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UNEP organises taste of organic Moldova 

Following their annual Steering Committee meeting, representatives of the Ministries of Environment and Economy from the six EaP Green countries have taken part in an exchange on the success stories and challenges for organic agriculture in the region organised by UNEP.

Officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine gathered for the 4thSteering Committee meeting of the EU-funded ‘Greening Economies in the European Neighbourhood’ (EaP Green) Project in Chisinau, Moldova on 18 June 2015. The meeting was jointly organized and attended by the project implementation partners, the EU, OECD, UNECE, UNIDO and UNEP.

In an encouraging welcoming speech, Mr. Sergiu Palihovici, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Moldova, highlighted his government’s recent establishment of a green economy inter-ministerial working group and national targets for the transition towards a green economy.

Focus on organic sector

Back-to-back with this year’s Steering Committee meeting, UNEP furthermore organized a special session on organic agriculture, where a vivid exchange took place among representatives of governments, international organizations, NGOs and farmers and producers on the role of the sector in the transition to a green economy.

Policies and instruments for the promotion of organic agriculture were highlighted and discussions took place on national success stories and challenges presented by five NGO representatives of the EaP countries. It was found that the organic sector provides significant opportunities to stimulate a green economy transition in the region due to the low levels of pesticide and fertilizer use, the significant share of small farms, the availability of agricultural workforce and the potential to export to the growing EU market.

However, common challenges – such as the overall low awareness of organic agriculture, the barriers and cost for certification and labeling, as well as little support from policy-makers - remain.

Rounding off the fruitful exchange on organic agriculture, meeting participants were invited to taste locally produced organic vegetables, fruits, cheeses and beverages at the evening reception.

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