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Around Bulgarian Protected Areas Study Tour (November 2004)

Client: The Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Recourses Management Project in Turkey in collaboration with the World Bank and financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The goal of the tour was to establish long term cooperation between Bulgarian and Turkish protected areas management specialists. Our team developed the program and designed and organized the Study Tour in close cooperation with the NNPS of the MOEW and the National Forestry Board of the MAF. Participants were experts from the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry and representatives of the local community around the Nature Park in the area of Ineada, North Turkey.

The program of the Study Tour covered:
Bulgarian environmental legislation;
Legal frameworks of the protected areas (PA categories; management planning and approval process; stakeholders' involvement; financial mechanisms for protected areas management, including small grants schemes; public awareness activities in support of management planning and implementation);
National biodiversity monitoring systems;
Sustainable economic growth activities such as ecotourism and use of natural resources.

The group visited: The Rila and Central Balkan National Parks Directorates, Vitosha, Strandja and Rila Monastery Nature Parks, the Information Centre managed by the Central Balkan-Kalofer Ecotourism Association, and Poda Visitors' Center. Meetings and discussions were held with representatives of national and regional nature protection institutions as well as local communities and NGOs.