Hydrometeorological services are becoming more complex and accessible to the population, with the support of UNDP Moldova

April 27, 2023

The State Hydrometeorological Service (SHS) of the Republic of Moldova is undergoing a comprehensive institutional reform and modernization process. Currently, the SHS operates based on an outdated 1998 law that hinders the provision of updated climate and environmental services. With the support of the UNDP Moldova project " Advancing Moldova’s national climate change adaptation planning", funded by the Green Climate Fund, a new draft law has been developed, that will help the SHS modernize its services and make them relevant to professionals in various fields.

The provisions of new draft bill will enable SHS specialists to provide climate and environmental services to individuals whose activities are directly affected by climate change, such as farmers who will be able to make decisions about protecting their crops and lands based on the information provided by the SHS. Furthermore, tailored data will be available for a fee to meet individual request requirements.

"The State Hydrometeorological Service represents an important pillar in the process of adapting to climate change and the institution’s mission is to provide the most accurate weather forecasts to avoid disasters," says Mihail Grigoraș, interim deputy director of the SHS. Moldova has experienced severe weather cycles in recent years. The floods of 2008 alone caused damages of over $120 million, while droughts between 2007 and 2012 resulted in economic losses of over a billion dollars, affecting 80% of the country's territory.

Thus, modernizing the State Hydrometeorological Service is part of a comprehensive process of adapting to climate change that will positively impact the country's economy in the future. In the near future, with the support of UNDP Moldova, a portal containing extensive information about weather trends and climate vulnerabilities will be launched. "Every dollar invested in the adaptation process prevents spending another seven dollars to cover potential damages caused by climate change," says Ecaterina Melnicenco, consultant at UNDP Moldova.

UNDP Moldova is supporting the authorities in promoting the National Adaptation Program to Climate Change until 2030 and its implementation action plan. The documents were developed and publicly consulted earlier this year. The program sets objectives aimed at increasing the climate resilience of six essential sectors: agriculture, health, transportation, energy, water, and the forestry sector, and is accompanied by an action plan for preventing and overcoming risks and vulnerabilities caused by climate change.

"To cope with the consequences of climate change, we need to act promptly in all areas. The bigger the problems are, the more difficult and costly they will be to solve. Therefore, the best option is to anticipate and to combat climate change," says Petru Tataru, State Secretary at the Ministry of Environment.

The Republic of Moldova is one of the most vulnerable countries in Europe to climate change, and floods and droughts are the most frequent extreme weather events affecting the country.