The Moldova Soil Conservation Project (MSCP) was officially launched in September 1st, 2002. The main objectives of the project are restoration and conservation through forestation of 20.3 thousand ha of degraded lands, and the major goal of the project is to support the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changes (UNFCCC, 1992) as well as the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms (1997).
MSCP Project will be implemented and financed by Agency Moldsilva, and the assigned amount of investments required is about UDS 19 million (for the first 20 years: planting, tending, completion, maintenance, security, etc. activities), of which about 80% will be allocated during the first five years. Owners of lands are 383 local public authorities and 23 forest entities throughout the country, except Transnistria region.
This project will prove the effectiveness of measures for the afforestation of degraded lands and pasturelands under conservation regime and for sustainable use of existing forests and newly planted forests, entailing a positive economic effect, mainly by offering the possibility to harvest wood and non-timber forest products as a result of forestry activities. Additional wood supply to population from rural areas will have a beneficial impact on the overall condition of the forest resources and on the conservation of biodiversity, which will be achieved by the reduction of pressure caused by illegal logging, grazing etc.
The main project activity, planting of forestry species, is almost complete. Thus, during 2002-2006 the entire area of the MSCP was already planted. At present, tending and completion/restoration works of these forestry species, including in the context of biodiversity conservation are carried out.
Besides harvested wood products, the net reduction of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere in the first 20 years will be around 3.6 million tons, of which 1.9 million tons are already contracted by the World Bank Funds:
- Agreement with the Prototype Carbon Fund - purchase of 1.3 tons
- Agreement with the BioCarbon Fund - purchase of 0.6 tons
In accordance with the provisions of the Prototype Carbon Fund and the BioCarbon Fund of the World Bank, Agency Moldilva reported reduction of emissions of approximately 515 thousand tons of CO2 during 2004-2009. Under the MSCP the distribution of financial means per forestry units is made based on the quantitative participation (area of planted forests) and qualitative (planted species, soil fertility, anticipated production, class of forestry species etc.). The allocation is made based on the Decision of the National Program Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of the Parliament, Government, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Finance and Agency Moldsilva. These funds are supposed to maintain the forest plantations established by the project, ensure forestry units with needed equipment for afforestation and regeneration works, replication of the afforestation experiences etc.
General benefits of Moldova Soil Conservation Project are of social-economic and ecological nature:
- extension of areas covered by forest vegetation (the project share is of 15% from the planting strategy undertaken by Agency Moldsilva for 2003-2020);
- reintroduction of 20.3 thousand ha of degraded lands into the general production circulation;
- reduction of the negative impact of climate changes through carbon sequestration and reduction of greenhouse gases emissions (the total volume of sequestrated CO2 during the first 20 years will be 4.3 million tons, including net 3.6 million tons);
- receiving financial resources from the sale of emission reductions - the volume contracted for 2004 - 2017 is of 1.9 million tons of CO2, that is about $7 million;
- supplying rural population with wood products (about 70 thousand m3 of wood biomass annually) and non-wood products (hunting, medicinal herbs, apiculture etc.);
- supporting the biodiversity enhancement;
- decrease the erosion processes, consolidate the landform, improve the environment conditions with direct effects on human health and ecological security of the country;
- creation of additional jobs (temporary and permanent).