SDG 15 targets ecosystems that are highly relevant for the Republic of Moldova, including forests and land. The share of afforested areas of the total territory of the country – around 11 per cent – is unusually low in a continental comparison (above 40 per cent) and is also below the critical threshold level of 15 per cent required for the provision of a minimal level of forest-related environmental services. Climate change poses significant challenges to the sustainable development of forest-related ecosystems; however, the man-made challenges are much more significant. Land degradation is another challenge that bears heavily on agricultural sector productivity. For decades, Moldova experienced creeping desertification due to insufficient investment in and restoration of degraded lands. Currently around 860,000 hectares of land (more than 40 per cent of the agricultural land in the country) are exposed to erosion in various degrees. This causes a significant drop in agriculture production. Direct economic losses because of decreased harvests are estimated at some US$220 million. The indirect impact of erosion results in siltation of water bodies, damaging hydrotechnical works, and causing pollution of water courses and water bodies with nutrients and pesticides.
Both at the global and the national level, SDG 15 emphasizes the sustainable use (including restoring) of land resources and the prevention of land degradation, protection of inland fresh water ecosystems, conservation, rehabilitation of forests (including increasing afforestation and reforestation), conservation of biodiversity, ending poaching and integration of biodiversity and ecosystems values in policies at all levels. Moldova has adopted many strategies in this area, with the challenge being adopting a more integrated approach and securing the financial resources necessary for restauration and conservation of its terrestrial ecosystems resources.
Goals in action
500 ha of pastures in Orhei National Park region have been rehabilitated with European Union support
Throughout 3 years, the European Union funded Clima East Project, implemented by the UNDP, developed and implemented innovative systems of public pastures and forests management in the Orhei National Park region, aiming at preventing soil erosion and carbon capture and storage. The results of the project were presented today at a closing workshop in Orhei. MORE >
Moldova is one of the most agriculture-dependent countries in Europe, yet current water reserves are already classified as “insufficient”. Climate change forecasting predicts that available surface water will decrease by up to 20% by 2020, further endangering human health, the ecosystem and the economy. MORE >
It is said that national parks have provided public breathing spaces in a world in which such spaces are steadily disappearing. Protected landscapes around the world, and the relationships they forge and sustain between humans, animals, and the natural world should be celebrated. MORE >