both offer technical assistance and play the role of a mediator of the process,” stated Lilia Curchi.
The NGOs request the Moldovan authorities to insist that Ukraine stated its official refusal to build a number of hydroelectric power plants in the Nistru Basin by making changes to the program and strategy for developing the hydroelectric energy sector of Ukraine. Another request is to demarcate the border between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in the middle of the Naslavcea-Nahoreany barrage, in accordance with the international agreements and practices and with the studies carried out earlier with assistance provided by the EU through the EUBAM.
Lilia Curchi noted the correct informing and ecological education of all the people living in the Nistru River Basic, counteracting of fake news and misinformation on the subject of the Nistru are essential, while the restoration of the Ministry of the Environment with professional staff is a priority as, without a central environmental authority, the protection of the Nistru and of the environment in general is just an utopian dream.
The National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum brings together 95 organizations, seven of which are umbrella organizations for another 225 organizations.