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Chronicle of the BIOTICA Ecological Society


Seminar on awareness raising in the field of wetlands

21The seminar on awareness raising was organized on 7 December 2012 and gathered 53 participants, representative of Ramsar Secretariat, Ministry of Environment, Moldsilva Forest Agency, local ecological inspections, NGOs. The event was opened by Laura Maiz, representative of the Ramsar Convention secretariat and Veronica Josu, deputy head of the department of natural resources and biodiversity, Ministry of Environment. 
The seminar comprises presentations on Wetlands Policy implementation at international level, Ramsar Convention and wetland management in the Republic of Moldova, state,  importance and threats for wetlands management, management of forests and pastures in wetlands, including in the water protective forest strips, as well as of water bodies. Problems of management and institutional aspects and the issues of respecting the legislation regarding wetlands were presented to the seminar participants.
During the seminar some active debates on the problems of wetlands management at local level were done, emphasizing among the problems illegal pasturing, illegal fishing, illegal hunting and wood collecting within forests, as well as unauthorized constructions. Also water pollution in the small rivers is a big problem.
Also participants mentioned that the wetlands of international importance are included in the fund of protected natural areas, but there are no mechanisms of practical implementation on the ground. A great problem on the Middle Dniester was mentioned by local representatives as sand extraction from the riverbed, also illegal construction and illegal felling.
The discussions during the seminar were very fruitful, revealing the problems at local level. The representatives of the Ministry of Environment emphasized that they will take into account all these problems and will try to put on the agenda of the Ministry and step by step to try to solve them.
The importance of wetlands and their management were promoted during the seminar and participants were informed about the issues of their rational using. The problem of the wetlands and some possibilities of wetland management were proposed and thus, making some steps forward in improving wetlands management at local level.


On 24 October 2012 the National consultation on the draft Strategy on wetlands was organised by BIOTICA ES in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment. The goal of this meeting was to present and to discuss the draft National Strategy on wetlands that should be elaborated by the Country according with the provisions of Ramsar Convention and its Resolutions. At the seminar participated 45 persons, representatives of the Ministry of Environment, Environmental Inspectorate, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Construction and Territory Development, Ministry of Economy, ADA representative, IUCN FLEG ENPI representative, representatives of Agency Moldsilva, Apele Moldovei, Land relation and Cadastre institution, Institute of Zoology, Institute of Ecology, local public authorities, NGOs.

The event was opened by the Vice-Minister of Environment, Mr. Lazar Chirica, who emphasized the importance of wetlands that are in quite bad situation and necessity to preserve them and to take urgent measures for this, including the development of legislation in relation with wetlands. During the seminar information about Ramsar Convention, resolutions, provisions on National Wetland Strategy approving and implementation. Also the participants were informed about the general state of wetlands in the Republic of Moldova. The criteria of designation of a wetland of national importance were presented and necessary steps to improve national legislation in 1relation with the implementation of the National Wetlands Strategy also were given. The draft national strategy on wetlands was presented, as well as objectives, activities and indicators that were discussed by participants to the seminar. The participants to the seminar actively were involved in the discussion and made their proposals to be taken into consideration at the improvement of the draft Strategy. As the situation of wetlands in the country is quite bad we need to find a new approach for wetlands conservation by establishing financing mechanisms.

The strategy on wetlands would play an important role in this. The presentation done during the seminars (In Romanian):
Veronica Josu, Ramsar Convention and management of wetlands in the Republic of Moldova
Liliana Josan, Objectives of Ramsar Convention in relation to elaboration of the National Wetland Policy
Alexei Andrev, Baseline notions, criteria and general state of wetlands in Moldova
Andrei Isac, The Draft Environment Strategy: general context and priorities in the field of wetlands
Andrei Isac, Provisions and indicators of National Wetland Policy
Gabriel Margineanu, The needs of legislation improvement in relation to the implementation of the National Wetland Policy

The proposed goals, measures, activities and indicators of the draft National Wetland Strategy (in Romanian) can be found here.

Project Development of the National Ecological Network of Moldova as part of the Pan-European Ecological Network, with emphasis on transboundary cooperation

BIOTICA ES in cooperation with IUCN implemented during 2009-2012 the project “Development of the National Ecological Network of Moldova as part of the Pan-European Ecological Network, with emphasis on transboundary cooperation” with the support of Norway Government.

Information about project can be found on the web site of IUCN here.

The project has following results:
Final assessment of the probable core areas in Moldova was carried out using the system of criteria of National Ecological Network improved in 2010 and the next results obtained: 113 recognised core areas of National Ecological Network including 9 ones of international importance 13 – of national and 91 of local importance. Five core areas of the international importance are situated within three recognized Ramsar Sites, or site under considerations, or probable Ramsar Site; two other such core areas support outstanding plant species concentrations mainly of steppe origin; two areas besides high biodiversity maintain outstanding concentrations of archaeological findings. New eleven core areas (of the local importance) are recognised while one territory was excluded from list of core areas after inclusion of new information.

Data on Core Areas provided a system material on distribution of many species by locations including of rare species. Such data were never organized in Moldova and make a good basis for red-listing in future in order to avoid arbitrary expert evaluation, which a used for official Red Data Books in Moldova, Ukraine and other countries where biodiversity monitoring is absent as the system.

Directory of the National Ecological Network Key Elements (in Romanian and Russian) includes descriptions of those 125 Core Areas of Moldova and Ukraine in the cross-boundary zone.

Drafts of eight Indicative GIS-maps and of pre-printing versions had been prepared: 1. Core areas of the National Ecological Network (NEN): major biodiversity values; 2. Core areas of the NEN: target species; 3. The NEN core areas in support of landscape diversity; 4. The NEN core areas on the background of anthropogenic pressure upon environment; 5. Pilot zoning of the NEN core areas; 6. Pilot implementation of CORINE BIOTOPS classification within the NEN; 7. Pilot identification of NATURA-2000 habitats in Moldova; 8. Assessment of the integrity of major NEN corridors.

Guide on management plans for key elements of ecological network (In Romanian and Russian). The Guide is prepared incorporating important experience of BIOTICA’s experts in biodiversity studies, management planning for Ramsar Sites and for creation of the Lower Dniester National Park (GEF medium size project under supervision of the World Bank), environmental law, knowledge about landscapes and agriculture, High Nature Value farmland and state of nature conservation in Moldova as well as about state and obstacles of implementation of National program on establishing the National Ecological Network.

 Information set for decision-makers (In Romanian and Russian). The set incorporates next brief sections: Importance of National Ecological Network, Economic justification of the necessity of ecological network creation (information about economic costs and losses related to creation or non-creation of Eco-net), Ecological network and climate changes, notions on legislative basis of National Ecological Network, list of Environmental Conventions to which Moldova is Part.

All these products (the Indicative GIS-maps Directory of the National Ecological Network Key Elements, the Guide on management plans for key elements of ecological network, Indicative maps and the Information set for decision-makers are published on CD-disc.

Ecological Network seen through its Core Areas. That is the additional project output done as coloured booklet in English about project.

Proceedings of the Conference “Ecological Networks – Introduction to experiences and approaches”, Chisinau, 13-14 of October 2011 - Set of articles includes the both works of participants based on presentations and works of colleagues who could not come (e.g. Ms. Nela Miauta, Ministry of Environment of Romania): 13 articles of specialists from Moldova, 4 – of specialists from Romania, 6 – from Ukraine including 4 from boundary oblasts, and 2 articles from Russian Federation. As the result conference proceedings demonstrate very well the state-of-art in development of Pan-European Ecological Network in North Black Sea region and Eastern Europe, achievements and difficulties in different spheres of relevant activities, methodology and planning approaches (“bottom-up”, “top-down” and some hybrid variants) with their advantages and shortcomings.

National Seminar with local and other stakeholders. The seminar was held on 29 May 2012 in the Ministry of Environment and gathered 30 participants. Major of them are representatives of district authorities. The seminar was opened by Mr. Lazar Chirica, the Vice-minister of Environment and the IUCN Project Coordinator. Presentations done by BIOTICA’s team, representatives of the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Construction and Territorial Development caused an active discussion of participants that revealed some differences in viewpoints of local authorities and central authorities. The local authorities expressed support to project developments and implementation the National Ecological Network building.

Project “ Management Scenario Development for the Unguri – Holosnita New Ramsar Site and Awareness Rising on the Ramsar Convention Wise Use Policy”

Dniester River Unguri-Holoshnitsa is the newly recognized Ramsar Site No 1500 (2005, COP-9) as the result of rapid assessment done by the BIOTICA Ecological Society and due to co-operation with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR). This is a site of international concern for protection of waterfowls and many rare species of mammals and plants.

Unguri-Holosnita Ramsar Site No. 1500 occupy 15553 ha mainly within Soroca district and partly Ocnita district. This includes areas and water bodies between Soroca-Otaci road and state border along the Dniester River, and is situated from the North-West of Calarasovca village till the border ot Holosnita village at the South-East.

According to the Section 2 of the Law No. 1538-XIII, the areas of wetlands of international concern remain at the owner disposal, their management being done according to the management plans and Frame Regulations of wetlands of international concern.

In relation with that, BIOTICA ES implemented the project “Management Scenario Development for the Unguri – Holosnita New Ramsar Site and Awareness Rising on the Ramsar Convention Wise Use Policy”. The project was supported by the Ramsar Convention and was implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

Ramsar sign
The main objectives of the project were:
  • To assess biodiversity and heritage values of the site, propose zoning and measures for conservation, restoration and sustainable use.
  • To explain for local stakeholders benefits from knowledge on heritages, conservation and ecological tourism and reveal their opinion on institutional perspectives for the Site.
  • To raise awareness of public and officials at national level, about wetland values, sustainable use, protection and management.
  • To attract attention of Ukrainian specialists, authorities and NGOs to regional biodiversity values and prospect for probable transboundary Ramsar Site; promote recognition process on Ukrainian side.

In the frame of the project was developed Management Scenario for that region. This document was approved by the National Ramsar Committee. The draft of this document can be found here: Romanian version and Russian version. Also in the frame of this project the brochure “Ramsar Convention and wetlands of international importance in Republic of Moldova” was edited.

During the project 3 seminars were organized with the participation of the representatives of local mayoralty and District Councils from the region, as well as representatives of relevant national institutions. Also three Ramsar signs  were manufactured as installed on the field from the sources of the project.

Identification of High Nature Value (HNV) farmland: support to non-EU accession countries

In 2006-2007 BIOTICA Ecological Society as hosting organization of The ECO-Forum in cooperation with Regional Office for Europe of The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/ROE) is implementing the project Identification of High Nature Value (HNV) farmland: support to non-EU accession countries. The project was supported by Norway Government.

Solonet CanyonIn 2003 the European Environment Agency (EEA) carried out a pilot study on possible approaches for identifying HNV farmland in the EU-15 countries. The results of that work were summarized in a joint report with UNEP (see However, this work on the distribution patterns of HNV farmland needs to be improved and extended to other EU member and non-member countries. That is why UNEP in collaboration with Biodiversity Issue Group of European ECO-Forum, having BIOTICA ES as a host organization, conducted the project for evaluating the state of HBVF in EECCA, taking into account the subregional peculiarities for updating the information related to this and for developing a common vision on necessary actions in this direction.

Within this project the system of criteria and indicators of evaluating the special value of HNVF was developed, the distribution of different types of HNVF in EECCA region was analyzed, the evaluation of trends in HNVF state, number and area modification was done. Also some measures for situation improving were proposed from the point of view of biodiversity. This project included also a special case study on the territory of the Republic of Moldova that had the goal to find and to evaluate potential HNVF. Etulia

The results were presented during the HNVF in EECCA region workshop that was conducted on 16-17 November 2006 in Chisinau. At the workshop representatives of some EECCA countries, representatives of Parliament, Ecology and Natural Resources and Agriculture Ministries of Moldova , Academy of Science and NGOs, as well as project experts took part.
Within this project the Vision of the experts of the European ECO-Forum from the EECCA countries was elaborated, where the e cosystem classification of HNVF was proposed and were developed p rinciples, criteria and features for attribution of lands, corresponding to ecosystems classification, to HNV farmlands. Also in this documents were described examples of prominent HNVF from the region and were given recommendations and practical suggestions for conservation and sustainable use of HNVF. The text of this document can be found here: Russian version and English version.

High-Nature Value Farmland in EECCA countries workshop

(from right to left) Mr. Alecu Renita (Ecological Movement of Moldova), Alexei Andreev (BIOTICA ES), Ivonne Higuero (UNEP/RoE), Oleg Tsaruk (ECO-Forum), Gheorghe Duca (President of Academy of Science of Moldova), Ion Toderas (Academy of Science of Moldova) On 16-17 November 2005 in Chisinau, Biodiversity Issue Group of European ECO-Forum, having BIOTICA ES as a host organization and UNEP organized a workshop in the frame of the "Identification of High Nature Value (HNV) farmland: support to non-EU accession countries" project Supported by Norway Government.

This is a completely new topic for Pan-European region situated to the East of European Union. Vision of the special role of this kind of territories was built within limits of EU-15. In Kiyv Biodiversity Resolution signed in 2003 at the Ministerial Conference in the frame of Environment for Europe process, country-participant has taken the commitment that by 2006, the identification, using agreed common criteria, of all high nature value areas in agricultural ecosystems in the pan European region will be complete, and countries donors agreed to support this work.

The workshop, opened by Mr. Gheorghe Duca, President of Academy of Science, has gathered 39 participants. Its core was formed by the experts of ECO-Forum and specialists group headed by Ivonne Higuero - project manager from the side of UNEP. At the seminar representatives of some EECCA countries, representatives of Parliament, Ecology and Natural Resources and Agriculture Ministries of Moldova, Academy of Science and NGOS took part.

Participants of the meeting noted that for all EECCA countries the concept of HNVF is practically unknown. The goals and tasks of HNVF identification and mechanism for their management are not formulated. It is known very little in EECCA region about the experience of EU and other countries of Western Europe on using economic stimuli and programs in the field of supporting HNVF and protected areas.

According to the opinion of experts, for HNVF conserving and sustainable using in subregion it is necessary:
workshop participants- political recognizing of the concept of multi-functionality of agricultural lands;
- removing from legislative stipulation the arable land priority comparing to other types of agricultural lands;
- development of a system of registration of agricultural lands, taking into consideration their multifunctional destination;
- elaboration and implementation of forms of registration and reporting, allowing to identify among them HNVF assignment of responsibility to land user on the using quality, including HNVF protection, with simultaneous fiscal stimulating for protecting their natural value;
- informing about national and international importance of HNVF and of ecological networks for biodiversity conservation has to be directed both to decision makers and to wide public.

The workshop participants call countries to draw special attention to Kiyv Biodiversity Resolution implementation, particularly regarding agrobiodiversity, and at Belgrad Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe" to assess actions ifof countries participants on implementation of Kiyv Resolution. They proposed to introduce a special chapter in Ecological Strategy EECCA, devoted to HNVF support and creation of ecological networks. They also expressed their opinion in supporting the elaboration of a common methodology of HNVF identification in cooperation with UNEP, UNDP, FAO, European ECO-Forum, IUCN.


Snakes conservation and steppe habitatS restoration in the Lower Dniester Ramsar site project

During 2004 and 2005 BIOTICA ES implemented Snakes conservation and steppe habitat restoration in the Lower Dniester Ramsar site project supported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Germany. The project had the purpose the research of the steppe sectors in the Ramsar site as valuable habitats for many rare species of plants and animals, including for snakes.

BIOTICA Ecological Society together with the Mayoralties and schools, for the first time in Moldova in the frame of this project applied the method of agrosteppe Pupils from Rascaeti village took an active part in creating the steppe sector elaborated in Russia. To do this the seed material was collected in the area of multifunctional management steppe sector at the north of Bugeac in two period of maturation of steppe seeds. This fact was possible due to the permission of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and support of local authorities of Gagauzia. More than that, project participants of BIOTICA together with the pupils had collected seeds of different rare species of feather grass where these are preserved. Mayoralties of Popeasca, Talmaza and Rascaieti villages had allocated for creating the agrosteppe the sectors selected by specialists. These sectors were processed and on a total area of about 7 ha the steppe grass mixture was seeded, and on some places the botanists had seeded rare plants. The pupils enclosed one of the sectors with a green hedge with steppe bushes and seeded acorns of downy oak. The Mayoralties made the decision to maintain these sectors according to the recommendations elaborated by BIOTICA to be able to get here seeds and to improve the pastures using the agrosteppe method.

During the preparation of the sectors for seeding, the botanists and zoologists were researching the grasslands, collecting many data about the plant communities, about rare species of grasses, snakes and insects. After that they elaborated a management plan for steppe and forest-steppe sectors and transmitted to local authorities. The management plan was elaborated to improve the knowledge about the biological diversity of the territory, to prepare recommendations that were missing till now and to improve the possibilities for ecological reconstruction to protect the natural inheritance.

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Last updated - 10.11.2013
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