The ancient trees are guardians of the majestic Bulgarian forests. They have witnessed historical events while preserving folk traditions. Urban people find them to be a breath of fresh air and visual delight for the restless spirit.
There are only 2193 protected ancient trees in Bulgaria. A small number compared to the unprotected old trees threatened by construction, logging, or lack of care. Here are some examples from Sofia: Malinova Dolina neighborhood and boulevard Bulgaria.
HOW TO PROTECT AN ANCIENT TREE?
- For an ancient tree to be declared protected, the landowner needs to give their permission.
- The expert analysis comes next: type of species, age, circumference, height, GPS coordinates, characteristic features, tree condition.
- The final step is to define care and management measures and the land owner’s responsibilities.
- On this basis, the Minister of Environment and Waters issues an order declaring the tree protected under the Biodiversity Act.
- A group of ancient trees can be safeguarded by declaring a protected site or a natural monument under the Protected Areas Act.
Due to the expert and financial resources required to finalize the process, it takes time. Furthermore, the responsible institutions often lack both. In 2020, there aren’t any newly registered protected ancient trees. The previous year, only nine trees were declared protected.
The campaign aims to speed up the process so that in 2021 there are more ancient trees protected by the law. If we manage to propose to the Ministry of Environment and Waters 100 new trees to be declared protected, we will be delighted.
We are looking for partners and allies to support our initiative. We are already working together with our friends from Stenata and Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation. Furthermore, the Executive Forests Agency endorsed the campaign. Join us!
- Collect data on potential ancient trees in Bulgaria. Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Expert field visit to assess the tree’s condition.
- Verification of the landowner in the cadastre register. Communication with the landowner.
- Document preparation and submission before the relevant Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW).
- Participation in the RIEW Commission.
- Order by the Minister of Environment and Water.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
- Donate via Pay Pal, credit or debit card or Bank transfer;
- Send us information about ancient trees in your area;
- Spread information about the campaign.