The Forum of Environmental NGOs – 2023 started in Chisinau

Today, in Chisinau, the Forum of Environmental NGOs, the 2023 edition, started, under the slogan Participate – Promote – Act for a healthy and protected environment. The first day of the event brought together about 140 participants, representatives of civil society in the field of environment, high state officials, as well as representatives of development partners.

On the occasion of the start of the Forum, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, sent a video message to the participants.

“Environmental activists, specialists in the field, people who have dedicated their professional activity and life to protecting the environment are important people in our society. You educate the youth, the people in your communities, but also all citizens about how we must take care of our environment. You raise the alarm in the event of risk or danger and are the first line of defense in the event of negligence or abuse committed or condoned by the authorities. Your work is necessary, valuable, and important. And I want the government and local authorities to work together with civil society for the more rational and careful protection and use of Moldova’s natural resources”, declared the head of state.

“I’m glad to see you again after years when we had the opportunity to be a voice and I want you to continue that united voice, that power of civil society, promote it, and bring it into discussions with public and central and local authorities. We must recognize that the civil society in the Republic of Moldova was and I hope will be a united voice and a voice that will come with aspects of criticism where it is necessary, will come with input where possible, and obviously will come with solutions, suggestions, and recommendations where they have experience and expertise. It is obvious that with the process of European integration, many organizations from the associative sector will move to the consulting sector, but the consulting sector and the associative sector are two different things. The associative sector represents those who advocate for equal rights, who sound the alarm, and who draw attention to many irregularities”, said the Minister of the Environment, Iordanca-Rodica Iordanov.

The Swedish ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Katarina Fried, mentioned that the role of local and national NGOs cannot be overestimated.

“Within civil society, there is expertise, commitment, and diligence in implementing local and national actions. I would like to note that there is a clear and proven commitment to national priorities in the environmental sector and that Sweden is keen to continue supporting joint efforts in the forestry sector, and the management of the Dniester river basin and will extend its support to the waste management sector “.

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“Civil society in the Republic of Moldova is the promoter of change at the highest political level. We have seen many successful examples where civil society and public institutions work together and leverage their expertise to achieve effective results. Civil society involvement has become even more critical for Moldova as an EU candidate country. Strengthening the involvement of civil society in the decision-making process at all levels was identified as one of the nine stages of the European Commission’s opinion regarding Moldova’s application for membership. Considering the protection of the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources, it is obvious that civil society plays an essential role in mobilizing and educating citizens at the grassroots”, said the deputy head of the Cooperation Section within the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova, Adam Ggrodzicki.

During the plenary session, the topic of aligning the activities of NGOs in achieving national priorities in the field of environmental protection with the strategies and objectives of development partners was addressed.

The forum of environmental NGOs will be held over two days, on March 16 and 17, during which nine discussion workshops will be organized, with the following themes: integrated management of water resources; promotion, protection, and conservation of biodiversity and protected areas; the role of NGOs in the transition to green economy principles; The Aarhus Convention and respect for human rights to a healthy environment; waste management; Energetic efficiency; climate change and disaster risk reduction; environmental communication and information; community forestry plantings through the valorization of degraded lands.

The purpose of the forum is to encourage collaborations in the associative sector, protect the environment, and promote environmental rights. At the same time, the meeting serves as a platform for communication and exchange of experiences for civil society representatives, central and local public authorities, donors, and other entities interested in improving the environment and efficient use of natural resources.

The event is organized by the EcoContact Public Association, in partnership with the National Council of Environmental NGOs, with the support of Sweden, the National Environment Center, and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).

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