Water stress is becoming a serious issue
Cards with a mission for Russenski Lom Nature Park
LINKING NATURE PROTECTION AND SUSTAINABLE RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Responsible tourism in sight for Bulgarian protected area
Payments for ecosystem services feasible for Serbia
Bulgarian nature park contributes to climate change mitigation
Environmental needs to be integrated in rural development policy in Romania
Criteria for designation of ecotourism destinations launched in Romania
Impact of aquaculture measures tested at Ciocanesti
Romanian team contributes to rural development
Stakeholders meet in Maramures to discuss ecotourism destination
WWF’s Water Truck benefits PES
Leading companies discuss strategies to protect freshwater resources
The Ecosystem Promise
Analysis of PES potential in Ukraine
Members of the project Steering Group debate project progress in Nikopol
The Danube PES project at the Convention on Biological Diversity
Maramures Belgian journalists trip
THIRD STEERING GROUP MEETING TO BE HELD IN NIKOPOL
PES Expert Workshop takes place in Nisovo, Bulgaria
Green Way map ready for Maramures
PES and World Wetlands Day in Calarasi
Ciocanesti PES scheme presented at fishing conference
AGREEMENT SIGNED FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PES SCHEME IN MARAMURES
Application process open for PES experts workshop in the Danube area
Progress review of a tool for economic assessment of conservation measures in Natura 2000 sites
Romanian PES team meets UNDP GEF reps
PES Project Director promotes tourism PES schemes of Maramures and Rusenski Lom
New NEPA representative from Romania
Farmers from Bulgarian PES pilot sites build their capacity for agri-environment
Ukrainian experts get up to date on Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes
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Maramures pilot site gathers local tourism businesses
The Romanian team already prepared the design of the main promotional tool of the scheme – a specially designed map, that is a kind of a voluntary ticket to the 7 protected areas in Maramures. Purchasing the map, tourists will support the conservation activities in these protected areas, including measures for visitor control.
WWF DCPO member of the Danube Competence Centre
The benefits of being a member of DCC: being part of a sustainable tourism network, providing a platform to showcase the project work and gain support, access to funding. Bulgaria and Romania are PACs 2 for tourism of the Danube Strategy and DCC is permanent observer and in constant contact with the PACs.
In the future we can think for cooperation with DCC with the promotion of our PES schemes and we can use their experience with business to shape our strategy on how to approach our potential business partners. Some interesting meetings are expected in the near future and they will be a good opportunity to promote not only the tourist PES scheme but the whole project.
Bulgarian pilot schemes finalized
The Persina pilot scheme provides the framework and feasibility of biomass management on agricultural lands and wetlands in the area, contributing to improving soil formation, water quality, biodiversity and carbon fixation in lands. Calculations show the opportunity cost of using farmlands residues and wetland vegetation for production of pellets and briquettes. A business partner to carry out the scheme is already defined and a partnership agreement has been signed. The Persina scheme is set on a private basis, where local businesses agree on the sustainable management of biomass on farm and wetlands in the area, creating the above-mentioned benefits.
The Rusenski Lom scheme is public-private, where businesses operating in the area contribute directly or through their customers to the protection of the values that Rusenski Lom provides. The scheme primarily focuses on the cultural values of the site but its implementation will contribute to improving water quality, soil erosion control, biodiversity protection and carbon sequestration, which are all assets attracting visitors to the area but also benefiting local urban and rural communities.
Farmers from PES pilot sites promoted by Economedia as “best practices” in rural development
Read the article about Stefan Petrov's horse farm (in Bulgarian)
Read the article about Sevdalina Kachamachkova's farm (in Bulgarian)
Stakeholders from Bulgaria and Romania learn about nature protection in Fisheries
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EU WWF Biodiversity meeting
PES, LEADER and the future of rural areas
WWF’s Water Tour teaches about the Danube and the services it provides
PES project with potential for international student exchange
Maya Todorova, Project Manager of the Danube PES project, says that this type of exchange is important for pilot areas to promote them as natural values generator, for the development of local areas, and for increasing the interest in the protection and management of Natura 2000 sites, as areas of economic, social and environmental benefits.
PES teams advises on Romania Natura 2000 sites management plans and payments
Second Steering Group meeting: decisions and recommendations
Second Steering Group meeting to be held in Bucharest
Model site work advances
In Romania, the team is developing a payment for fishpond managers to protect biodiversity and improve water quality. The payment is being developed at pilot-site level but the team is looking for opportunities to scale-up the measure to national level. The sustainable financing scheme in Romania is being developed at local level – in the Maramures pilot site, where several small protected areas exist. The team is elaborating a sustainable financing scheme involving tourism businesses and contributing to the management of the protected areas.
In Bulgaria, the team is working on developing national public payments for aquaculture producers to contribute to the improvement of water quality used in their business operations. The team is working actively with the Executive Agency of Fisheries and Aquaculture on the development and adjustment of the scheme taking into consideration all national and European legislations.
The sustainable financing scheme in Bulgaria is under development in Rusenski Lom pilot site. The scheme aims at protecting biodiversity involving tourism businesses in the area, local communities and local administrators responsible for the protection of the protected area. The team has already lined up the first business operators ready to contribute to the scheme.
Rusenski Lom pilot site coordinator met with fishpond managers from the region to present and consult the proposed public payments scheme for the sector. The fishpond managers gave positive feedback that was used in the adjustment of the scheme.
River basin managers training on PES
EU Regional Development Commissioner Hahn briefed about PES project
EU Climate Commissioner Hedegaard introduced to PES project
PES and biomass from wetlands
PES and EU CAP reform
PES journalistic trip
Bulgarian team promotes PES through food
“Business and Climate” workshop
The Danube PES project further promoted in Serbia
Capacity building for local stakeholders for Natura 2000 payments
Support for payments for Natura 2000 sites
Policy developments in Romania
Furthermore, the Danube PES team met with Axis II expert from MARD (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) in order to discuss possibilities to make further use of agro-environment payments to the benefit of ecosystem services. MARD interest in developing new measures focused on biodiversity was identified.
Policy developments in Bulgaria
Furthermore, Yulia Grigorova discussed with the Ministry of Finance the financial framework of the sustainable financing scheme in Rusenski Lom. The coordination and consultation was necessary to ensure that the public administration of the Directorate of Rusenski Lom Nature Park would be able to allocate the money collected from tourism for conservation measures as part of the scheme. Currently, the Directorate is obliged to transfer these funds to the state budget.
Workshop „Good practices in fish farms”
Bulgaria can leapfrog EU countries in innovative fisheries payments
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Danube PES project is only European project debated at meeting of economics experts
The Danube PES project was the only European project presented at the international workshop on Payments for Ecosystem Services “Towards an Implementation Strategy” held on Vilm island, Germany in December 2010. The workshop was organised by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), the Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade (IUW) at the University of Hanover and the Helmholtz Centre of Environmental Research (UFZ). 24 international experts in the economic assessment of ecosystem services from Africa, Asia and America shared their views on PES and its role for the global economic and sustainable development.
Serbian public enterprise Water of Vojvodine to cooperate with WWF in water management
The public company VODE VOJVODINE (Water of Vojvodine) has expressed their wish to sign a memorandum of understanding with WWF DCPO for cooperation in water management and to build the capacity of its employees on water management and PES. This announcment came after the project team conducted its first two meetings in Serbia. During the meetings in Belgrade, the concept and practices of PES around the world were discussed with officials in Serbia. Through an elaborate questionnaire to be distributed to experts and representatives from ministries and institutions, the project team will identify the needs for PES in Serbia.The questionnaire will also be distributed in Ukraine in the near future.
Seven case studies demonstrate benefits from ecosystem restoration
A set of seven case studies prepared by the project team shows best European practices in the use of EU funds for protection of ecosystem services. The seven real-life cases use either public or private money and show the involvement of different stakeholders in the restoration of ecosystems and the range of benefits they get, resulting in win-win-win solutions for nature, local people and businesses as well as the state.
PES team report gives recommendations on investment of EU public money
The report “Use of EU Funds for Ecosystems Services and Potential Public Funding for PES schemes” focuses on three key environmental issues: water, biodiversity and climate change. It presents the main EU goals for each with a view on their potential for Danube PES scheme development. The report advises on how public EU money could be invested in safeguarding natural capital, and provides a framework for a PES scheme.
Active communication and capacity building for local stakeholders
In Maramures in northern Romania, meetings took place with high level representatives from the Association of Ecotourism. The overall conclusion was that what was needed in Maramures was a development fund, where conservation and local development needs could be addressed at one and the same time
Also in Romania, the project team met with fish basin administrators and representatives of the National agency for fishery and aquaculture. The team had the opportunity to introduce the PES project to local and national stakeholders and to further engage fish basin administrators in the model area. Some administrators may apply for aquaculture measures under EU’s Operation Programme Fishery.
In August, the project team in Bulgaria organized four meetings in each of the major settlements of Persina Nature Park, a model site for the PES project, to share the vision of the team for the area.
Furthermore, stakeholders from model sites in Bulgaria were trained on PES. Participants in the training had the chance to learn about the PES concept, as well as other economic tools for nature conservation such as green and organic labeling.
The Danube PES project site and logo are launched
The Danube PES project website and logo were launched today by the project team. The website of the Danube PES project went live in English, Bulgarian and Romanian.The website was conceived as a key communications tool for the project. It contains a comprehensive section on how Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes work, a good start to learn about this innovative approach to nature conservation.
National coordinators provide PES analyses
- "Socio-economic analysis of Persina pilot site", in Bulgarian
- "Analysis of traditional practices for use of wetland products (biomass, grazing, etc) in Persina pilot site", in Bulgarian
- "Socio-economic analysis of Rusenski Lom pilot site", in Bulgarian
- "Questionnaire to identify the needs for PES in Persina and Rusenski Lom pilot sites", in Bulgarian
- "Analysis of the accumulation and distribution of national funds related to the use of state natural resources", in Bulgarian
- "Laboratory analysis of the energy qualities of 3 species of wetland vegetation", in Bulgarian
- "Analysis and evaluation of ecosystem services standing behind The Maramures Heritage Trail", in Romanian
- "The Maramures Heritage Trail and its Local Pensions: A Tourism Perspective", in Romanian
- "Water price policy analysis", in Romanian
Landmark project rewards care for the Danube
Everything started from the moment I decided to swim in the Danube… I was a student at the Academy of Economics in Svishtov, a small Bulgarian town on the Danube. My local friends told me that there was a saying, if somebody dipped into the river they would always stay along it. It came true in my case, today my family is in the town of Ruse and my job with WWF covers the entire basin of the Lower Danube.
I used to work in the field of pure economics, dealing with profit and loss, business plans and forecasts. In 2006 WWF asked me to support the logistics of a big international event in Ruse in connection with the Lower Danube Green Corridor. I started researching the topic and read very different things from what I used to know as an economist.
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Pablo Gutman: Markets and ecosystem services
I would suggest that PES schemes in the Danube basin should try to match a variety of demands and supplies for ecosystem services, including directing EU rural payments to support PES schemes and focusing on ecosystem services for markets that have capacity to pay for them.
How do you price an ecosystem service?
As in any other case, the price of an ecosystem service is somewhere between what the demand is willing to pay - the ceiling - and the supplier costs (or opportunity costs) the floor. Let me add that a large part of WWF and the conservation movement work could be understood as an effort to “pushup” the ceiling, that is to convince society that it is in our own interest to pay for the protection of nature.
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Promoting Payments for Ecosystem Services in the Danube Basin
The project, which will last for four years, will promote Payments for Ecosystem Services and Related Sustainable Financing Schemes in the Lower Danube.
“WWF is leading the development and implementation of this innovative approach to conservation”, said Maya Todorova, Project Manager of the PES project. “We want to promote the PES concept along the Lower Danube. To this end we will set up model projects to demonstrate how national and local-level PES schemes can work both in the public and private sector”.
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