Posted on 22.04.2021

The results of the Global Environment Facility funded project ‘Enabling transboundary co-operation and integrated water resources management in the Dniester river basin’, were officially presented on 22 April 2021 at the online meeting of representatives of the governments of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, international organizations, academia, business and NGOs.

The project is providing support to the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine’s with the implementation of commitments aimed at enabling interstate cooperation in the field of protecting and sustainable development of the Dniester river basin. At the request of both countries, the project was developed and implemented from 2017 to 2021 by the OSCE and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Financial support was provided by the Global Environment Fund (GEF).

The project supported the establishment and operation of the Dniester Commission — an intergovernmental body on the sustainable use and protection of the Dniester River — which addresses, among others, issues related to water distribution studies of the river basin and its conditions and an inventory of tailing storage facilities in the area. An impact analysis of recreational fishing on the river’s resources was also conducted, along with identifying areas prone to flood risks and the implementation of a demonstration project on the ecological restoration of a small river in the Dniester basin.

The project also supported both countries’ European integration efforts on water policy issues, which are reflected in the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union (EU) and the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.

According to the project results, the main challenges in the Dniester river basin are related to the conditions and character of the river’s water, pollution from organic, biogenic, hazardous substances, plastic and other household waste, the spread of invasive species, as well as interrelated water quantity and quality issues, such as climate change, floods and inundations, drought and water scarcity. The results indicate that these problems exacerbate economic, social and environmental challenges in Moldova and Ukraine, as well as affect the environmental state of the Black Sea.

The project results comprise, among others, two major documents,  the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis of the Dniester River Basin and Strategic Action Programme, both of which will also form the basis for the two countries’ future management plans of the Dniester River basin. Both documents were developed based on the methodologies of the Water Framework Directive of the European Parliament (2000/60 / EC), and are a key part of the work of the Dniester Commission.

The Strategic Action Programme spams from 2021 to 2035 and aims at restoring the river ecosystem and ensuring sustainable development of its natural resources. It outlines activities such as reducing water pollution, preventing accidental pollution, managing tailing storage facilities, addressing the consequences of climate change and natural disasters, improving regulatory frameworks and strengthening Moldovan-Ukrainian cooperation.

Infographics on the project results may be found below (in Russian):


Cover photo credits: Kateryna Chechel