In the course of last three years IUCN and its member, BIOTICA Ecological Society, in close cooperation with Moldovan Ministry of Environment, were actively working on the creation of the National Ecological Network (NEN) in Moldova. Taking into consideration the agricultural expansion and dense rural population, the physical creation of the NEN is of great importance for biodiversity and landscape conservation, soil and water protection, as well as for the improvement of the agri-environment reality and climate change adaptation.
As a result of the project, 151 sites have been studied. For a major part of them this is the first time. A Geographic Information System (GIS) of the National Ecological Network has been created, and a Directory of the Key Elements of the NEN has been published. This Directory comprises of descriptions of 9 NEN Core Areas of international importance, 13 – of national and 91 – of local importance. In addition, descriptions of 13 Core Areas of Ukraine in a cross-boundary zone were also included.
A monetary assessment of ecosystem services of the NEN was carried out and it showed that the total monetary value generated by these services for 10 years would be three times more than the total cost of the physical creation of the NEN covering many expensive civil works (creation/improvement of corridors, ecological reconstruction of grazing lands, etc.). Among other project results are a Guide on management planning for Core Areas, an Info-set for decision-makers, and 9 indicative maps including a cross-boundary zone with Ukraine.
The project has made the first contributions towards implementation of NATURA 2000 (the country plans official steps in 2016). The project results are considered to be an important step towards the implementation of the CBD, as well as the Bonn, Bern and Ramsar Conventions. The project follows the Concept of the National Ecological Network of the Republic of Moldova (BIOTICA, 2001), the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2001) and the Law on Ecological Networks (2007), and contributes to the implementation of the newly adopted National Programme for establishing the NEN (2011).
Project “Development of the National Ecological Network of Moldova as part of the Pan-European Ecological Network, with emphasis on transboundary cooperation” was implemented by IUCN and BIOTICA Ecological Society, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldova and with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information please contact Tomasz Pezold, Ecosystems Project Officer at IUCN Programme Office for South Eastern Europe.