Conservation and sustainable management of wetlands with focus on high-nature value areas in the Prut River basin

Duration:2022 – 2027
Donor:Global Environment Facility
Coverage:Republic of Moldova
Beneficiaries:Ministry of Environment
Focus Area:Climate Change, Environment & Energy
Partners:Ministry of Environment, local authorities
Project Document:Conservation and sustainable management of wetlands with focus on high-nature value areas in the Prut River basin
See more information about the project on the transparency portal.


Project Summary:

The objective of the project is to achieve ecological integrity of key floodplain wetlands in the Prut river basin, ensuring positive status of biodiversity, land and water resources, as well as ecosystem services. This will be achieved through provisions for the minimum environmental flow and hydrological repair of declining wetlands and strengthening the protected areas management hosting valuable wetlands habitats and key species.

The GEF investment will be based on an integrated river basin management approach that ensures the continuity of wetland ecosystem services sustaining livelihoods in the Prut river basin at approximately 20,803 ha of high value wetlands in the Lower Prut Biosphere Reserve, the Padurea Domneasca Nature Reserve and surrounding floodplain. The project-driven hydrological repair of Camenca river’s floodplain, will bring an additional 8.3 million m3 of water annually to nourish declining wetlands in the Prut river mid-section, ensuring the survival of approximately 11,175 ha of valuable floodplain habitat even under a severe climate induced water scarcity scenario.

The project-supported improvements of legal and financing frameworks for wetlands and protected areas will enable sustainable management of Prut basin’s wetlands, hosting globally important migratory aquatic birds species such as herons, egrets, spoonbills, ibises nesting and feeding in these areas.

The project’s demonstration activities and strengthened regulatory framework will pave the way for a more systematic approaches to improving wetlands condition. Involving private sector and strengthening knowledge about voluntary environment certification and “greening” businesses as well as strengthening regulatory framework and legal enforcement will reduce the threats to biodiversity values coming from sectoral land and resource use (agriculture, forestry, food industry, oil exploitation). Supporting local communities accessing affordable financing for their local businesses will help alleviate the pressure on natural resources.  


  • To achieve ecological integrity of key floodplain wetlands ensuring positive status of biodiversity, land and water resources, as well as ecosystem services;
  • To contribute to an improved regulatory framework and to ensure conservation and sustainable management of wetlands biodiversity;
  • To improve protection of Key Biodiversity Areas through increasing management effectiveness of existing wetlands protected areas and by promoting participatory approaches and local communities’ participation into the local natural resources’ management;
  • To support local communities in the Lower Prut Biosphere Reserve to develop and implement local initiatives, improving their livelihoods;
  • To increase the awareness at local and national levels on issues related to wetlands management and their local communities.

Expected results:

  • Better fiduciary and financial environment for long-term resilience of wetland ecosystems;
  • National Ecological Fund capacitated to prioritize financing of wetland conservation and sustainable use;
  • Biodiversity-compatible local development strategies in target districts designed and under implementation;
  • Improved mapping and management for Lower Prut Biosphere Reserve (including assistance for its integration into the tri-lateral Biosphere Reserve with Ukraine and Romania) and Padurea Domneasca Nature Reserve;
  • Management units and communities at targeted protected areas capacitated to comply with/enforce management/buffer zone regimes, ensure proper monitoring of biodiversity and key wetland ecosystems, undertake species-focused conservation activities and protected areas patrolling;
  • Riparian forest strips restored (through assisted regeneration or reforestation as feasible) acting as a barrier to agricultural and waste runoff in Lower Prut, at Manta-Beleu Lakes network;
  • Contribution to efforts of high value forested floodplain ecosystems in Padurea Domneasca restoration through optimization of flooding regime in Camenca River Basin and regulation of the ground water table;
  • Strengthened capacities of Local Action Group “Lower Prut” and local entrepreneurs’ to implement local biodiversity friendly development initiatives;
  • Eco-tourism packages for wine/gastronomy routes adjusted to incorporate biodiversity observation in at least 2 communities;
  • Awareness raising campaign targeting central and local authorities/decision makers and local and regional education seminars;
  • Innovative gender sensitive knowledge products and services from the project synthesized, packaged, and disseminated.