Press release



In 1999, Moldova was the first country to ratify the Aarhus Convention (the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, signed in the Danish city of Aarhus in 1998 and aimed at ensuring democracy in the field of the environment). Since then, many efforts have been made to implement this unique international instrument in the field of environmental democracy. Several pieces of legislation were adopted, which, however, were formulated in such a way that the Convention was not fully implemented.

There is a Compliance Committee under the Convention, where everyone can refer to reports of non-compliance with the Convention. In turn, the Committee considers such cases and makes recommendations on them, which must be approved by the next Meeting of the Parties, composed from the governments of the Parties of the Convention.

In recent years, Moldova has quite formally ignored the requirements of the Convention, not sending periodic reports there. Thus, in 2017, Moldova did not submit its report on the implementation of the Convention for three years. Until now, it has not provided, although in 2021 such a report must be submitted again for the period 2017-2021. So the country drops out of the lists of civilized countries.

Access to environmental information is a pressing issue for Moldova. The fact is that without specific data on the state of the environment, it is impossible to develop and take measures to improve it. You cannot make forecasts, for example, of floods and droughts. Plans and long-term forecasts cannot be developed. Since Moldova is a Party to the Convention, all donors expect that information within the framework of their projects will be provided by government agencies free of charge. However, in reality they demand money, and without it they do not provide information. But no one wants to quarrel, they are looking for how to pay specific people and receive information. This has been going on for all thirty years of independence. Because the legislation is created in such a way that if you follow it, you need to pay tens of thousands of dollars for access to the information already available! But once this disgrace must end?

Therefore, back in 2008, the NGO Eco-TIRAS sent a communication to the Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention about the country's non-compliance with its provisions on access to environmental information. As a result of consideration in 2011, the Meeting of the Parties adopted Recommendations for Moldova, according to which it obliged the country's government to adopt and implement a national plan for the implementation of the Convention. The government accepted, adopted the Plan, but practically did nothing for its implementation and forgot.

Since the situation remained the same, in 2017 the NGO Eco-TIRAS again sent a message to the Committee about the country's failure to fulfill a number of obligations. It was based on the fact, that the State Hydrometeorological Service requested 35 thousand dollars for the information about the river with the length of 27 km. It was more than simple for the government to rectify the situation - to make small adjustments to several of its decrees. But the government chose to take the pose of an ostrich and ignore Geneva. Even Geneva's appeal to the Moldovan Foreign Ministry did not change the situation. For three and a half years the government has done nothing! Currently, Eco-TIRAS, within the framework of a joint project with the NGO “Arnika” from the Czech Republic, is preparing a shadow report on the implementation of Moldova's obligations to implement the Convention, which will be presented in October 2021 at the Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention in Tbilisi.

One of the factors that caused the ministry's total impotence is undoubtedly the weakening of the environmental segment as a result of the merger of three ministries in 2017.


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