Ensure a sustainable environment

Addressing the environmental challenges and risks is imperative for Moldova. The Government of Moldova has recognized environment protection as one of its top governing priorities.

International targets

  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development in country policies and programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources.
  • Halve, by 2015, the proportion of population without sustainable access to safe water sources.
  • Improve the lives of at least 100.000 slum dwellers by 2020.

National targets

  • Integrate principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs and reduce the degradation of natural resources. Increase the forested areas from 10.3 percent in 2002 to 12.1 percent in 2010 and 13.2 percent in 2015.
  • Increase the share of protected areas to preserve biological diversity from 1.96 percent in 2002 to 4.65 percent in 2010 and 4.65 percent in 2015.
  • Increase the share of people with permanent access to safe water from 38.5 percent in 2002 to 59 percent in 2010 and 65 percent in 2015.
  • Halve the number of people without access to improved sewage and sanitation systems. Increase the share of people with permanent access to sewage systems from 31.3 percent in 2002 to 50.3 percent in 2010 and 65 percent in 2015.
  • Increase the number of people who have access to sanitation systems from 41.7 percent of the population in 2002 to 51.3 percent in 2010 and 71.8 percent in 2015.


Current situation

Addressing the environmental challenges and risks is imperative for Moldova. From the perspective of the target of increasing areas covered by forests, progress has been slow. From 2000 to 2008, period for which are available, the proportion of land covered by forests increased only from 10.5 to 10.9 percent. Given the slow expansion of forest coverage, the little forestation work done in 2009-2010 and the cuts in public expenditures that were made due to the  economic  crisis, we can predict that final targets will not be accomplished. The situation is better when it comes to the target of increasing the share of the state-protected areas for maintaining biological diversity, for which both the interim and final targets have been achieved already in 2007 (when the indicator reached 4.76 percent). The progress in expanding access to water and sanitation infrastructure has been quite slow. In 2009, the proportion of the population with sustainable access to improved water sources was 55 percent (with the 2010 target set at 59 percent). Despite this increase in the population’s access to safe water sources maintained in recent years, it is difficult to believe that final target for 2010 could be achieved. Another important problem for the population of Moldova is the construction, development and renovation of centralized waste water collection systems and waste water treatment stations. As a result of the actions carried in this period, the proportion of the population with sustainable access to sewerage was just 54.6 percent in 2011. The slow progress recorded in recent years towards the achievement of this target shows that the desired level for 2015 (65 percent) will probably not be achieved. Moreover, the aggregated data hides high levels of inequality with respect to access to sewage. Thus, of those with no access to sewage rural population makes up 90%. This striking feature highlights the multi-faceted nature of poverty affecting rural population: monetary, access to services, etc. The access of the population to sanitation services is being extended even more slowly. The proportion of the population that had access to improved sanitation in 2008 has not changed significantly (45.9 percent). No data are available for 2009, but the slow dynamics of this indicator suggests that the final target (71.8 percent) could be most probably left unaccomplished. 

Overall ensuring environmental sustainability is difficult, particularly in view of scarce financial resources available. Important issues remain to be addressed with reference to waste management, including the need for harmonizing legislation with EU standards, development of waste collection and recycling mechanisms in rural area, rigorous control of the imported dangerous substances, among others.