Thousands of people participated on Saturday, June 10, in the activities scheduled during the Environment Day Festival. From young to old, visitors had the opportunity to explore booths and thematic workshops on environmental protection, renewable energy, recycling, and sustainable development. Additionally, environmental activists and representatives from international organizations had the chance to present innovative solutions and best practices in environmental conservation to the public.
Lilia Curchi, the Executive Director of the Environmental Journalists Association, mentioned that every individual can contribute to improving the environment: “From recycling to reducing energy and water consumption, every action matters and contributes to creating a better future for future generations. The Environment Day Festival is a place for inspiration and learning from people who are already role models in local involvement.”
“The Republic of Moldova is making significant efforts to reduce the use of plastic. Right here, in this park, we have representatives from several companies in the Republic of Moldova that deal with plastic recycling and selective plastic collection. They are ready to invest, and the products made from recycled plastic can be used in economic activities,” stated Iordanca-Rodica Iordanov, the Minister of Environment, during the opening event of the festival.
A recent study on plastic waste in the Republic of Moldova, conducted with the support of UNDP Moldova and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), shows that our country is importing increasing amounts of plastic materials, and the generation of plastic waste is growing exponentially. Referring to the findings of this study, Andrea Cuzyova, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Moldova, mentioned that:
"The Republic of Moldova, like many other countries, is not immune to the challenges posed by plastic pollution. UNDP has supported the Republic of Moldova in developing the first national study on plastic waste, which has shown that the quantity of plastic has been steadily increasing at a rate of approximately 4% per year. Only 3% of total plastic waste is recycled. The rest ends up in our soil, water, and ecosystems, polluting and leading to serious health problems. UNDP Moldova remains committed to supporting the country in addressing the issue of plastic pollution. We will continue to provide technical assistance, raise awareness, strengthen capacities, and provide funding opportunities to promote sustainable practices and innovative solutions. We will take measures to reduce plastic waste, promote recycling, and improve waste management. With the support of our partners, we are implementing projects and programs on waste management and recycling, as well as reducing plastic use."
Sweden is among the biggest supporters of environmental protection projects. In her address to the festival visitors, Katarina Fried, the Swedish Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, emphasized that: “Each year, over 400 million tons of plastic are produced globally, and less than 10% of it is recycled. Consequently, there is a risk that plastic will reach and harm our nature, wildlife, and ultimately ourselves. In the Republic of Moldova, Sweden supports initiatives aimed at improving waste management processes, together with our partners UNDP, EBRD, and EcoContact. Currently, climate change and biodiversity protection are perhaps the most urgent global challenges. They are complex and affect all sectors of society. They cannot be solved by a single country or organization alone, as they transcend borders and impact all countries and the entire global ecosystem. Therefore, we must act together, including at the local level.”
Air pollution and the impact of climate change pose significant risks to the health and daily lives of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, stated Alexandru Voloc, a representative of the World Health Organization in the Republic of Moldova. He firmly believes that “one-quarter of all global deaths could be prevented if environmental factors, which are controllable, were not present. By working towards environmental protection and reducing the amount of plastic, we will reduce deaths and contribute to improving our health.”
The Environment Day Festival was organized by the Environmental Journalists Association with the support of the Swedish Embassy in Chișinău, the European Union, UNDP Moldova, and the World Health Organization (WHO).