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Biodivervity in Bulgaria :: NATURA 2000

NATURA 2000 is an ecological network of protected areas. It is an instrument of the European Community for conservation of habitats and species of Community interest. The establishment of Natura 2000 is EU member state responsibility under the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive.

The contribution of NATURA 2000 to the overall process of biological diversity conservation consists in preventing deterioration, fragmentation and destruction of natural and semi-natural habitats as well as of habitats of rare and endangered species. The existence of the ecological network guarantees free geographic dispersal, migration and genetic exchange of wild species.

Through NATURA 2000 the European Union participates in the establishment of EMERALD Ecological Network under the Bern Convention which spreads over the whole Europe and some states in South Africa.

Information system for protected areas from the ecological network

About NATURA 2000

The European Community as a contracting party to Bern Convention and in order to keep its responsibilities to the Convention accepted in 1992 the Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, known as Habitats Directive. This directive along with the Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds, known as Birds Directive, set the legal requirements for the establishment of the European Ecological Network NATURA 2000. The aim of the network is conservation of wild species and habitats of Community importance. NATURA 2000 Network includes two types of protected territories:

1/ Territories which are designated directly by the member states under the Birds Directive (so called Special Protection Areas) and

2/ Territories which are proposed by the member states and then subjected to a Community selection procedure under Habitats Directive (so called Special Areas of Conservation).

The management of NATURA 2000 sites is subject of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive. Management activities aim at preventing the “deterioration of natural habitats and the habitats of species as well as disturbance of the species for which the areas

have been designated, in so far as such disturbance could be significant

in relation to the objectives of Habitats Directive".

The designation of Natura 2000 sites does not change the land ownership and does not limit the activities if these are environmentally sustainable and do not affect the integrity of the area or its habitats, or the objectives of species conservation. It is aimed at sustainable site management which guarantees the conservation functions of the territories and provides in the mean time benefits for the local population.

Information system for protected areas from the ecological network

NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria

Establishing NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria is one of the main commitments of the country in regard to European Union accession. The preparation process for NATURA 2000 includes the following arrangements which the country should undertake till the date of accession:

1/ Transposition of EU legislative requirements into the national legislation especially concerning the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive. This process results in the national Biological Diversity Act adopted in 2002. The law makes provision for establishment of a national ecological network which includes protected areas, protected zones, and buffer zones surrounding protected areas. Protected areas are designated to provide the conservation of types of natural habitats and habitats of species, listed in the appendices of the law.

2/ Nomination of a comprehensive national list of proposed Sites of Community Importance (pSCIs) according to Annex III of the Habitats Directive and submission of all available data to the European Commission;

3/ Designation of Special Protection Areas (this includes the countries giving all SPAs an appropriate legal protection status) and submission of all available data to the European Commission;

(Source: http://natura2000.moew.government.bg/)

The files below provide the text of Bulgarian Biodiversity Act and the list of species added to the Appendices of Directive 79/409 and Directive 92/43.

Projects and activities related to NATURA 2000 establishment in Bulgaria

The activities of NATURA 2000 establishment process in Bulgaria are mainly in two aspects:

1/ Establishment of effective legal bases making provisions for a national ecological network as part of NATURA 2000;

2/ Development and application of a common systematized approach for gathering, analyzing and presenting the information about territories according to existing standards.

The following resources provide information about the activities in Bulgaria that are taking place towards establishing NATURA 2000:

National Nature Protection Service- MoEW: NATURA 2000

Project “Preparation of the Bulgarian NATURA 2000 Network of Protected Zones"

Green Balkans NGO: Protected Areas and NATURA 2000

“NATURA 2000. Development of the national ecological network": Green Balkans report (as PDF file)

Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB)

Guide for NATURA 2000: source BSPB

Strategy for establishment of NATURA 2000 in Bulgaria : source BSPB

Mechanism for selection of Special Protected Areas in Bulgaria: source BSPB

List of proposals for designation of sites as Special Protected Areas (SPA): source BSPB

 Map, elaborated by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, of the areas for bird protection according to NATURA 2000

“Bulgarian expert analysis on the country’s participation in the European Ecological Network NATURA 2000 establishment": Danube-Carpathian Programme-WWF report; complete text (as PDF file)

GEF Rhodope Project: joint project of UNDP Bulgaria and Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, aimed at conservation of globally significant biodiversity in Rhodope mountains.

Frequently asked questions about NATURA 2000: Delegation of the European Commission to Bulgaria

These activities are described in details in the article.

Identification, Protection and Management of Landscapes based on Natura 2000

“Identification, Protection and Management of Landscapes based on Natura 2000" Workshop took place in November 2004. It was organized by the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water with the support of the Technical Assistance Information Exchange Unit of the European Commission. Web site with information about the workshop, the conclusions and recommendations and files with the presented talks is available at: {C}{C} http://chm.moew.government.bg/nnps/upload/Checkpoint.html 


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