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Dec 8, 2010

BGN 140 MILLION ENVISAGED FOR NEW OPE PROJECTS IN 2011

On December 8th, 2010 the ninth regular session of the Monitoring Committee of OP Environment 2007-2013 (OPE) was held in the town of Sandanski.

The session was opened by Deputy-minister of Environment and Water and Committee Chairman Ivelina Vasileva. The Monitoring Committee meeting was attended by representatives of the European Commission, including Stavrula Pelekasi, Karsten Rasmusen, Valeri Natan, while the guests of honour were representatives of the JASPERS initiative for assisting projects in European regions. The Members of the Committee approved the Indicative Annual Work Programme for 2011, additions to the operational programme and changes in the Internal Rules of Procedure of the Monitoring Committee.
The additions to the programme are related to changes in the waste collection and transportation system. The activities financed under the programme have been extended to include the purchase of containers for separate waste collection and vehicles for waste transportation. This will support the development of operative regional systems for waste management and will enable municipalities to set aside some financial resources for implementing the so called "soft measures" (for example, introduction of differentiated "street cleaning and maintenance charge"). The change will also have a positive effect on the social affordability related to the launching in operation of the new facilities, since it will be possible for municipalities to be more flexible in setting "municipal waste charges".
The indicative annual work programme for 2011 foresees:
• call for direct proposals in the water sector with a total investment volume of over BGN 20 million. The potential beneficiaries are the basin directorates which may submit project proposals for modernising water management plans and developing plans for flood risk management.
• over BGN 87 million will be granted to the regions of Pazardzhik, Kocherinovo, Provadia and Svoge in the waste sector for the construction of regional waste management systems.

• four calls for proposals will be opened in the biodiversity sector. About BGN 2 million will be made available to the Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water, which need to develop and update management plans for reserves; BGN 4 million will be allocated for updating the management plan of Pirin National Park; about BGN 2 million are envisaged for municipalities, non-governmental organizations, entities at MOEW and Executive Forests Agency for projects for management of protected areas other than national and natural parks, while another BGN 25 million will be granted for projects on preservation and restoration of the biodiversity.

Having acquainted themselves with the progress made in the implementation of OPE from the launching of the programme to the present, the participants congratulated the operational programme team on the successful tackling of problems. The European Commission supported the measures undertaken by the Managing Authority and Intermediate Body of OPE and recommended that efforts should be concentrated on the actual implementation of the projects.