Europe and Central Asia
10 Jul 2013

BirdLife Bulgaria turns 25: a story of successful nature conservation

By BirdLife Europe

BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria, as the first civil society organization in recent Bulgarian history to take the lead in nature conservation, celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Founded back in 1988 during the communist regime the BSPB was the second organisation from the former communist bloc to join the BirdLife Partnership in 1992.

Some of the main achievements of the organization include the establishment of Important Bird Areas, IBAs, as the backbone of the Natura 2000 network in Bulgaria, ensuring the designation of over 30% of the territory as Special Protected Areas (SPAs) and more than 30 other protected areas under national law. BSPB also managed to double the number of Ramsar sites designated; out of which one - the Poda Lagoon - was assigned for management by the BSPB, which has turned it into a model example of protected area management in Bulgaria.

The BSPB works to create and maintain partnerships with the Bulgarian government contributing to the development of key and strategic documents on nature conservation, and has also established the first nature conservation centres in Bulgaria. The concerted conservation work of BSPB enabled the return of the Cinereous Vulture in Bulgaria, saved and increased the national population of the Griffon Vulture, Sandwich Tern, Avocet and Glossy Ibis, and saved the colony of the Dalmatian Pelican in Srebarna.

Last but not least the work of the BSPB’s staff, volunteers and members have attracted thousands of supporters to the organization’s conservation and education activities for the protection of Bulgarian nature. “Our main asset is people and that’s why we dedicate our anniversary to our members and supporters. Without them we couldn’t have achieved all this and we wouldn’t have been able to celebrate all the small and bigger victories for nature”, states Nada Tosheva, Executive Director at the BSPB.

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