located IN eastern Europe, the Republic of Moldova, formerly a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, has a land area of 13,067 sq. mi. (33,843 sq. km.), with a population of 3,794,000 (2006 est.), and a population density of 339 people per sq. mi. (111 people per sq. km.). Approximately 46.7 percent of the population lives in urban areas. Fifty-three percent of the land is arable, a further 13 percent is used as meadows and pasture, and 8 percent is forested.

In 1990, Moldova had a per capita carbon dioxide rate of emission of 4.8 metric tons, which fell steadily to 1.7 metric tons in 2003. Because of the cold winter climate in Moldova and its heavy industry, elec tricity and heat production accounts for 44 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, other energy industries account for 12 percent, another 12 percent is from manufacturing, and 8 percent from transportation. In terms of the source of emissions, 68 percent come from gaseous fuels, 10 percent from solid fuels, and 22 percent from liquid fuels—the latter from heavy use of automobiles.

Moldova has seen a rise in temperatures that has resulted in some water shortages, and heat waves such as those in the summers of 2006 and 2007 that badly affected Moldova and its southern neighbor Romania. This has added to the demand on water supplies, and a gradual reduction of available, arable land. Further complications are caused by the formation of Transdniestra, a breakaway part of Moldova, where there are even more problems enforcing environmental controls.

The Moldovan government took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and ratified the Vienna Convention in 1996. The government has not signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

SEE ALSO: Agriculture; Global Warming; Romania.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Steve Kokker and Cathryn Kemp, Romania & Moldova (Lonely Planet, 2004); Andrew Sewell, "The Country that Doesn't Exist," Geographical (v.77/3, 2005); World Resources Institute, "Moldova—Climate and Atmosphere," (cited October 2007).

Robin S. Corfield Independent Scholar

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