EcoVisio Moldova: pioneering sustainable practices for a greener future
September 25, 2023

EcoVisio Moldova: pioneering sustainable practices for a greener future

Author: Michael Nesteriuc

Nestled within the enchanting landscapes of Moldova, a grassroots non-profit organisation named EcoVisio has been quietly but effectively spearheading the nation’s journey towards sustainable development. Founded in 1999 as the Ecological Association of Children and Youth of Moldova (AECTM) and renamed “EcoVisio” in 2013, the organisation has evolved into a beacon of positive change, championing environmental awareness, community empowerment, and the pursuit of a greener and healthier Moldova.

A vision for transformation

EcoVisio’s vision is nothing short of ambitious: to see Moldova transform into a model region for sustainable development. This transformation encompasses an empowered society, a thriving economy, and a healthy environment. The vision stems from the belief that Moldova has the potential to lead the way in demonstrating how prosperity can be achieved hand in hand with responsible environmental practices.

Building a community of changemakers

Central to EcoVisio’s mission is the creation of a vibrant community of changemakers. By connecting individuals who share a common goal of shaping a prosperous future for the region, EcoVisio fosters cooperation over competition, unity in diversity, and transparency. Through this collaborative approach, the organisation strives to multiply the impact of its initiatives and create a groundswell of positive change.

Photo by Diana Popfalushi

EcoVisio Training Centre: a hub of learning and collaboration

EcoVisio’s commitment to education and networking finds its physical embodiment in the EcoVisio Training Centre. Situated within the EcoVillage Moldova in Rîșcova village, the centre is a testament to the organisation’s dedication. Opened in October 2018, the centre provides a space for education, networking events, and skill-building workshops. With facilities capable of accommodating up to 60 people, a well-equipped kitchen, dining area, and accommodation spaces, the centre serves as a hub for sustainable knowledge-sharing.

Photo by Diana Popfalushi

Creating a resilient haven: EcoVisio’s Training Centre

This innovative hub stands as a nurturing space where diverse practices come together to shape a greener future. From eco-construction methods using local resources like straw, clay, and lime, to passive solar designs that harness natural energy, the centre embodies energy efficiency and holistic living. With a focus on water conservation and organic gardening, the centre showcases how responsible choices can positively impact both ecosystems and communities. Visitors are immersed in a culture of mindful food choices, where locally sourced, plant-based meals inspire a journey towards healthier living. EcoVisio’s Training Centre isn’t just a physical space; it’s a harmonious blend of knowledge, community, and practical action, embodying the ethos of building resilient communities, one sustainable practice at a time.

Six thematic areas, one vision

EcoVisio’s work is organised into six thematic areas, each pivotal to achieving its vision of sustainable development. These areas, including agroecology, climate change, and waste management, provide a comprehensive framework for addressing the diverse challenges that Moldova faces. Through a combination of initiatives, EcoVisio delves into these areas, offering trainings, demonstrations, and educational campaigns to drive impactful change.

Photo by Agnieszka Zielińska

Agroecology: nurturing sustainable farming

Recognising the significant impact of agriculture on the environment, EcoVisio actively promotes agroecological practices. By showcasing positive examples from local agro-communities and supporting farmers in adopting ecologically friendly methods, EcoVisio contributes to mitigating climate change while ensuring food security.

Climate change: a call to action

EcoVisio recognises the urgency of addressing climate change and engages in environmental education, carbon offsetting through tree planting, and awareness campaigns. By involving youth and using innovative methods such as educational games, EcoVisio seeks to raise awareness about climate change and inspire collective action.

Photo by Agnieszka Zielińska

Waste management: a sustainable path forward

Addressing waste management challenges head-on, EcoVisio leads campaigns to raise awareness about responsible consumption and waste disposal. From coordinating the creation of modern waste management systems in villages to promoting composting practices and combating food waste, the organisation advocates for a cleaner and more sustainable Moldova.

My personal experience with EcoVisio

As a participant in the SDG Media Camp hosted by EcoVisio in Moldova, I had the opportunity to engage with journalists from five different countries and delve into pressing environmental issues that transcend borders. EcoVisio provided a nurturing environment where journalists like myself could explore and exchange insights on sustainable development goals (SDGs) related to the environment.

This experience not only allowed us to witness the importance of initiatives like the ABS Recycling waste sorting plant or eco-material children’s toys enterprise EduJoc, but also to see how local farmers from Râșcova are introducing sustainable practices in their work with the support of EU funding. EcoVisio’s dedication to fostering a global network of environmentally conscious journalists was evident throughout the camp, where we formed multinational groups to collaborate on cross-border stories addressing environmental concerns.

As part of the project, we were encouraged to publish a minimum of three pieces of journalistic material in our local or regional media outlets. This project truly empowered us to approach climate, sustainability, and ecological issues in our respective countries with renewed vigour and insight. EcoVisio’s commitment to this initiative extends beyond the camp, with future visits and interactions planned in Germany and Poland. 

Empowering communities through impactful initiatives (2021-2022)

My experience was just one of the  organisation’s many and diverse activities over the past couple of years, in which EcoVisio Moldova has cemented its position as a driving force in sustainable development, forging a path towards a greener and more inclusive future for the country. The organisation’s dedication to community empowerment and environmental awareness has translated into a series of remarkable achievements. In 2021, the launch of a new EcoVisio website and the successful rebranding of the EcoVillage marked a fresh start, accompanied by the unveiling of the online multi-vendor market, This platform showcased local, social, and ecological products, fostering a connection between conscientious consumers and over 100 active local producers and service providers.

EcoVisio’s outreach extended to advocacy and education as well. The organisation orchestrated two national campaigns on waste management and ecological households, sensitising citizens to responsible waste practices. The creation of an inclusivity and accessibility project highlighted their commitment to a diverse society. In collaboration with partners, EcoVisio’s efforts culminated in the realisation of a comprehensive waste management system in Râșcova village, setting a sustainable example for others. The organisation’s growing influence was underscored by their stewardship of the Platform for Development of Social Entrepreneurship, which now boasts 27 active members and is engaging with policy matters such as state budgets. Through seminars, exhibitions, and pedagogical initiatives like activEco, EcoVisio reached over 7,000 participants, making education a cornerstone of their impact.

The years 2021 and 2022 have marked EcoVisio Moldova’s transformation from a vision to tangible actions that have rippled through communities and policy spheres. Through strategic planning and cross-departmental engagement, the organisation underwent a profound evolution. The revision of their mission, vision, and values reflected their growth and commitment to driving change from the ground up. This commitment materialised through the establishment of 25 new youth clubs in Moldovan communities, fostering a generation of changemakers who championed environmental awareness, gender equality, and social issues.

EcoVisio’s impact was felt beyond their direct initiatives. The launch of the Social Entrepreneurs HUB provided a fertile ground for innovative ideas that aligned profit with purpose, while the Secretariat of the Platform for Development of Social Entrepreneurship enabled impactful advocacy. The organisation’s initiatives extended to historical preservation, as they launched the TransHistory AudioWalk audio guide on Jewish history in Chișinău, demonstrating a nuanced approach to cultural heritage. The expansion of youth clubs and the engagement of vulnerable families through the YES Programme underlined their commitment to inclusivity and community-driven development. With opening doors to 40 more youth clubs and events that attracted thousands, EcoVisio demonstrated an ever-growing influence, illustrating the potential of grassroots efforts in spearheading societal transformation.

EU-funded EcoVisio projects: catalysing sustainable development in Moldova

Many of these projects are funded by the European Union, a testament to the EU’s commitment to supporting Moldova in its sustainable development endeavours. The EU’s financial backing plays a pivotal role in driving positive change in Moldova, especially in the context of environmental and social initiatives. With the EU’s support, EcoVisio and similar organisations can continue to pioneer transformative projects, nurturing a greener, more resilient, and socially inclusive Moldova. This partnership showcases the significance of international collaboration in advancing sustainable practices, ensuring a brighter and more sustainable future for the nation and the wider world.

Photo by Agnieszka Zielińska

In a world where the consequences of environmental degradation are becoming increasingly evident, EcoVisio Moldova’s unwavering commitment to sustainability is a testament to the power of grassroots initiatives. By promoting collaboration, education, and innovative solutions, EcoVisio is proving that transformative change is possible, even on a local scale. As Moldova strives for a greener and more equitable future, EcoVisio stands as an inspiring model of leadership and positive action.

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