Romania - Partnership with Coca-Cola in Water Management


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Making every drop clean

Romania made international headlines when cyanide-tainted water poured into the Tisza and Danube rivers in 2000, causing widespread damage in three countries. While that disaster has faded from public view, the practice of dumping other types of waste into rivers continues to this day.

"The general problem in Romania is that people think rivers are free resources", said Roxana Suciu, head of the Environment and Energy Section of UNDP Romania. "What is produced in cities and towns is generally just thrown into rivers, be it plastic or domestic waste, saw dust, agricultural or industrial residues".

That problem of river pollution motivated global beverage maker Coca-Cola to team up with UNDP Romania and the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to help communities find more environmentally friendly alternatives for their waste in order to protect water resources.

Romanian non-governmental organizations were invited in June 2006 to submit funding proposals for projects to promote better use of water resources. So far, two projects have been selected for funding.

One project in the village of Izbiceni in southern Romania aims to decrease the volume of artificial waste products such as fertilizers generated from agriculture that are dumped into the Danube River. The project teaches local inhabitants how to build landfills that can be used to collect farm waste for use as natural fertilizers, thus reducing the need for chemicals.

The second project will focus on the Mara River, which feeds into the Tisa, a major river intersecting five countries in Central Europe. Local inhabitants in the village of Breb will work to restore natural attributes such as waterfalls to improve the local fish population and boost biodiversity.

"We consider Coke to be not just a donor but a partner", said Suciu, explaining that the global beverage company wanted to play an active role at all stages of the project cycle - from selection to implementation.


Partnership with Coca-Cola in Water Management

Focus Areas

Geographic Scope





Background and Significance

The Experience: Challenges and Solutions

Results and Impact

The Coca Cola Company accepted to co-finance Romanian SGP Programme in the area of water management. This should be seen as UNDP/Private sector partnership to solve Romania’s water management issues.

Lessons for Replication

Testimonies and Stakeholder Perceptions

Timeframe & Status


See also

Workspace - UNDP Partnership with Coca-Cola

Water Knowledge Fair 2006

External Resources


 Romania Coca Cola.doc

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