photo: I. Lazarova

Development of a National Action Plan for the Lesser Spotted Eagle

The Lesser Spotted Eagle is a species of high conservation concern in Europe; nonetheless, in Bulgaria there is no National Action Plan for its active conservation at present. So far all actions in this direction have been sporadic and inconsistent. An action plan will be developed in compliance with the requirements of the Bulgarian national legislation, as well as in accordance with the International Action Plan for the species. For the development of the action plan non-government organizations (NGOs) will combine efforts with state institutions represented by the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW), the Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MoAF), the Executive Forest Agency (EFA), the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (IBER) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS). 

Amendment of the acting Regulation for forest land use planning with the integration of the principles of biodiversity

The Regulation for forest inventory and forest land use planning is one of the regulations of the Bulgarian Forest Act. The project team works toward the amendment of the acting Regulation, and more specifically toward the inclusion of biodiversity components in the process of taking inventory of forests, together with the respective methodologies. The latter will include listing the quantity and quality of dead wood.

Another important step to be taken is the development of a budget assessment for the additional resources needed for the implementation of these methodologies during the inventory process of Bulgarian forests and the planning of their management.

Development and verification of forest-environmental measures and compensation payments for NATURA 2000 sites, associated with the target species and habitats, and their integration with the financial instruments of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2013

One of the most recent incentives for biodiversity-friendly forest management is the compensation for the loss of revenue as well as for the additional activities required to guarantee the conservation of species and habitats. On the European level the funds for such compensations are provided by the second pilar of the Common Agricultural Policy – the Rural Development Programme, which is also the main instrument for the member-states to improve biodiversity in the rural areas with the financial support of the EU.

We test solutions for favourable management of those forests which are important for the Lesser Spotted Eagle and for achieving long-term sustainability through the development and implementation of the measures ‘Forest-environmental and climate services and conservation of forests’ and ‘Payments for NATURA 2000 and the Water Framework Directive’ included in the next Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 in Bulgaria.

We participate in working groups organized by MoAF where the content of the measures is outlined and discussed – argumentation, objectives, activities which will be funded, admission criteria, obligations of beneficiaries, conditions for funding etc. We calculate the amount of the compensation payments to be realized under the two measures to forest owners or to the parties in charge of the management of these forests.

Pilot model of a consultation office for forest ecological services 

Three offices at different locations in the country will be equipped and furnished to provide consultation for owners and interested parties on issues related to the conservation of forests and their sustainable management.

We develop comprehensible information materials which will be distributed among potential beneficiaries. The means and methodologies for training will vary in accordance with the different groups of beneficiaries.

A model state forest-environmental consultations office will be developed through the launch of three offices: one in Sofia, one in the regional Forest Directorate in Kardzhali and one in Burgas. Training for the newly hired staff will be provided; regulations and the respective processes will be developed so that by the end of the project the unit is fully operational.