A coherent European ecological network of special areas of conservation, accordingDirective92/43/ÅÈÎ/shall be set up under the title Natura 2000. This network, composed of sites hosting the natural habitat types of Community interest and habitats of the species of Community interest, shall enable the natural habitat types and the species' habitats concerned to be maintained or, where appropriate, restored at a favourable conservation status in their natural range. The Natura 2000 network shall include the special protection areas classified by the Member States pursuant to Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds.
Member States shall endeavour, where they consider it necessary, in their land-use planning and development policies and, in particular, with a view to improving the ecological coherence of the Natura 2000 network, to encourage the management of features of the landscape which because of their linear or continuous structure or their function as stepping stones are of major importance for wild fauna and flora.
NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria
Establishing NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria is one of the main commitments of the country in regard to European Union accession.
Bulgaria is expected to join the European Union in January 2007. As an EU member state Bulgaria must comply with all relevant European Union legislation and directives, including the EU Directive 92/43 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora and the EU Directive 79/409 on the conservation of wild birds.
Directive 92/43 (Habitats) and the EU Directive 79/409 (Birds) require that on the date of accession 31st December 2006, Bulgaria must be ready to submit to the European Commission a list of Bulgarian sites to be included in the European Union NATURA 2000 Network of sites assigned for protection of species and habitats listed in the annexes of the directives. The submission to the European Commission must contain completed standard NATURA 2000 data form for each of the proposed sites as well as a map in scale at least 1:100,000, as a minimum showing the external boundaries of each proposed site.
1st October 2002 the DANCEE supported Project "Conservation of Species and Habitats in Bulgaria: EU-Approximation" was initiated to support the National Nature Protection Services under MoEW in establishing the Bulgarian NATURA 2000 network of protected areas.Major steps in preparing Bulgaria for NATURA 2000 have thus been taken under the DANCEE Project.