Nature in Moldova

06 June 2012 | Article

Moldova is located in South Eastern Europe and most of its territory lies between two main rivers, the Dniester (at the Eastern border with Ukraine) and Prut (at the Western border with Romania). Moldova's proximity to the Black Sea makes its moderately continental climate mild and sunny. At its southernmost tip, the country reaches the Danube basin.

The landscape is plain with hilly areas: the highest elevation reaches only 430 metres. Most of the territory (74%) is covered by agricultural landscape (vineyards, orchards, pastures, grain fields), the forestland counts for 13,7% (broadleaf deciduous forest type, mainly of oaks, predominantly in the central hilly area), and wetlands form around 3% (flood plain areas in the lower Prut and Dniester rivers).

The four eco-regions of the country (Central European mixed forests, East European forest steppe, South forest steppe and Pontic steppe area) provide home to significant biological diversity. The National Red Data Book includes various relictual species (of which some endemic to the Black Sea basin) with 116 rare and endangered species. The main biodiversity is associated with forest ecosystems of the central hilly plateau, called traditionally Codrii, which means forests in Romanian. Wetlands of the lower Prut (left tributary of the Danube) and Dniester rivers are true reservoirs for biodiversity and important bird migration routes.

The current protected area system counts for 4.65% of the territory. Most of the landscape and biological diversity is conserved within the four nature reserves and other protected categories (landscape reserves, multifunctional management areas, natural monuments etc.). The first National Park – Orhei, comprising unique natural landscape and cultural-historical heritage, is under establishment.

The Ecological Society “Biotica” is a Member of IUCN since 2000. IUCN is active in the country also through the ENPI FLEG Programme – a project on forest law enforcement and governance co-implemented with the World Bank and WWF in seven countries in Eastern Europe. Several nature conservation experts are active in the IUCN global Commissions.