4 Bulgaria has a long stretch of the globally important lower Danube /471 km./
5 Structure of the Presentation BackgroundMain aims and activities of the LDGC projectImpact and benefits from the LDGC project for the region
6 THE BACKGROUND1991: Establishment of first contacts with WWF-Auen Institut in Rastatt /Germany/ and the involvement of Bulgaria in the Green Danube Project: Implementation of the Green Danube Project for protection and restoration of floodplain forests /WWF-Auen-Institut in Rastatt, Germany, and the Committee on Forests of the Republic of Bulgaria/April - May 1999: Expert level meeting in Tulcea. Representatives of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Moldova discussed the basic concept for designation of LDGC.The Danube Pollution Reduction Programme issued a report, prepared by WWF DCPO and the WWF-Germany Auen Institut: Evaluation of Wetlands and Floodplain Areas in the Danube River Basin. The report identified priority wetlands for restoration.: First procedures for designation of new protected areas along Danube islands and the floodplains on the Danube bank.June 2000: Summit in Bucharest, LDGC agreement signed between the ministers of environment of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Moldova
7 LDGC – Major Goals I Under the LDGC agreement from the Summit in Bucharest, June 2000 to take concerted action to create a Lower Danube Green Corridor that will expand the cooperation and coordination between Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Ukrainethe countries will establish the Lower Danube Green Corridor composed of a minimum commitment of ha of existing protected areas, ha of proposed new protected areas, and ha areas proposed to be restored to natural floodplaineach country will prepare an action plan that designate additional areas of floodplain that will be protected and restored.to take all suitable measures to ensure the protection of the Lower Danube Green Corridor wetlands and floodplain habitatorganize a regular exchange of information in order to achieve effective protection of the Lower Danube Green Corridor
8 LDGC – Major Goals II Under the LDGC agreement from the Summit in Bucharest, June 2000 to recognize the crucial role of environmental Non-Governmental Organisations in the expression of public interests and ideas in a democratic framework and to offer citizens and environmental NGOs the opportunity to play an active role in decision making processes.To seek partners locally and nationally as well as internationally and Governments in order to co-operate and assist in the creation and maintenance of a Lower Danube Green CorridorTo take efforts to develop economic instruments which contribute to the reduction of the costs from pollution polluter pays principle) and to promote sustainable development and ecological imperatives in sectorial policies and in mobilizing national funds for environment and other ways for private and public financing.To present the Lower Danube Green Corridor as a Gift to the Earth as part of the WWF Living Planet Campaign which is aimed to secure the conservation of the world’s most important biological resources and ecosystems into the next millennium.
9 Major steps for implementation of LDGC in Bulgaria Strategy for the protection and restoration of floodplain forests on the Bulgarian Danube islands – 2001 has been prepared and adopted /75 Bulgarian islands with total area amounting to ha/Action Plan for the implementation of the LDGC in Bulgaria –Major Projects and Initiatives
10 THE STRATEGYStrategic framework for the sustainable management of the Bulgarian Danube islands over a period of 30 yearsBased on inter-institutional cooperationDefines integrated management goals for biodiversity conservation, socio-economic development and environmental improvementConservation of existing natural floodplain forest communities on the Danube islandsIncreasing of the area of floodplain forests of native species on the Danube islandsProtection and restoration of habitats of rare, threatened and economically important species, including fish spawning sitesExtension and strengthening of the protected areas network on the Danube islandsRaising of public and institutional awareness and support
11 Restoration of Wetlands and Floodplain Habitats THE ACTION PLAN Development and implementation of management plans for priority protected areasSrebarna Nature Reserve -396 ha ( )Roussenski Lom Nature Park ha ( )Persina Nature Park ha ( )Kalimok -Brashlain Protected Site ha ( )Restoration of Wetlands and Floodplain HabitatsKalimok Wetlands – 2,000 ha (2006)Persina Wetlands – 800 ha (2006)Danube islands’ floodplain forests – 300 ha ( )
12 THE ACTION PLAN 2003 - 2008 Institutional Capacity Building Establishment of Persina NP Directorate( )Development and implementation of a management model for Kalimok Site( )Training and equipment for Protected Areas management staff( )Public Awareness RaisingDevelopment and implementation of a Communications Strategy for the LDGC ( )Publishing of promotion materialsEstablishment of Stakeholder Panels at Sites of Conservation ImportanceTravelling exhibition in the Danube municipalities ( )
13 Major Projects and Initiatives I GEF/World Bank wetland restoration and pollution reduction project(covering major part of the activities in the action plan; total project cost – 13,8 million USD)PROJECT COMPONENTSWetland Restoration, the most innovative activity, with high replication value, at two proposed sites: Kalimok Marshes and the Belene complex.Water Quality Monitoring up- and downstream from the demonstration sites to determine the improvement achieved relative to expectations. Anticipated biodiversity improvements will also be monitored.
14 Major Projects and Initiatives II GEF/World Bank wetland restoration and pollution reduction project- Activities to Ensure Long -Term Sustainability, including strategies for sustainable use of the wetlands: harvesting of bio-mass; revitalization of fisheries; tourism based on the natural attractions;- Public Awareness campaigns to enhance the understanding of the public of the importance of wetlands for Bulgaria’s natural heritage and for a variety of other environmental services vital to Bulgaria’s wealth.- Training for staff at the national and local levels in wetland restoration and management.
15 Major Projects and Initiatives III Green borders Project under the EU LIFE Program - Cross-border project between Bulgaria, Romania and WWF for Protection of the habitats of endangered species of international importance such as: Pelecanus crispus, Pygmy Cormorant /Phalacrocorax pygmeus/ and Ferruginous Duck / Aythya nyroca /. TimetableProtection and restoration of natural river flows in Bulgaria with the support of MAVA Switzerrland, DOEN Holland, DBU Germany and WWF. The project aims to recover the old river beds and the natural river dynamics. TimetableProtection and restoration of riparian wetlands in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. The projects aims to make model recovery of the wetland zones in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine with the support DOEN Holland, WWF Germany and Holland.Promoting sustainable financing schemes and payments for ecosystem services in the Danube Basin. The project aims to demonstrate the contribution of payments for ecosystem services in sustainable management of natural resources and nature conservation. Timetable Project partners- WWF Danube-Carpathian program and the support of UNEP GEF and European Commission.
16 Major Projects and Initiatives IV Making the network reality: NATURA 2000 and Lower Danube Green Corridor. The project contributes to implementation of the European Union (EU) Habitats and Wild Birds Directives in Romania and Bulgaria by demonstrating participatory management of Natura 2000 sites and related opportunities for socio-economic development of local stakeholders, and feeding this experience into national-level policy making and programming, especially for the mid-term evaluation of rural development, fisheries and the EU Structural and Cohesion Funds. Lessons learned from the project are shared with relevant authorities and stakeholders at national level and across the LDGC, including areas of Moldova and Ukraine.On the way to new banks and nature conservation in the Lower Danube in Romania and Bulgaria. The projects aims at protecting floodplains areas, restoration of damaged areas, expanding the protected area network, sustainable use of natural resources. Timetable Project partners: Bulgaria, Romania and WWF Germany.
17 Final Conclusions and Results I Establishment of Strategy and Action Plan for the Protection and Restoration of Floodplain Forests on the Bulgarian Danube Islands. Under the GEF/World Bank Project wetlands and important habitats have been restored within the territory of Persina Nature Park and Kalimok - Brashlian Protected Area with a total area amounting to ha.Extension and strengthening of the protected areas network on the Danube islands.As an EU member state Bulgaria develops a national ecological network of floodplain areas, a part of the European ecological network NATURA protected areas along the river Danube /18 under the Birds Directive and 29 under the Habitats Directive/. The total protected area under NATURA 2000 amounts to 224, 140 ha.9 new protected areas have been designated along the Danube with a total area amounting to ha.
18 Final Conclusions and Results II Development and implementation of management plans of Srebarna Nature Reserve, Persina Nature Park, Protected Area Kalimok Brushlen, Rusenski Lom Nature Park.Enhancement of eco-culture and general awareness towards the significance of the eco-systems, biodiversity conservation, green economy and implementation of good practices in agriculture.Benefits:Global level - reduced transboundary pollution; biodiversity improvement; demonstration value.Regional level - cross-border cooperation; realization of different projects promoting the development of eco- and rural tourism / Bulgarian-Romanian Association of Ecotourism has been established/.Two Euroregions between Bulgaria and Romania have been established - Lower Danube /2001/ and Ruse-Giurgiu 21and third Euroregion Danube 21 Millennium /2002/ between Bulgaria, Romania and SerbiaLocal level - reduced nutrient pollution;improved fish resource;small business related to bio-mass processing; fish processing; eco-tourism.
19 Final Conclusions and Results III Bulgaria has largely fulfilled its obligations under the Agreement LDGC outturn in the joint efforts of the governmental institutions and local authorities, non-governmental organizations, cross-border cooperation and the support of the international institutions and organizations
20 Our CommitmentThe Danube strategy – new window for opportunities for conservation and sustainable development of the natural recourses in the lower Danube!