Bulgarian nature park contributes to climate change mitigation



Posted on 07 December 2012  | 
The Danube PES project, Rusenski Lom nature park.
Rusenski Lom Nature Park.
© WWF / Veselina KavrakovaEnlarge
A new study conducted by environmental consultancy Denkstatt for WWF has calculated the carbon stored in the forests of Bulgaria’s Rusenski Lom Nature Park and assigned an economic value to the saved carbon emissions. The report is a demonstration of the strategic and valuable economic resources that Bulgarian nature provides, and in particular of its contribution to climate change mitigation.

“We chose a protected area - Rusenski Lom Nature Park, and calculated the value of one of its benefits - carbon sink and storage”, said Maya Todorova, Project Manager of WWF’s Danube Payments for ecosystem services project.

At an average price of carbon emissions equivalent of 8 EUR/t, the total value of the emission savings for a period of 10 years was calculated to be 134,854 EUR.

“The report shows how much and in what way the carbon sink capacity of this protected area can be increased, which in turn would bring social and economic benefits. But we must not forget that the benefits of Rusenski Lom Nature Park have many more aspects and have been shown by other WWF studies to amount to about 230,000 EUR per year, excluding the value of game and stored carbon.”

Protection and maintenance of nature benefits is a difficult but compulsory action when faced with constantly growing global consumption. Our increasing needs bring about bigger volumes of production, and this puts strong pressure on natural capital (water, forests, and agricultural land) for extraction of natural resources and for waste and greenhouse gas management.

“Our lifestyle - in a hurried and high-tech environment, yet away from nature, makes us feel responsible for the capital created by people. However, at the same time, we forget that our main needs still depend on the capital created by nature”, Todorova said.

Rusenski Lom is the last major right tributary of the Danube on the Bulgarian side and forms the core zone of Rusenski Lom Nature Park, a breathtaking landscape of forests, meadows and pastures.

The study was prepared as part of the project Promoting payments for ecosystem services and related sustainable financing schemes in the Danube basin. This project promotes and supports land managers who help us sustain the benefits that we all get from nature. The project is implemented by the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme with the financial support of the GEF through UNEP and the European Commission.
The Danube PES project, Rusenski Lom nature park.
Rusenski Lom Nature Park.
© WWF / Veselina Kavrakova Enlarge
Rusenski Lom pilot site map.
Map of Rusenski Lom Nature Park.
© WWF Enlarge

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