30 years of LIFE program in Bulgaria will be celebrated by the North East State Enterprise (NESE) team during Forest Week. The huge banner of 200 by 300 centimeters made by the enterprise provides information about what has been done under the program in our country, as well as about the two major LIFE projects on which the NESE team is currently working, one of which is “Conservation measures for the Lesser Spotted Eagle and its habitats in Bulgaria”.
Bulgarian forests have undergone significant changes from the second half of the 20th century until now. From the 1960s to now, the area of forest territories has increased by over 6 million acres, and the stock in the forests has increased by nearly 500 million m3. In the last two decades, more and more attention has been paid to the sustainable management and protection of forests. Traditional afforestation is in many cases replaced by nature-friendly methods for natural regeneration of forests with local species.
European funds and financial instruments have made a significant contribution to supporting the sustainable management of forests from the beginning of the century to present days, and numerous activities in the forests have been implemented. The Bulgarian forest services has so far completed more than 150 projects under the Rural Development Program, Operational Program “Environment”, Operational Program “Administrative Capacity”, PHARE program, cross-border and inter-regional programs, etc.
Successfully implemented projects in the forestry sector under the LIFE program of the European Union have also had a positive impact in the last ten years. These projects are a clear example of successful cooperation between the state forest administration, the structures managing forest territories and non-governmental environmental organizations.