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“Micro wetlands: Fountains of Life for Biodiversity and Human Wellbeing“

Jan. 16, 2023
Description: Building public fountains - cheshme  is an ancient tradition in the Balkans. Such cheshme in rural and forest areas are important for people, livestock and biodiversity. They build a kind of network of habitats, key for protected species.
In recent years, however, many cheshme, especially outside the populated areas in our country, have been left without maintenance. At the same time, due to climate change, droughts are becoming more frequent in many places. This makes the cheshme and the temporary micro-wetlands that form near them even more valuable for biodiversity and for grazing domestic animals. The current project focuses on these problems in the mountain of Sakar and more specifically on the territory of Topolovgrad Municipality.
Partners: Municipality of Topolovgrad
Funding: The project is implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union through the BESTbelt project, part of the European initiative
European Green Belt
Duration: 1.01.2023 – 30.06.2024
BBF project team: Kamen Bakardjiev, Rosen Vasilev (botanist), Dr. Emilia Vacheva (herpetologist, National Natural History Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences), Iva Georgieva
Project objective: Improving the quality of habitats for indicator species of micro-wetlands; increasing environmental benefits for local communities from restored fountains; strengthening local capacity to maintain micro-wetlands and their potential for reproduction; raising awareness among local communities about the importance of micro-wetlands for biodiversity and community well-being.

Project activities:
- Assessment of the technical condition of 12 fountains and micro-wetlands 
- Rehabilitation of 3 fountains with their catchments, troughs and streams, as well as 1 micro-wetland.
- Conducting research on the customs that accompanied the construction of public fountains in the area in the past.
- Creating a guide for best practices for building and maintaining public water fountains for people and biodiversity.
- Raising local community awareness of the importance of micro-wetlands and community fountains in a drying climate.
- Training of 5 local volunteers to be "fountain guardians".