Eco-TIRAS Environmental Association of River Keepers
Eco-TIRAS is a transboundary Dniester River basin association incorporating (as of September 1, 2013) 50 environmental NGOs from Ukraine and Moldova, including Transnistria,with the mission to unite efforts of their NGOs-members in implementing the Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) of the basin shared by these two countries. It was established as an international non-profit nongovernmental association of registered NGOs, predominantly from the Dniester River Basin, on October 10, 1999 and was registered by the Ministry of Justice of Moldova on January 14, 2000. At that moment Eco-Tiras united 11 NGOs that acted as its founders. Since 2000, the Association has implemented numerous programs supported by the European Commission, National Endowment for Democracy, Moldavian Research and Development Association (MRDA), National Environmental Fund, UNEP, UNECE, OSCE, World Bank, BST, German Federal Ministry of Environment, American, Finnish and Norwegian embassies, Estonian and Dutch ministries of foreign affairs, and others. Most of these programs were targeted at improving the public, decision-makers and local authorities’ awareness and understanding of current environmental hazards, primary those related to shaping sustainable water policies in Moldova. Today, due to Eco-TIRAS and international efforts, the Dniester River is one of the most studied rivers in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia region; its activity is well-known in Europe and attractive to donors. The signing in 2012 of the modern Dniester River basin treaty in a result of Eco-TIRAS lobbying efforts.
Main spheres of the Eco-TIRAS’s actions, whichpractically all are based on a scientific approach with wide including of public participation and stakeholder involvement, are:
i) Promotion of sustainable development in the Dniester basin region;
ii) Development of the two riparian countries’ public participation in promoting the IRBM and environment protection in the Dniester River basin;
iii) Coordination of activity and support transboundary cooperation both among NGOs and with governmental bodies, scientific community and population on the whole.
Last years, as a new direction of its activity, the Eco-TIRAS sees active participation in and leading the projects targeted at adaptation of the Dniester river basin to climate variability and change, addressing this issue in the framework of sustainable environmental management. In particular, in 2009-2011 Eco-TIRAS realised two transboundary projects supported by the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation: one on water biodiversity conservation by the way of transboundary cooperation development and a second – on the development of climate adaptation measures in the Lower Dniester region.
Another very important direction of the Association activity is environmental education of youth. In 2007-2013 the annual Youth Summer Schools were organized on Dniester with every-year equal participation of 70-80 youngsters from the river’s left and right banks. Additionally, in these years summer time there were organised Dniester Festivals and river basin kayak expeditions for secondary school teachers, university students and lecturers from Moldova and Transdniester.
Many efforts of Eco-TIRAS are devoted to the environmental awareness building and dissemination through scientific publications and its activity visibility. As such, more than 40 books may be called that have been published in last years and are placed at the Association’s website www.eco-tiras.org/publications.Numerous articles about the main Eco-TIRAS activities are being published regularly in national and Transnistria newspapers.
The Eco-TIRAS is managed by the Board of Directors including 9 persons (3 – from right bank Moldova, 3 – from Transnister and 3 – from Ukraine), and its daily management is carried out by Executive Director (at present – Dr. Ilya Trombitsky). Also, it has a web list used for regional campaigns promotion and information of members and a website www.eco-tiras.org where a lot of useful information is placed.
Ilya Trombitsky, Local Project Manager, Doctor in biology, Eco-TIRAS Executive Director
Roman Corobov, Doctor-habilitate in geography
Dumitru Galupa, Dr., specialist in forestry, Director of National Forestry Research Institute
Ghennadi Sirodoev, Head of the Laboratory of Geomorphology and Ecopedology
Tatiana Siniaeva, Projects coordinator of Eco-TIRAS, Communication Responsible
Tatiana Aricova, accountant, Local Project Financial Manager