Founded in 2003, the Association of Parks in Bulgaria’s (APB) main goal is to protect and increase the territory of protected areas and sites in Bulgaria.
The Association supports local communities in the conservation and protection of their beloved rivers and forests, as well as the development of environmentally friendly business. We keep the Bulgarian environmental conservation archives on a specially designed website (available only in Bulgarian). Education of young professionals is another activity we are engaged with.
Among our significant achievements is the designation of new protected areas, Central Balkan and Uzunbudzhak biosphere reserves, the legal protection of 109 000 ha of old-growth forests from logging, the numerous campaigns for saving Pirin, Strandzha and Vitosha nature and national parks from constructions. We’ve received two European Natura 2000 awards in partnership with other organisations.
The Association engages in activities for environmental laws and regulations improvement and functions as a watch dog for potential threats to nature in the process of legislation changes. If you ever participated in civil actions against changes in the acts on forests, protected areas, hunting, biodiversity, access to justice, you have already supported us!
After 2021, the Association prioritize its work on increasing the protected area territories and the number of protected ancient tree in Bulgaria. Our goal is to designate at least 1000 ha as new protected areas in 2022.
Protected area designation explained
The Act on protected areas determines the procedure for designation of new protected areas in Bulgaria. The protected area categories are as follows: strict nature reserve, national park, natural monument, managed nature reserve, nature park, protected site. In 2019 the number of protected areas in Bulgaria is 1017 covering a total of 584 921.8 ha or 5.27% of the country’s territory.For comparison the average percentage of protected territories in the EU is 18%.
The protected areas register of the Executive Environmental Agency contains more specific information on the topic.
- Data collection about potential protected areas all around Bulgaria. You can send us your proposals to email@example.com.
- Expert field visit to assess the potential of the territory, the biodiversity and landscape characteristics.
- Meetings and conversations with land, forests and water territories owners with the purpose of securing their support for the new protected area designation.
- Mapping the territory and preparing the required submission documents: territory borders, biodiversity list, landscape description, proposal for suitable management regime.
- Participation in expert commission organized by the Ministry of Environment and Waters.
The process takes time because it requires expert and financial resources which we don’t have. That’s why we count on your support to protect the Bulgarian nature.
How can you help?
- Donate via Pay Pal, credit or debit card or Bank transfer;
- Send us information about potential protected areas in your area to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Spread information about the campaign.