|How to manage Dniester River? – Seminar in Moldova|
|News Waterfall - News Waterfall #2|
|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 13:10|
The Moldavian – Ukrainian Seminar “ROLE AND IMPLEMENTATION OF HELSINKI WATER CONVENTION AND WATER AND HEALTH PROTOCOL IN TRANSBOUNDARY DNIESTER RIVER BASIN”, dedicated to 20th anniversary of the Helsinki Water Convention of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, took place in Chisinau, Moldova, on June 15, 2012.
Its scope was to look on how two Water Convention parties – Moldova and Ukraine - use this international tool to manage the joint watercourse. Representatives of Moldova, including Transnistria region, and Ukraine, predominantly NGOs, but also scientists, as well as the convention focal point, took part in the seminar. It was really free discussion of different related to the river spheres like existing legal and institutional framework transboundary water of cooperation, impacts of human activities on ecosystems, monitoring, climate change impact and adaptation, as well as of how in our countries is going implementation of the Protocol on Water and Health.
Seminar participants expressed the joint position, that inter-state cooperation in the Dniester River basin in 2005-2011 get one important impulse of the UNECE and OSCE projects (Dniester – I, II, III), which helped to develop the draft of a new river basin treaty. At the same time, they noted, that the preparation to signing the agreement is taking extremely long time, and invite Parties in accordance with Article 9 of the Water Convention to sign it as soon as possible and start its implementation, guiding by documents, elaborated by the Parties of the Convention in the sphere of water transboundary cooperation.
Participants stressed the current lack of integrated approach of Parties to Dniester basin management and expressed hope, that during implementation of bilateral treaty (formation and activity of river commission) the principles of basin approach, stakeholders’ involvement, including interesting public into decision making will be fully taken into consideration.
Participants also found, that it’s came time to establish the transboundary wetlands of international importance in the Dniester River basin in accordance with the Ramsar Convention and called their governments to do it. Taking into consideration the Dniester role as a Pan-European biological corridor of the Pan-European Ecological Network, they invited Moldova and Ukraine to coordinated development of the transboundary ecological network elements.
Seminar attracted the attention to the necessity of compensative measures’ elaboration to protect biodiversity and minimize the ecosystem looses during construction and exploitation of the Dnestrovsk hydro-energetic complex, re-profiling of Dnestrovsk Hydropower Station-2 for exclusively ecological compensatory functions to exclude fluctuation of daily water level in the downstream river portion. It is need also to take into account the water supply needs of Delta and lower stream by careful planning of ecological discharges and involvement of public in its discussion.
Seminar participants were preoccupied by shadow methods of adoption of the exploitation regulations for the Dniester water reservoirs and insisted on the necessity to elaborate instead of them the regulation on exploitation of the Dnestrovsk hydro-energetic node (includes two hydropower stations and on hydro-pumping station), with participation of all interesting parties and wide discussion with public of the Dniester River basin.
Participants discussed in details the current stage of implementation of the Water and Health Protocol to the Helsinki Water Convention and invited governments of the Dniester River basin to implement it in transboundary context and deepen cooperation on this Protocol in transboundary parts of the river (art. 13), including the cooperative elements to the Dniester River Management Plan.
Participants insisted that the measures adopting by both riparians to prevent the negative impact of floods, should be coordinated among them and have to have a transboundary character.
Participants note with regret, that the new (2010) agreement between the Republic of Moldova and Romania on Prut River does not correspond to the principles of the Helsinki Water Convention, not involves Ukraine as one of riparians to the basin cooperation and should be revised, because currently in could not solve the Prut River problems.
Seminar’ participants expressed their preoccupation by plans of massive construction of mini power stations on small mountain rivers in Ukrainian part of the Carpathians, being sure, that by these actions will be seriously impacted landscapes, biodiversity, tourist potential etc. Moreover, the realization of such program contradicts the duties of Ukraine as a Party of the Carpathian Convention. Such hydro energetic could not be qualified as a “green” one, like investors insist to have tax preferences.
Participants attracted attention of both riparian states of the Dniester River to the necessity of application of the soft recommendations of Water Convention in everyday activities to manage floods, climate change adaptation measures, establishing of modern institutional mechanisms of cooperation, payment for ecosystem services’ schemes, as well as application of the EU Water Framework Directive.
Participants attracted attention of donors (European Union, leader countries, World Bank etc.) towards the necessity to support constructive actions dealing with basin management: to soften climate change impact, rational management of wetland zones and prevention of degradation of Dniester basin water bodies, creation of ecological networks, coordination of inter-state actions and wide use of public participation.
Seminar welcomed the active involvement of NGOs, specialists and scientists from Transnistria to the regional cooperation on Dniester problems, unfortunately, predominantly dealing with the international organizations’ initiatives. They welcomed successes reached by projects of UNECE / OSCE (Dniester – I, II, III), numerous useful documents where elaborated including draft of river basin treaty, the international interest to the Dniester raised substantially. In this respect we call these international organizations to support its adoption and implementation.
In the end seminar participants acknowledged its sponsor - UNECE, coordinator – WECF, and organizer – Eco-TIRAS, for the provided opportunity of efficient discussion of the Dniester problems.
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