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UNECE and OSCE support the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in reaching an important milestone towards climate change adaptation in the Dniester River basin

Effective transboundary cooperation is crucial to address the frequent floods and droughts in the Dniester River basin, shared by the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Such cooperation will become even more important in the future, as climate change is expected to affect the volume and seasonal distribution of the river flow, to increase the frequency and intensity of floods and droughts and lead to the challenges associated with water scarcity. Such impacts pose a potential risk to lives and livelihoods of the 7 million people living in the river basin and the more than 3 million people outside the river basin who rely on the water from the Dniester. These were the main messages of the Strategic Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Dniester River basin, endorsed by the basin countries in 2015. The Strategic Framework - one of the first transboundary basin climate change adaptation strategies in the world - was prepared by UNECE and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) within a project financially supported since 2013 by the European Union Instrument for Stability and the Austrian Development Agency under the umbrella of the Environment and Security (ENVSEC) Initiative.

The concluding project meeting, held in Chisinau on 23 March 2017, gathered about 60 participants from the ministries of the environment, water agencies, hydro-meteorological services, research institutions and non-governmental organizations from the two countries who took stock of the project achievements. Specifically, an Implementation Plan for the Strategic Framework was presented and discussed as a means to attract funding for climate change adaptation measures in an effective and coordinated way for the benefit of the entire basin. The Implementation Plan provides a detailed breakdown of basin-wide measures with a total budget of 235 million Euros, points to potential sources of finance and links to ongoing projects and activities in the two basin countries. UNECE and OSCE have already implemented some of the listed measures within the concluding project, assisting riparian countries in enhancing data exchange and monitoring, restoring ecosystems and raising awareness on the climate change challenges facing the basin.

The pioneering work done by experts and representatives from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to develop a strategy and an implementation framework for climate change adaptation in the Dniester River will provide an important foundation for further enhancing transboundary cooperation in the basin. UNECE is ready to continue its partnership with the countries and the OSCE to move forward.

Note to editors

UNECE has been supporting the development of cooperation on the Dniester River basin since 2004. One of the key outcomes of this support was the Treaty on Cooperation on the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Dniester River Basin, signed by the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in November 2012 at the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention). This happened because of four years of negotiations and dialogue, with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders and the continued support of UNECE, OSCE and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Dniester River basin project has been providing valuable contributions to the platform for the exchange of experience between pilot projects on climate change adaptation and the basin is a member of the Global Network of Basins Working on Climate Change, created in 2013 under the Water Convention.