Local Action - Global Impact by Petru Botnaru
Unfortunately, Republic of Moldova has the lowest percentage of forest area in Europe- 11.4 % (374,500 ha).
On December 14, 2012, the Vorniceni Village Council, Republic of Moldova, approved a decision(nr. 8/16) concerning changing the destination of a land area for the purpose of arranging of a square, this constituting one of the objectives of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy of Vorniceni village. Part of this land was planted with trees some 40 years ago but there has been a lack of appropriate care which is reflected in the deplorable condition they are currently in. Moreover, the design is far from being a modern one…
The Decision of the Village Council to plant trees on the respective public plot was taken due to the mutual initiative of the local civil society and the "Terra-1530" NGO. From the very start more partners were committed to finding a solution for a community problem of global importance.
Category of the action
Mitigation/Adaptation, Changing public attitudes about climate change
What actions do you propose?
Forests provide a lot of diverse benefits to societies. Besides the fact that wood processing and forest products provide significant contributions to the development of national economies, forests play a major role in maintaining the natural ecological balance.
The capacity of Moldova’s forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is about 2,230,000 tons per year. Forests substantially contribute to reducing soil erosion and landslides. The protective role of the forests is of vital importance for Moldova because of substantial alternating temperatures that occur, frequent droughts and shortage of water, lands ‘propensity to slides and a decrease in soil fertility up to 40-50% due to the erosion processes. The multitude of benefits conditioned by forests is inexhaustible. A reckless attitude towards the forest’s role for the ecological balance may cause irrecoverable damages with a very serious negative impact on the welfare of the modern society and, to a greater extend, on the future of the next generations. For this reason, sustainable forests and forest vegetation management became a priority for individual countries and for the global community in general; again, it becomes extremely important because it provides the protection of the environment for our descendent to inherit it.
The forestation of the 2.65 ha area is to begin in 2014-2018. Objectives: 1. Preparation of the village citizenry, over 5,000 people, to make decisions related to environmental problems by involving them in volunteer activities such as the installation of a metallic fence surrounding the square as well as setting up an information panel, dustbins, benches, sidewalks and lamps throughout the plot; 2. Providing knowledge about Vorniceni village by distributing the "Adevarul" publication ("The Truth"); 3. Posting short videos on YouTube; and 4. Holding international conferences with Romanian and Ukrainian partners to promote similar activities.
Who will take these actions?
First, partners such as representatives from the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldova, Academy of Science of Republic of Moldova, Institute of Forest Researches and Arrangements, and State Ecological Inspection will be invited. Secondly, an authorization for the arrangement work will be obtained from the Environmental Commission of Experts that will permit the work consistent with existing legal requirements. Further, a metallic fence will be built without which the arrangement of the square would be impossible as some people use the plot as grazing grounds for their animals or even for passing through with cars and other transportation. At the same time, an information board will be installed to provide knowledge about donors, organizations and volunteers that will participate in the forestation and arrangement work. The entire effort will be coordinated with experts in forestry on national and international levels.
Where will these actions be taken?
It is an opportunity for more than 5000 inhabitants of Vorniceni village to participate in the project implementation particularly those working abroad that may contribute financially. 2. There are more and more discussions about ecological education in Moldova today but there is a stringent lack of a real model. The respective square, arranged in Vorniceni with the participation of international experts, may become such a model. It may become a best practice for local public administration, because it is for the first time in the history of the village when all the people will have the opportunity to be involved in an activity. 3. As the village high-school is located in the neighborhood of the plot it will make possible to have outdoor lessons in the square, especially biology and other outdoor activities. 4. Short videos will be posted on YouTube for the purpose of showing the activities that will take place in the square. 5. The continuity of the project is guaranteed because according to our experts at least 5-8 years are necessary for the completion of the square arrangement work.
What are other key benefits?
The main idea is to reconstruct the square in Vorniceni Village in the way to create a beautiful place for rest and to provide new work places. The long-term goal is developing of a green area with an international importance. The short – term goal is to make an ecological inspection to cut the old and damaged trees and to plant the new ones (autumn). The global idea is to create an example of a square, having as a back fought that creating such squares in the entire counties can wide the green spaces and provide their sustainability. In order to complete the project we need both financial and human resources. As human resources are involved people from the village. The project will be started in autumn 2013 and has some several steps: creating of roads, small architectural forms, creating of a fence, planting and creating of flowerbeds. The provision of the appropriate care is also stipulated by the plan.
What are the proposal’s costs?
Metal fence: 43,200; Planting tree: 4,000; Expenditure verification: 2,000; Financial services (bank guarantee costs etc.): 300; Costs of conferences/seminars: 8,500; Financial audit: 4,000; Promotion in mass media: 1,500; films: 800; Human Resources (Project Manager and Finance Manager): 12,000; International travel – experts: 1,200; Equipment and supplies (Purchase or rent of vehicles): 6,000; Furniture, computer equipment (laptop): 1,200; Local office: 600. TOTAL: 85,100.00
The distribution of "Adevarul" publication will provide knowledge about all the activities for the square arrangement. A partnership will be established with local public administration, 'Secolul 21"("The 21'st Century") NGO-s, the Alliance of Moldovan Rural NGO-s and other nonprofit organizations. Short films will be prepared and posted on YouTube that will ensure the transparency of the project. The members of the National Network of Volunteer Centers formed by "Terra 1530" will play the main roles. Before the beginning of the forestation work , set to begin in November 2013, all the necessary recommendations will be obtained from all our international experts included in the list of "Terra 1530" Association along with the representatives of the Academy of Science of the Republic of Moldova.
A beautifully arranged square; financial and forestry audit; solution of a prior problem of the Socio-Economic Development Strategy of Vorniceni village; a model for ecological education and a best practice. The arrangement of the square will be the first step in the preparation of a Local Plan of Environmental Development.
The forestation will constitute our response to the Global Warming phenomenon.
The forestation of the above mentioned land area is a part of the Social-Economic Development Strategy of Vorniceni village for the following 20 years.