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The first project supported under the LIFE programme launched in the Republic of Moldova

The first project in the Republic of Moldova supported under the LIFE programme was launched on 14 March 2024 through the “Roadmap for the alignment of Emerald network establishment and management to NATURA 2000 standards in Moldova” (LIFE RENATA) project, co-financed by the European Union and implemented by the consortium of six partner organisations: Lever S.A. Development Consultants, Forest Research and Management Institute (ICAS), Greek Biotope / Wetland Centre, kartECO, EcoContact and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldova as an associate partner.

The event aimed at familiarizing key stakeholders with the activities planned under the project, as well as creating a platform for discussion among stakeholders on the current needs of the Emerald Network in the Republic of Moldova, the collection and maintenance of data relevant to species and habitats, and potential synergies and collaborations.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Aliona Rusnac, present at the event, said: “One of the objectives of the European Moldova 2030 is to improve the quality of water, soil and air, and to ensure a sustainable growth of forest and protected areas. This project will contribute directly to achieving these two objectives. The Ministry of Environment is currently working on institutional reform of protected area management and on improving the Law on Protected Areas, including the incorporation of the Emerald sites provisions. Thus, this project and its expected outcomes will serve as a viable tool to support the achievement of the objectives set for the Emerald network, as well as the alignment with Natura 2000 – upon Moldova’s accession to the EU.”

The Programme Officer at the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Moldova, Solomon Ioannou, pointed out: “The LIFE Programme is the only EU programme dedicated exclusively to the environment. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed more than 5,800 projects across the EU and beyond, with a budget of more than €5.4 billion. LIFE includes EU research and innovation initiatives and projects, and large-scale funding programmes. The agreement on the participation of the Republic of Moldova in the European Union’s environment and climate policy programme “LIFE” was signed in November 2022. Shortly after its signature, Moldova became part of the Programme, being the third non-EU country to join after Iceland and Ukraine.”

The LIFE RENATA project, as well as the current status of the Emerald Network in the Republic of Moldova/the latest update to the Bern Convention on Species and Habitats, were presented during the event. Furthermore, the LIFE project to be implemented in Ukraine was also presented, with a focus on possible synergies and lessons learned.

LIFE RENATA is a project co-financed by the European Union, which aims at supporting the Republic of Moldova in advancing the management of the Emerald Network and aligning it with EU standards for species and habitat conservation by providing legal, technical and operational support.

The project aims at improving the competence of stakeholders and relevant authorities by providing: 1) an in-depth understanding of the EU Habitats Directives; 2) ready-to-use methods, tools and materials for monitoring and reporting; 3) a knowledge hub and GIS database; and 4) improved knowledge and in-depth understanding of the protection of Natura 2000 species and habitats in existing Emerald sites.

The project partnership consists of six (6) organizations: Lever S.A. Development Consultants (Greece) as a Project Leader, Forest Research and Management Institute (ICAS) (Moldova), Greek Biotope / Wetland Centre (EKBY), kartECO Environmental and Energy Engineering Consultancy (Greece), AO EcoContact (Moldova) and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldova.