Making air quality measurable in Moldova

air quality measuring station

The German state of Saxony-Anhalt donates an air quality measuring station to Moldova - an IKI project takes care of the transport. Photo: GIZ/Sergiu Gradinaru

Clean air is essential for people’s health, because with every breath we breathe in very fine particles. When air is polluted, especially particulate matter produced by transport, industry or power plants can reach deep into the lungs and can lead to respiratory diseases. This may also mean a shortening of the lifespan of people exposed to these pollutants.

In order to reduce air pollution, primarily in cities, measures are needed in particular in the transport sector. This is also true of the Republic of Moldova, whose air quality exceeds the binding limits of the European Union (EU). As part of the Association Agreement with the EU signed in 2014, the Republic of Moldova has committed to transpose a number of EU directives into national law. This includes Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe. As a result, Moldova must now carry out comprehensive air quality monitoring and strive to reach levels below the EU limit values.

First monitoring station for Moldova that meets the EU requirements

So far, the country has taken daily samples at only 17 sites according to Soviet standards and evaluated them in the laboratory. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of Saxony-Anhalt has donated a monitoring station for measuring traffic-related air pollution – that was part of the monitoring network of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt until December 2019 and is still in full working order – to the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Moldova. This is the first monitoring station for Moldova that meets the EU requirements. With the support of the project 'Developing capacities for climate policy in Southeast & Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia (CDCPIII)', funded by the Intrnational Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the station will be transported to Chișinău, the capital of Moldova. Experts from the Moldovan Environmental Agency have been familiarized in handling and operating it during a training in Magdeburg in July 2021 and will repeat it once the station has arrived.

The real-time transmission of air quality data measured at the station will contribute to the awareness raising of the population and public authorities to increase pressure on more ambitious legal enforcement.