Seminar entitled “NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria – goals, opportunities, and challenges” was held on October 30th, 2007 in Plovdiv. The event was organized by Green Balkans Federation of Nature Conservation NGOs and “Central Balkan” National Park Directorate. The seminar was attended by some 60 representatives of various organizations and associations of land and forest owners, including 15 forestry associations from the Western Rhodope region, sector organizations related to land and forest management, etc.
The purpose of the meeting was raising the awareness of this important target group of the purpose of NATURA 2000 and encouraging public participation in the establishment and management of the ecological network. Representatives of NGOs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Supply, and the Ministry of Environment and Waters were lecturers at the event. The information provided to the participants was focused on the legal arrangements and regulations of NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria, possible restrictions and management of protected areas, funding opportunities for activities within NATURA 2000 sites, forest certification, and development of management plans. Several publications being developed at the moment, as well as some examples of successful practices, were also presented to the audience.
The seminar was organized with the financial support of ЕUROPARC as a part of the networking initiative related to NATURA 2000, implemented by ЕUROPARC, EUROSITE, and ELO with the assistance of the European Commission. Anton Stanchev (“Central Balkan” National Park Directorate) and Elena Tilova (Green Balkans NGO) took part in the event as NATURA 2000 Ambassadors.