The country launched two additional pilot plantations in 2016 in an attempt to develop a sustainable source of energy wood for the local population.
Many Moldovans use wood as the primary source of energy – much more than the country’s forests can supply. Lessons learned from FLEG I, which revealed a huge domestic use of wood for energy, made FLEG II focus on promoting energy forestry that uses intensive silviculture methods as the main solution to the problem, by stimulating local initiatives to produce biomass from fast growing species.
In 2014, FLEG started cooperation with the State Forestry Enterprise (SFE) Telenesti, a subdivision of Agency Moldsilva that operates the largest state forestry nursery in the country. Two primary plantations (so-called “mother plantations”) of poplar were established based on forest reproductive material provided by the neighboring Romania. A total of 4000 one-year seedlings of fast-growing hybrids/clones of poplar (cultivar type I-45/51, Sacrau 79, Toropogritzki, I-69/55) were planted in the nursery.
Once the primary (mother) plantations were established, SFE Telenesti expanded this activity over two pilot plantations outside of the nursery. Thus, in 2016 two plantations were established - one covering 0,72 ha on state land administered by the SFE Glodeni in Falesti district, and the other one covering 0,48 ha on private land administered by ”Revic-Grup” LTD in Ungeni district.
SFE Telenesti organized several workshops by inviting state forest owners, local public authorities, private agents, where it presented preliminary results, shared thoughts and collected opinions. A guidebook and other informative materials were developed and the website will be launched soon.
“Short-rotation forestry will benefit local communities a lot as Moldova’s population uses much more wood as primary energy than the forestry sector can supply. Wood is also still among the most efficient sources of bioenergy”, said Aurel Lozan, World Bank forestry consultant. “Moreover, these “grown fuels” opposed to “fossil fuels” absorb important quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a direct contribution to maintaining carbon and fight climate change”.
“In the conditions of high pressure on forests, SFE Telenesti wants to reduce dependence on logging by offering ideas for developing non-timber forest activities or other forms of economic but nature-friendly incentives, such as energy projects or diversified nursery production”, said Mr. Vasile Iliescu, director of SFE Telenesti. “We are extremely glad that FLEG supports our ideas and assists us in promoting other activities than purely wood logging, and our nursery has a very suitable geographic position to become a national center for genetic resources and reproduction in the country”.
Though SFE Telenesti nursery is rather obsolete in terms of machinery and technical provision, it is active in promoting a diversified forestry. It still produces seedlings of circa 30 species of trees and shrubs mainly for state forest entities, but they also cooperate with other stakeholders across the country.
All these efforts will contribute to country’s energy security and reduce high dependence from external energy sources.