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Protected Areas and Natura 2000

Bulgaria is one of the richest countries in Europe in terms of biodiversity. However, most of the Natura 2000 protected areas have not yet been declared, and the rest remain protected only "on paper" without developed management plans and established bodies for their management.
Protected areas in Bulgaria, which are only 5% of the country's territory, are also constantly threatened by construction and destruction. In order to preserve the biodiversity in our country, we are developing a system of protected areas such as:
  • we create advisory councils for the management of protected areas with the participation of the society
  • we are preparing documentation for declaring new protected areas
  • we participate in the process of improving the legislation
  • we support capacity building of responsible institutions and organizations
Our achievements
  • Independently and in partnership with other conservation NGOs, we have developed 11 action plans for endangered species of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), as well as 12 Management Plans for various categories of protected areas, 6 of which have already been adopted and applied.
  • The BBF has prepared documentation for declaring 3 Nature Parks, 11 protected areas, and 3 new Ramsar sites.
  • As part of the Coalition "For the Nature in Bulgaria", we participated in campaigns to save Strandzha Nature Park, against the illegal construction of Pirin National Park, Rila National Park, Vitosha Nature Park, Irakli, Kara Dere, Kamchiyski sands and others. We monitor changes in environmental legislation and alert the media and society if they threaten biodiversity.
  • We initiate Annual campaigns to promote biodiversity in Bulgaria under the title "A Year of ...", we publish and distribute information materials: books, brochures, CDs, guides. We monitor public attitudes towards biodiversity by conducting sociological surveys. For 25 years we have organized a lecture course on "Biodiversity Conservation" at the Faculty of Biology of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". 
  • Our nature protection activities were concentrated in several key regions - Pirin, Dobrudja, Ropotamo, Central Balkans, Burgas wetlands, Strandzha, Eastern Rhodopes, Osogovo and Belasitsa. And some of them are still in the scope of BBF. 
Strandzha is one of the most interesting and richly biodiverse regions in Bulgaria and Europe. Its territory is a natural transition between the vegetation, flora and fauna of Europe and Asia. 90 types of natural habitats have been established in Strandzha, of which 62 are on land and 28 are marine. Forests in "Strandja" Nature Park occupy 80% of the territory. "Strandja" Nature Park is the largest protected area in Bulgaria and is an example of successful coexistence of man and nature, of a preserved environment, preserved traditions and cultural and historical monuments.
Belasitsa Nature Park
Belasitsa is located at a crossroads, divided between three countries (Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece). It contains centuries-old forests, an incredible mixture of mountain animal species characteristic of temperate latitudes with the specific Mediterranean fauna – a combination unique to this mountain. The most characteristic of Belasitsa are the chestnut forests, which have the largest deposits here in our country.