A team of Green Balkans visited more than 70 settlements in 23 municipalities in the Eastern Balkan Mountains, the Rhodopi Mountains and the Sakar Mountains within three five-day expeditions in the period 17.09-12.10.2007.
The expeditions were implemented within the public campaign on NATURA 2000, organized by the Association of Parks in Bulgaria. The territories of all settlements included in the expeditions fall entirely or partially within proposed NATURA 2000 sites.
The aim of the campaign was to dispel the fear and concerns of the ordinary people – farmers, land and forest owners, hunters and fishermen, explaining them the essence of the NATURA 2000 network in details, the eventual restrictions and management regimes.
In general, the meetings did not receive large attendance, as obviously NATURA 2000 does not bother or raise concerns among most of the people from the visited settlements. The local people truly appreciate the preserved natural surroundings and support all reasonable conservation initiatives that are in conformity with their local livelihood.