UNFCCC Reference No.: 1948
Soil erosion and landslides are major environmental problems in the Republic of Moldova, resulting in long-term impacts on land productivity. The degraded lands are susceptible to a number of processes, including accelerated erosion, leaching, loss of fertility, and increased drought risk. The lack of regeneration investments in Moldova resulted in the degradation of public and community lands. In the absence of restorative action, these lands were expected to degrade further and continue to be a major source of GHG emissions.
The Moldova Soil Conservation project is aimed at achieving multiple objectives, including restoring productivity of degraded lands, enhancing forest product supplies to local communities, and promoting net GHG removals by sinks across a total area of 20,300 hectares spread throughout the country. The project covers degraded lands in the northern, central and southern regions of the country. Locally adaptive and naturalized species planted along with native species are being used, providing a cost-effective option to prevent soil erosion and landslides, stabilize slopes, and generate wood and non-wood products for rural communities. The project is implemented by the National Forest Agency of Moldova (Moldsilva) on lands owned by over 380 local councils. Modsilva understakes the afforestation/reforestation activities on these lands and manages them until after the establishment of forests following which the subsequent management would be transferred to the local councils.
The project is preventing future land degradation and landslides while improving the hydrological regime and minimizing water and wind erosion. Moreover, the afforested areas act as shelter-belts and limit adverse impacts of soil erosion from degraded lands adjoining the project area. The GHG removals are being enhanced through the restoration of soil productivity and the creation of above and below ground carbon pools. Biodiversity will be enriched as a result of improvements to ecological succession and restoration of the habitats of endangered flora and fauna.
The project is promoting the interests of the local community and fostering community-based management of the degraded lands. Project activities are generating local employment for both men and women, including site preparation, planting, and harvesting for men; and nursery management, weeding, and collection of non-timber forest products for women. In the medium- to long-term, the project is providing multiple products and environmental services for use by the local community. Income will also be generated from the sale of the forest products, such as timber, medicinal plants, honey, and fuelwood supplies that provide cooking energy for rural and urban households.