Legislation :: National legislation
The nature protection in Bulgaria has a long history. The first few legal acts – the ones on forests, on hunting and on fishing – including elements of conservation have been adopted in the first years of the 20th century.
The Act on Preservation of the Native Nature was enacted in 1936, and for many years it remained effective normative act, dealing with the protected areas. This law determined the categories of protected areas, the issues of their management and control, allowing at the same time, public participation into these processes. It also considered Management Plans for protected areas.
In 1960 The Decree for the Protection of the Native Nature, was adopted, which further elaborated the regimes of the different protected areas.
The first Act having clearer orientation to the requirements of the international legal norms has been the Nature Protection Act, adopted in 1967. It envisaged measures not only for the preservation, but also for the reasonable use of the natural resources.
In the beginning of the seventies, the interest towards wild nature increased across the world and in Bulgaria. In 1976 The Committee for Preservation of the Environment and the Scientific Coordination Center for Preservation of the Environment with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences were established. Bulgaria joined a number of international conventions and programmes – the Ramsar Convention on the Wetlands, The World Heritage Convention, The Convention on the International Trade in Threatened Species of the Wild Flora and Fauna, The Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO.
In 1992 The Environmental Protection Act, which sets up the contemporary framework of the state policy and management was approved. It also opened wide options for the elaboration of specialized laws. In the beginning of the nineties, the Ministry of Environment was established and Bulgaria has signed the Bern Convention and the Convention on the Biological Diversity.
The protected areas Act was adopted in 1998 and this is the first specialized nature conservation act. It introduces contemporary, adequate to the international norms, system of protected areas categories and defines the interactions between the institutions, responsible for their management. This law has also imposed the elaboration of management plans, determining the concrete regimes for each protected area.
Another specialized nature conservation law is the Biological Diversity Act, adopted in 2002. It settles the relations between the State, the municipalities, the juridical and physical persons, in terms of the protection and the sustainable use of the biological diversity in Bulgaria. The law regulates the protection of habitats, of species of plants and animals and their biotopes, the elaboration of action plans, as well as the hunting, the gathering and the trade in them. The Act on the Biological Diversity introduces in the national practice the requirements of the Habitats and the Birds Directives, focused on preservation of habitats types and biotopes of plant and animal species. The Act on the Biological Diversity envisages the establishment of National Ecological Network, consisting of three elements – protected zones, protected areas and buffer zones. The National Ecological Network shall include with priority the already identified CORINE sites, Ramsar sites and Important Bird Areas.
Bulgarian Biodiversity Platform