River Protection Belts- a measure to protect water from the effects of climate change

Moldova has became one of the countries that is slowly but surely affected by the consequences of climate change. These include increased average annual temperatures. At the same time, the frequency of droughts and floods has increased especially over the past 3 decades. Large floods on small rivers are of particular concern. Both droughts and floods are considered to have the greatest socio-economic impact.

The amount of water resources available in the country is currently estimated around 500m3 / person/ year, which already places Moldova in the category of severely deficient water countries and with a high-risk climate change impact (accordint to the Nistru Hydrographic District Management Plan, 2015). It is not excluded that in the future the water deficit will be the main problem in some regions of Moldova, especially in the central and southern regions. The greatest impact will be on agricultural productivity and human health.
In the framework of the project "Developing a Local Action Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change from a Resilience Assessment Perspective", a study on local vulnerabilities in the Ichel river basin was conducted. The study, conducted in January-March 2016, found that vulnerabilities at local level were consistent with those at national level. Thus, the greatest vulnerabilities at hydrographic basin level are reduced agricultural productivity, reduced accessibility of water resources for food and irrigation, and decreased biodiversity of local species, especially of forest areas and aquatic fauna.
To implement this project, the Local Climate Change Adaptation Plan in the Ichel River Basin was developed. According to this plan, one of the activities envisaged consists in the rehabilitation of the river protection belt. River protection belts play the role of fortification of the banks, erosion and water pollution prevention, as well as maintaining the volume of water in the river, respectively in the the water table layer.

The overall objective of the project is to restore a portion of the Ichel River Protection Belt as a measure to adapt to climate change and protect the river.
In this respect, the National Environmental Center has developed a number of activities to be carried out within the project.

In order to identify the portion to be planted with trees and shrubs, members of the Ichel sub-basin committee, "Apele Moldovei" Agency and "Moldsilva" Agency will be consulted. As a result of the recommendations, there will be discussions with the local public authorities, which will be involved both in the planting process and in the plantation protection and maintenance process.

Following the selection of the portion of the river to be restored, the dialogue and partnership with local public authorities and educational institutions will be strengthened and they will participate in the planting, protection and maintenance of the plantation. Thus, representatives of the Agenţia ,, Apele Moldovei” and “Moldosilva”, as well as of the State Ecological Inspectorate will be trained.

Within the planting activity, the pupils of the educational institutions from the localities will be trained, who will be taught on how a planting is done correctly by the representatives of the "Moldsilva" Agency. Several sessions will be organized to educate pupils and local public authorities on plantation protection and maintenance. In October, we plan to plant about 5000 seedlings. To prevent the destruction of the plantation by domestic animals, a fence will be installed and discussions will be held with the locals.

All project activities will be published as articles and pictures on the web pages,, as well as on the facebook page of the National Environmental Center.
During the project implementation, partnerships will be established with the sub-basin committee Ichel, the local public authorities and the educational institutions in the watershed area, the "Apele Moldovei" and "Moldsilva" Agency and the State Ecological Inspectorate.

This project is implemented by the National Environmental Center with financial support from the AO "EcoContact" through the "Forum on Climate Change in the Eastern Partnership" (CFE II). This program is carried out with the financial support of the European Union, the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) and the Austrian Red Cross.