CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH
The research on vulnerability of agro-systems and water resources of the Pruth river basin to climate change are performed together with Research Institute of Soil Science from Bucharest, Romania in framework on three Year Programme in Vulnerability of Agro-systems and Water Resources of the Pruth River Basin to Climate Change funded by the Romanian Government
The product of the programme is an information system built around an agro-climatic harvest simulation model, ROIMPEL. The output of ROIMPEL model is coupled to a simple economic model in which the value of system’s inputs is calculated (execution of soil works, application of fertilizers and plant protection means) along with the costs of obtained harvest. In order to eliminate the local and temporary economic market effects, the inputs to the system were transferred into the cost of energy needed for the production of the agricultural produce (energy needed for synthesis of nutrients and plant protection materials, energy needed for soil works), i.e. cost of fuel, while the cost of the harvest was shown as equivalent to prices of international agricultural exchanges. All the costs were provided in Euro.
ROIMPEL was coupled with soil and climate databases at European level (Digital Map of Europe’s Soils, scale 1:1.000.000 and with the monthly climatic database for the period 1901-2000). Below an operation scheme is provided for the developed information system:
- From the digital soil map:
- With its attributes
– Pedologic transfer functions are generated which are needed for ROIMPEL model (apparent density, accessible water amount, amount of drained water, conductivity of saturated/unsaturated water) corresponding to different methods for agricultural management (survival agriculture, low input agriculture, medium and high input agriculture)
- They are interpolated according to longitude/latitude/altitude of Typological Soil Unit (TSU) with the climatic data of the climatic data network for Europe (net mesh 0,5o longitude and latitude (monthly data for long year series)
- ROIMPEL model is operated for the specific crop to obtain: annual crops (potential and effective), duration of the vegetation period, optimal intervals for soil traffic and works.
- The economic model is used for the estimation of profit as a function of the obtained harvest and the energy equivalent of all the system’s inputs.
- The values calculated for each TSU are again represented in GIS (georgraphic information system)
- The needed soil data were obtained indirectly through estimation of pedologic transfer functions based on the statistical data representative for soils of the Republic of Moldova (Atamaniuc, et al., 1977):
- The average monthly climatic data are obtained as described above from the European network of climatic data
- For the characterization of agricultural management intensity the total amount of nitrogen nutrients applied during the vegetation period was used.
ROIMPEL simulation model was used for the evaluation of technical and economic efficiency of different agricultural systems in the Republic of Moldova within the context of climatic change scenarios. The simulations were made for a basic climatic scenario (1960-1990) and for different time horizons – climatic scenarios for future: 2010-2039, 2040-2069, 2070-2099 based on the model of global circulation: HADCM2 within the emissions scenario “business as usual”. Winter wheat, corn and sunflower crops were considered in a non-irrigated regime. ROIMPEL simulation model coupled with the soil and climatic data (geodifferentiated) accessible for public may be successfully used for the evaluation of the effects induced by different agricultural technologies at local or/and regional level.
RESEARCH OF BIOLOGIC DIVERSITY
Biologic diversity research is indispensable due to the extremely high correlation between the processes taking place in the agricultural and non-agricultural surfaces of one hydrographic basin. Degradation of agricultural land has led to lower crops and thus, lower income. The latter has conducted to survival actions, i.e., purchase of a great number of cattle, especially goats, and other domestic livestock and birds, which degrade the non-agricultural land. Ultimate degradation of forests and pastures occurring in Moldovan villages now leads to yet further degradation of agricultural surfaces through lack of protection against winds, degradation of local microclimate, decrease of useful birds, animals and insects. The research of biological diversity (flora) was deemed a necessary component due to the need for the repair of the landscapes in all the three pilot localities and due to the need for the floristic data in order to develop a specific plan for environmental protection in each of the villages.
The inventory of flora species was made according to existing classifications. For each site improvement actions were recommended having in mind their usefulness for the local population, conservation of a certain area aiming at its inclusion in an ecological tourist route.
Survey on main public concerns regarding POPs in the Republic of Moldova
POPs related problems and issues are to a great extent unknown by the population of the country, which expressed its need for more information prepared in a more accessible format and language, especially through more accessible channels such as radio and TV.
Communication regarding POPs was denied practically by all the participants in the Survey. In particular, noone from outside the system of local and central public administration, including the environmental protection inspectorate, mentioned the availability of the civil servants to communicate with the population or with polluting companies regarding POPs or other pollutants, except for discussing fees, penalties and offences. Communication regarding POPs is very limited both within and between different state agencies, between the latter and the pollutant companies, between all of them and the population and within population itself, including families. The main reasons revealed were as follows:
- Lack of communication knowledge and skills within public authorities, companies, NGOs.
- Lack of procedures and institutionalized communication channels
- Censure and corruption
- Fear of persecution and conflict
- Literally understood subordination in companies and agencies
- Lack of initiative in population
- Lack of constructive spirit in addressing environmental and other problems.
Different groups frequently show different perceptions of the POP problems. For example, the farmers, although aware of the possible danger posed by some chemicals, ignore it to a great extent, in order to attain acceptable income from agricultural activity; the students, although aware to some extent of the problems, cannot believe their contribution to its solution matters in any way; the civil servants count more on penalties and, generally, on a more restrictive legislation with harder punitive tools, than on prevention of pollution, although they are aware of the preventive character of the Moldovan environmental legislation and are proud of it; the teachers and professors of schools, lyceums and universities mention the need for a wider educational program on POPs; the vulnerable groups, show a total indifference towards any type of chemicals and their possible impact on their health, etc. During the Survey the connection of social aspects with toxic substances, POPs alternatives and capacities for addressing POPs problems were identified.
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