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National Conference "Capacity building and models for stakeholder participation in the management of Natura 2000 protected sites in Bulgaria"

16 December, 2015
National Conference "Capacity building and models for stakeholder participation in the management of Natura 2000 protected sites in Bulgaria"

The National Conference "Capacity building and models for stakeholder participation in the management of Natura 2000 protected sites in Bulgaria" was held on December 15, 2015, in the Central Military Club, Sofia. The event was organized within a project funded by the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme, which was implemented within the period of three years by Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe – branch Bulgaria.

The conference was opened by Boyko Malinov – Deputy Minister of the Environment and Water of Bulgaria, who pointed out that: "The Pan-European Ecological Network is the most important instrument for the conservation of nature. The establishment of a network of protected sites is an expression of the effort towards a long-term conservation of biodiversity. Republic of Bulgaria has a significant contribution - 34.4% of the territory of the country is included in the Natura 2000 network and is in third place among the member states."

The establishment of the network of protected Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria is almost completed. The public support is a crucial factor for the successful management of the protected sites. Therefore, the need of promotion of the benefits and the advantages of biodiversity conservation among stakeholders is of such importance. In this regard, Deputy Minister Malinov emphasized: "In order to meet these challenges, the Ministry of Environment and Water relies on the support and the proven good cooperation with NGOs, local authorities and businesses."

The National Conference continued with a presentation aimed at summarizing the results of the analysis of best practices in the management of protected sites in other European countries. The consultant of the project on the behalf of Switzerland, Dr. Pierre Galland introduced the participants into the essence, the importance and the principle of operation of the models for shared management of natural areas in the Swiss Confederation.

The second session of the conference included familiarizing the attendees with the results and the experience gathered from the meetings in the project regions Rhodopes, Western Stara Planina and Kocherinovo.

The opportunities for the financing of the management activities and the maintenance of the Natura 2000 protected sites through the Operational Programme Environment 2014-2020 and the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 were presented respectively by the Ministry of Environment and Water and by the State Fund Agriculture.

In this connection, the successful experience of other organizations regarding the implementation of projects under the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme was outlined as well. This included Miroslava Dikova from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, who summarized the best practices regarding the project “To link the Nature Conservation with the Sustainable Rural Development”, and Andrey Kovachev – representative of the Balkani Wildlife Society, who participated by presenting the project "Transparent Mountains".

The conference was closed with a moderated discussion during which the attendees were able to express and support with arguments their views and recommendations in terms of the possibilities, the scenarios and the next steps in the management of the protected sites of the Natura 2000 network with the participation of the stakeholders.

 

Final Report in terms of the the project "Capacity building and models for stakeholder participation in the management of Natura 2000 protected sites in Bulgaria":
NATURA 2000. Management. Funding. Use. Opportunities.

 

Presentations from the National Conference: