Bulgarians protest against illegal construction in protected areas
Recently proposed changes to Bulgaria's Forest Act, which have already been approved by the Bulgarian government and are now being considered by the Bulgarian Parliament, 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.
Recently, famous Bulgarian actors, musicians, writers and TV presenters expressed their concern over the proposed amendments to Bulgaria’s Forest Act in a series of videos recorded for WWF and For The Nature in Bulgaria Coalition, a coalition of more than 30 organizations.
Despite massive public opposition, the Bulgarian Parliament is about to amend four further pieces of legislation - the Concession Act, the Spatial Planning Act, the Physical Education and Sports Act and the Tourism Act - to favour persons and entities responsible for the widespread destruction of Bulgarian nature. One such person is thought to be the president of the Bulgarian Ski Federation Tseko Minev, linked by reports in the Bulgarian press to both Vitosha Ski JSC and Yulen JSC, the problematic operators of facilities in Pirin National Park and Vitosha Nature Park.