Bulgarian actors, musicians, writers and TV presenters warn of Forest Act amendments

Posted on 29 February 2012  | 
Famous Bulgarian actors, musicians, writers and TV presenters express their concern over proposed amendments to Bulgaria’s Forest Act in a series of videos recorded for WWF and For The Nature Coalition. The changes to the Forest Act would allow for expansion of ski runs and ski facilities in protected areas in Bulgaria. The amendments were recently approved by the Bulgarian government and are now being considered by the Bulgarian Parliament.

In the four videos that have been filmed so far, Valeri Yordanov, Phillip Avramov, Louisa Grigorova, Silvia Petkova, Stoyan Yankulov – Stundzhi, Dimitar Karnev, Kalin Terziiski and Iva Doychinova talk about the Bulgarian forests and in particular about Vitosha Nature Park, an iconic protected area in the vicinity of capital Sofia, which is under threat.

If passed as proposed, the amendments would go against the public interest and contravene EU and Bulgarian legislation on competition as well as nature protection. They would allow for the construction of ski runs and ski facilities without changing land use. Furthermore, they would allow the acquisition of building rights on public land without tender and for an indefinite period.

"The amendments would make it possible for our most beautiful and perhaps oldest nature park to turn into a concrete parking", TV presenter Iva Doychinova says in the video.  

"You ruined the Black Sea coast, now leave our mountains alone", actor Phillip Avramov states. 

Meanwhile the Council of Ministers in Bulgaria discussed a proposal to exclude 12% of the territory of Pirin National Park, a UNESCO nature heritage site, to designate new areas for skiing in the Bansko area. UNESCO have already declared that if further construction violations are allowed, they will designate Pirin National Park a World Natural Heritage site in danger.

The short video clips are filmed by volunteers, students at the National Film School in Sofia. 

Watch the videos (in Bulgarian) here
Bulgarian actress Iva Doychinova.
Bulgarian TV presenter Iva Doychinova.
© WWF Enlarge
Bulgarian actor Phillip Avramov.
Bulgarian actor Phillip Avramov.
© WWF Enlarge
View from Vitosha Nature Park towards capital Sofia.
View from Vitosha Nature Park towards capital Sofia.
© Alexander Ivanov Enlarge

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