Integrated Nutrient Pollution Control Project – Additional Financing

The decision in 2013 to bring the entire territory of the country in compliance with the Water Framework Directive and Nitrate Directive posed challenges to the Ministry of Waters and Forests (MWF) and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The Government of Romania (GoR) considered that the Bank’s continued assistance to build national level capacity to address these challenges is critical and will complement and facilitate the use of other resources.

The National Rural Development Program (PNDR) and other Government funds are available to support some of the activities which would directly or indirectly contribute to the overall reduction of nitrates pollution. However, the established eligibility criteria under the 2014-2020 PNDR excludes to a certain extent small-scale subsistence farmers, households and commune infrastructure addressing livestock waste management and Code of Good Agricultural Practices. Therefore, to ensure the implementation of the EU Nitrate Directive for small households and farms as well, the Additional Financing will support a change of scale of the Original Loan operations, namely a scale-up to national level, covering all the agro-climatic regions in the country with investments in about 100 communes highly exposed to nitrate pollution in all 11 river basins in Romania. To reflect the shift from NVZs to the countrywide scope, under AF the Component 1 was renamed from Commune-Based Investments in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) to Investments in Local Communities to Reduce Nutrient Pollution.

Romania has received a loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and a Grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support the implementation of the Integrated Nutrient Pollution Control Project (the Project) in selected localities vulnerable or potentially vulnerable to the pollution with nutrients. The overall development objective of the project is to support the Government of Romania to meet the EU Nitrates Directive requirements by (a) reducing nutrients discharges to water bodies, (b) promoting behavioural changes at the communal level, and (c) strengthening institutional and regulatory capacity. The ultimate goal is to reduce over the long-term the discharge of nutrients and other agricultural pollutants into the Danube River and Black Sea through integrated land and water management.

The closing date of the initial INPC Project was 31st of May, 2017. Following this initial Project, Ministry of Waters and Forests (MoWF) received an Additional Financing (AF) for the (INPC) Project to finance the costs associated with the scale-up nationwide of the initial Project activities, to be implemented over a six years period. The Additional Financing for scaling-up will broadly maintain the objectives and structure of the Integrated Nutrient Pollution Control Project (INPCP) with slight modifications, intended to reflect the realities of the current situation and lessons learned so far under initial INPCP. The Additional Financing will finance works, goods, services and operating costs and will comprise four components, which are largely the same as in the initial INPCP, with slight modifications: (i) Component 1: Investments in Local Communities to Reduce Nutrient Pollution; (ii) Component 2: Support for Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building; (iii) Component 3: Public Awareness and Information Support; (iv) Component 4: Project Management.

Through the Additional Financing the overall development objective of the Project became to support the Government of Romania towards meeting the EU Nitrate Directive requirements at a national scale. The proposed interventions will build on the successes and lessons learned from the initial Project as well as from similar projects in Europe and Central Asia and other regions.

The Additional Financing for the Project became effective on 13th of April 2017 and it was ratified by Romania through law 46/03 April 2017. Its closing date is March 31, 2022.