International conference: Results and prospects of transboundary cooperation on the Nistru

Over 100 people of science, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, specialists and students of the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Sweden during two days took part in an international conference centering on the results and prospects of the transboundary cooperation on the Nistru River. The participants discussed the measures taken in concert by the two riverine states to improve the management of the common basin of the Nistru River during the implementation of the agreements existing between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Government of Ukraine on the use and common protection of the boundary waters. The event was organized by the “Eco-TIRAS” International Environmental Association of River Keepers.

In a news conference at IPN, “Eco-TIRAS” executive director, doctor of biology Ilia Trombitski said the international conference entitled “European Integration and Management of the Nistru Basin” was held online on October 8-9. The event was staged with the assistance of the GEF/UNDP/OSCE/UNECE project “Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the Dniester River Basin”.

The conference was organized for the eleventh time in a move to offer the interested parties the possibility of discussing the ecological situation, the measures taken by the authorities to improve the situation, the policies in the field, etc. In the event, there were analyzed the state of the ecosystems of the Nistru River and the factors that influence it and also the introduction of new technologies for treating wastewater,  ecological education, participation by the public in the development and practical implementation of the measures to improve the environment of the river and sustainable conservation of its ecosystem.

Project masher from Kiev Tamara Cutonova said one of the major tasks of the project is to develop the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and the Bilateral Strategic Action Program until 2035, which were the topics for discussion at the conference. The TDA was developed in accordance with the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive until the first part of the plan for managing the hydrographic basin. Over 30 experts from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine and international organizations took part in the development of the TDA. The Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis includes a description of the basin, the results of the delimitation of the water resources, a description of the reference conditions and a description of the state of water resources. The Bilateral Strategic Action Program for the Nistru River specifies the practical measures to improve the ecological situation in the transboundary basin.

Professor-researcher Elena Zubcov, corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences, said that the changes taking place in the Nistru are the most worrisome ones as, besides drought and floods, there are a number of problems related to the human factor. A metamorphosis of the chemical composition of water is now taking place. Such changes in the nature do not occur so often. When a river in Moldova floods, there is not only water nearby, but also waste that the people throw into rivers, polluting them.

The participants in the conference warned the Governments of Moldova and Ukraine about the serious worsening of the state of fluvial ecosystems, their continuous pollution, the existing risks of technical accidents and, consequently, of a constant tendency of additional water and biodiversity loss and reduction of the potential to provide ecosystem services, which arouses concern among the scientific community and the general public.

The conference was supported by the project “Enabling transboundary cooperation and integrated water resources management in the Dniester River Basin” (2017-2021) that was developed by the Global Environment Facility at the request of the Governments of Moldova and Ukraine. The program is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP, Istanbul) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE, Vienna-Kiev-Chisinau), with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE-UN, Geneva).

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