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Environmental Crime Legal Framework In Moldova

Article 37 of the Moldova constitution reads:

  • Every human being shall have the right to live in an ecologically safe and healthy environment, to consume healthy food products and to use harmless household appliances
  • The State shall guarantee to anyone the right of free access and dissemination of the truthful information related to the environment state, living and working conditions, and the quality of food products and household appliances
  • Concealment or forgery of the information regarding the factors detrimental to human health shall be prohibited by law
  • Natural and legal entities shall be held liable for the damages caused to a person’s health and property due to ecological trespasses
  • Featured Legislation

    1991: The Land Code of the Republic of Moldova was passed. This Code embraced an extremely comprehensive range of issues relating to land use and management.

    1995: The Law on the Protection of Fauna was introduced to govern the relations in the field of protection and use of wild animals – mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibiouses, fish, insects, Crustacea, mollusks, etc. (further – animals), living in conditions of natural freedom on the land, in water, the atmosphere and the soil.

    1997: The Law on Natural Resources was adopted. This law governs the relations in the field of use, protection and reproduction of natural resources for the purpose of providing ecological safety and sustainable development of the country.

    1997: The Law on Hazardous Substances and Product Management was ratified, regulating activities related to manufacturing, storage, transportation and management of hazardous substances, import and export thereof, for the purpose of reduction of negative environmental impact and hazardous impact upon human health.

    1997: The Law on Air Protection was instituted in an effort to preserve the purity of atmospheric air as an environmental component; improve its quality and prevent levels of harmful physical, chemical, biological, and radioactive effects.

    1998: The Law on Protected Areas was enacted, establishing the legal basis of creation and functioning of funds of the natural territories protected by the state, the principles, the mechanism and procedure for its preservation, and also power of the central and local authorities of the public power, non-governmental organizations and citizens.

    2006: The Regulation on hunting tourism for the foreign citizens in the Republic of Moldova was implemented. This Regulation establishes terms and conditions for carrying out hunting tourism by foreign citizens. Documents attesting hunting right shall be: (a) hunter’s card (member of AFHM); (b) hunting authorization (permit); (c) firearms carry permit; and (d) hunting services contract. To confirm the right of hunting foreign citizen has to meet the following requirements: (a) to be the member of the hunting association of his native country and to confirm this attribute; (b) to be holder of national firearms carry permit to carry the weapon in his country; (c) to have hunting gun registered in firearms carry permit; (d) to be the member of the Association of hunters and fishermen of the Republic of Moldova; (e) to be in possession of European medical insurance; and (f) to conclude contract with the owner or manager of hunting grounds.

    2006: Law No. 111-XVI (on safe nuclear and radiological activities) was brought into force. The purpose of this law was to ensure the safe management of nuclear and radiological activities exclusively for peaceful purposes in conformity with the requirements of international agreements signed by Moldova. It applies to the following activities:

    • (a) Research and operation of nuclear and radiation sites
    • And (b) the manufacture, supply, storage, transportation and transit of sources of ionizing radiation, including nuclear materials and fuel and radioactive waste

    2007: Ministerial Decree No. 51 was created, establishing that technological use of lakes for aquaculture and fish farming shall be carried out by legal persons in accordance with contracts concluded thereby with state enterprise for aquaculture “Acvacultura-Moldova".

    2017: Law No. 11 (“On strategic environmental assessment”) was approved, establishing a legal basis for a strategic environmental assessment to ensure a high level of environmental protection, and to prevent or reduce adverse environmental impacts, including health-related consequences of certain plans and programs.

    2018: The National Development Strategy Moldova was unveiled. This multi-sectoral National Development Strategy Moldova-2030 focuses on the following development priorities: (a) sustainable and inclusive economy (increased revenue from sustainable sources and mitigation of economic inequality; expanding people’s access to utilities and living conditions; and improving working conditions and reducing informal employment); and (b) healthy environment (ensuring the fundamental right to a healthy environment and environmental security).

    Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

    • According to the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law, Moldova suffers from weakened environmental enforcement capacity – namely, monitoring and resource limitations. A recent report details the harmonization of national criminal law with the Environmental Crime Directive in the states of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, and Serbia in their capacity as EU candidates, potential candidates and associated countries. Directive 2008/99/EC serves as an essential piece of EU legislation in presenting a unified approach to environmental protection across the European Union. The Directive, specifically, encourages nations like Moldova to establish criminal penalties for a minimum set of offences against the environment in an effort to increase compliance with EU environmental law. The European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law’s report also revealed that all states in Southeastern Europe have taken steps to introduce crimes against the environment into their criminal codes. Nevertheless, harmonization of national penal codes with the crimes included in the Environmental Crime Directive vary significantly by state – some states are “partially harmonized”, criminalizing only certain aspects of the offences listed in the Directive.

    References and Further Reading


    Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment: