WWF creates a fashion collection with a purpose: to save Pirin National Park and World Heritage site | WWF

WWF creates a fashion collection with a purpose: to save Pirin National Park and World Heritage site

Posted on
30 August 2017
Sofia - WWF has created an entire fashion line that aims to raise awareness about the damaging industrial activities planned in Pirin National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and also part of the EU's Natura 2000 network of protected sites.
 
The collection offers a variety of t-shirts, pants, jackets and even leggings - all of them in a specially designed camouflage print. As any other camouflage attire, it serves one sole purpose - to help the wearer blend in with their surroundings. The fashion line is designed for trendsetters who want to be one step ahead in blending in with Pirin's transforming scenery.
 
Discover the entire collection and more information about the project at the specially dedicated website http://www.savepirin.com
 
Located in south-west Bulgaria and covering a territory of ca. 40,000 ha, Pirin is one of the three national parks in Bulgaria that all together cover just 1.5% of the country's territory. It overlaps also with two EU Natura 2000 sites, and is one of the two Bulgarian Natural Heritage Sites on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
 
The dominant part of the park is high mountain territory over 2,000 m above sea level. The diverse limestone mountain landscapes include over 70 glacial lakes, and a range of glacial landforms, with many waterfalls, rocky screes and caves. The high mountain peaks and crags contrast with meadows, rivers, waterfalls and provide the opportunity to experience the aesthetics of a Balkan mountain landscape. The National Park includes a range of endemic and relict species that are representative of the Balkan Pleistocene flora.
 
The economical value of the park has been decreasing, which underlines the current path to be unsustainable. Bansko tourism operators registered a loss of 5.7 mln BGN (2.85 mln EUR) in 2013. In comparison, in 2008, they made a profit of 2.7 mln BGN (1.35 mln EUR). According to the Job Agency, the unemployment rate went up by 5.4% between 2008 and 2013. (Data is from the Development Models of the Mountain Regions in Bulgaria report from 2015: http://blog.prozrachniplanini.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Mountain_development_models_FINAL_20151208.pdf)
 
The procedure to approve the new draft management for Pirin National Park goes on. Currently Supreme Administrative Court is expected to rule out whether the plan should have or not an Environmental Impact Assessment after a controversial decision by previous Minister of the Environment Irina Kostova. Still, current Minister of the Environment Neno Dimov could require any time amendments to the plan that could save the outstanding value of Pirin. The final decision on the approval of the management plan lies with the Government led by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
 
There is a petition website at:
https://makeyourmark.panda.org/pirin
 
It is available in English, Bulgarian, French, Dutch, Danish.
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