Bulgaria Protected Areas campaign
Save Bulgaria's Treasures!
Holiday homes, hotels, villas, ski resorts and ski runs are being built in many of Bulgaria's national and nature parks. They are being built illegally, against existing national laws and regulations.
We need to send a clear message
* To those destroying Bulgaria's natural treasures: that this is not acceptable
* To relevant authorities: to implement existing laws and regulations
* To political decision makers: to take necessary steps to ensure real protection for the country's natural riches
About the campaign
Launched in October 2006, WWF's campaign is part of a broader effort by Bulgarian organisations to stop the increasing number of illegal activities that are affecting Bulgaria’s protected areas. "For the Nature" is a coalition
The NGO campaign has been mobilising a growing number of people both in and outside of Bulgaria. Today, the ongoing destruction of Bulgaria's greatest treasures is the top environmental concern for most Bulgarians (73.6%, according to a September 2008 poll by Alpha Research), followed by concern over illegal construction (58.3%).
Over 145,000 Bulgarians signed a petition organised by WWF and partner organisations that emphasises Bulgaria's outstanding natural capital, the main threats to it and calls on the authorities to take action before it is too late. The signatures and petition were presented to the Bulgarian President, Prime Minister and Parliament as well as to relevant authorities in spring 2008.
In April-May 2007, over 14,000 people from around the world sent messages to the Bulgarian President, Prime Minister and Parliament calling on them to take action on one particular case, Strandzha Nature Park, where a holiday complex has been illegally constructed. Additional letters of concern have been sent to the Bulgarian government by WWF's Director General as well as a number of organisations, including the European Habitats Forum, Eurosite and Europarc.
None of the addressees -- neither the Bulgarian President, Prime Minister, Parliament nor relevant authorities -- have issued any response to the letters and petitions nor has any action been taken.
Nevertheless, the plight of Bulgaria's protected areas has received national and even international attention. At stake are not only many of Bulgaria's greatest natural jewels, but also something much bigger -- the future of Bulgarian society: whether it will be corrupt and governed by organised crime, or whether it will be open, participative and democratic.
The European Commission has strongly criticised the Bulgarian government for its failure to address the problems of corruption, organised crime and poor system of justice.
Whose interests will government serve?
Please help us keep up the pressure to save Bulgaria's natural wealth!
Contact and further information:
Konstantin Ivanov, WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme/Bulgaria, tel. +359 2 8656130