Romania country profile - SDGs and the environment

Briefing Published 02 Dec 2020 Last modified 02 Dec 2020
Even though we are still facing many of the traditional water-supply challenges, sewerage and water-quality protection, new challenges such as the adaptation to climate change, rising food and energy prices, and obsolete and insufficient infrastructure are now increasing, which also increases the complexity and financial burden of water management.

Romania has also undertaken other actions to improve water quality and access to water-supply infrastructure. Its environmental priorities centre on the transition from biomass to renewable energy for household heating (SDG 7); the management of natural protected areas; and sustainable forest management and forest ecosystems (SDG 15) (Ministry of Environment of Romania, 2018). 

Romania prioritises SDGs 6, 7, 11 and 12 with an environmental dimension.

Romania, as the largest country in the Danube basin, also contributes to developing and updating the Danube River Basin Management Plan. The purpose is to enhance the quality of life and avoid environmental decline by using smart technologies to ensure the sustainable development of communities. Romania focuses its attention on reducing the discharge of nutrient loads into the Danube basin and the Black Sea (SDG 14)(Petcu, 2017). The country has also explored synergies between the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement (SDG 13) and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (Gavrilescu, 2017). 

In Romania, oversight of sustainable development is shared between two entities. The first is the Department for Sustainable Development, under the prime minister’s office, which was created in April 2017 and has been assigned primary responsibility for implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The second is the Interministerial Committee for the Coordination of the Integration of Environmental Protection into Sectoral Policies and Strategies (Interministerial Committee), which has managed sustainable development initiatives in Romania, led by the Minister of Environment (Ministry of Environment of Romania, 2018).

In November 2008, Romania adopted its National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), ‘Horizon 2013-2020-2030’. The country is currently in the process of mapping the SDGs and determining how best to achieve synergies for appropriate SDG action (Ministry of Environment, 2018). The NSDS proposes to establish a Coalition for Sustainable Development, which would act as an NGO and advocate for the SDGs (Ministry of Environment, 2018).

Romania submitted a VNR to the UN in 2018.

The Department for Sustainable Development is collaborating closely with the National Institute of Statistics to monitor Romania’s progress on the SDGs. Romania is currently updating its sustainable development indicator set, as part of both the revised NSDS and the forthcoming National Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) (Ministry of Environment of Romania, 2018).

Romania recognises the SDG action should respond directly to citizens’ needs at the local level. Local communities’ needs will be addressed by formulating local and national development strategies (Dulceata, 2017). In 2017 and 2018, Romania organised a series of conferences and seminars to raise awareness of the SDGs and promote participation. Some events were specifically designed to include civil society organisations. Approximately 33 communities have completed Local Sustainable Development Strategies (Ministry of Environment of Romania, 2018).


Dulceata, T., 2017, Statement by Mr. Teodor Dulceata, Secretary General, Ministry of Environment of Romania –Session 15 – Leveraging interlinkages for effective implementation of SDGs, Romania, accessed 17 November 2017.

Gavrilescu, G. L., 2017, Statement by Ms. Gratiela-Leocadia Gavrilescu Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Environment of Romania, High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, High Level Segment, Romania, accessed 17 November 2017.

Ministry of Environment, 2018,Transformation Towards a Sustainable and Resilient Romania, Romania`s Voluntary National Review 2018, Ministry of Environment, Bucharest, Romania.

Petcu, A., 2017, Statement by Ms. Adriana PETCU, Minister, Ministry of Waters and Forests of Romania, United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, Romania, accessed 17 November 2017.


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.


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