Key topics for reaching the EU 2020 Biodiversity Target in Bulgaria
- Impact of EU-subsidies A very harmful process caused by EU-subsidies is going on in Bulgaria. In order to get direct payments a lot of farmers plough valuable pastures, including grassland in Natura 2000 sites, to turn them into agricultural land. BSPB’s report shows that some sites like Besaparski hills have lost 20% of their grassland habitats.
- Site protection There are three infringement procedures against Bulgaria. One for inadequate protection of Kaliakra SPA, one horizontal procedure for the general lack of precautionary protection of habitats and species in Bulgaria and one for insufficient designation. The latter will be closed soon due to the government’s approval of several new IBAs as SPAs last year.
- Major recent achievement In 2011 all IBAs have been designated as SPAs. More than 98 % of the surface of the IBAs was included in SPAs. Some species conservation projects have proved very successful such as BSPB’s Life+ project for the preservation of the globally threatened Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon. The project activities are contributing to an improvement of the status of these species through the purchase and sustainable management of agricultural land with high conservation/nature value, the restoration of habitats, and the insulation of power lines in order to prevent electrocution. Volunteers are engaged in guarding nest sites. As a result, 2011 saw 24 young Imperial eagles successfully fledged, which is a record from the beginning of the monitoring of the species. The number of the occupied territories has increased from 17 in 2007 to 23 in 2012. Following BSPBs proposal, agri-environmental payments for Imperial Eagle have been adopted in 2012.