UNDP and Sweden launch a project to improve the management of the Nistru river

August 23, 2022

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched today a project that will help strengthening the Moldovan Government’s capacity for a sustainable management of the Nistru river’s basin at national and transboundary levels. The project will be implemented during 2022-2027 with the financial support of Sweden, which offered US$1.8 million.

The project aims at improving the social, economic and environmental conditions in the Nistru river’s basin by efficient management of water resources. To achieve this goal, the project will improve the regulatory framework and will develop a plan for sustainable management of the Nistru river’s basin. It will also provide continuous support to strengthen the capacities of national authorities responsible for water resources’ management, as well as of Moldova’s representatives in joint Moldovan-Ukrainian bodies responsible for transboundary management of the Nistru river.

“Relevance and ownership are among the reasons why this project is important for us. Moldova is severely affected by climate change and the biggest impact is on water availability. The project responds to the stringent need to address water scarcity focusing on the main source of potable water in Moldova – the Nistru river. The ownership of the project lays with the Ministry of Environment and other relevant governmental authorities that have actively and clearly communicated their needs to ensure an efficient management of the Nistru river basin,” said Katarina Fried, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova.   

The project will support measures that will address some of the environmental issues identified by the assessment of the social and environmental impact of the Dniester Hydropower Complex. The study, developed by a team of independent experts, was conducted in 2021, being commissioned by UNDP Moldova, at the initiative of the Ministry of Environment, with financial support of Sweden.

“This new project aims to further support the Moldovan authorities in the sustainable management of the Nistru river, the backbone of the country’s water supply covering 70% of its consumption. During 2020-2022, UNDP and Sweden supported the development on an independent assessment study on the social and environmental impact of the Dniester Hydropower Complex. Going forward, the water policy and regulatory framework will be improved, aiming to ensure the quality and quantity of waters needed for a sustainable socio-economic development and a healthy environment,” noted Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

According to the study, the Dniester Hydropower Complex changed significantly the biodiversity of the Nistru river: a number of fish species disappeared, the flora was destroyed partially and the level of water transparency increased. This had a number of negative effects, including economic ones. This is why integrated management of the Nistru river is essential for the Republic of Moldova.