Bulgarian Minister of Environment running away from responsibility to protect Pirin National Park | WWF

Bulgarian Minister of Environment running away from responsibility to protect Pirin National Park

Posted on 14 July 2017    
Save our treasures! WWF Campaign
© Ogilvy Sofia
Sofia – WWF, which is part of the Bulgarian coalition of non-governmental organizations ‘For the Nature’ and other environmental NGOs met with Neno Dimov, Minister of the Environment and Waters. NGOs expressed their concern that he has not realized the real danger behind the new management plan for Pirin National Park. They warned that it will allow construction on a 12,5-fold larger area and could lead to practically commercial logging on nearly 60 per cent of the park’s territory.  The plan is sponsored by EU funds.

At the meeting, it became clear that at least eight of the requirements suggested by the experts of the Environmental Ministry were not considered by the authors of the draft management plan. The amendments are significant as they affect fundamental issues in the protected area, such as zoning and management regimes.
Recently, WWF has delivered to the office of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov the first batch of 100,000 letters sent by people from 147 countries requesting real protection of Pirin National Park, part of the UNESCO World Heritage and the EU’s Natura 2000 network of protected sites.

So far, the Environmental Minister – who is in charge of all three national parks of Bulgaria, has not expressed readiness to take steps to send the plan back for full revision. The impression is that Minister Dimov relies on other institutions to make the decisions and thus finds an excuse to postpone his actions.

The three national parks of Bulgaria, together with 90 nature reserves, are - on paper - the best preserved Bulgarian natural areas. They are exclusive state property and represent under 2% of the country's territory.
The decision at first instance of the Supreme Administrative Court is currently pending whether the draft management plan for Pirin National Park needs to have an environmental assessment or not. Whatever the court's decision is, the Minister of the Environment and Waters has the right to ask for full revision of the draft management plan for Pirin National Park.

“High level officials of the Ministry of Environment and Water, and its subordinate - the Directorate of Pirin National Park, should take full responsibility for the poorly developed draft management plan and the chaotic procedure for its validation. It contradicts with Bulgarian and European legislation, and the requirements of UNESCO for management of World Natural Heritage sites”, said Konstantin Ivanov of WWF’s #SavePirin campaign.

Anyone can send an e-mail directly to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to stop the adoption of the dangerous new management plan for Pirin National Park: https://makeyourmark.panda.org/pirin

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