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Jun 14, 2011

BIGGEST PROJECT FOR BIODIVERISTY LAUNCHED UNDER OPE

Deputy-Minister of Environment and Water Evdokiya Maneva officially launched the biggest project in the biodiversity sector under Operational Programme Environment - Mapping and determining the conservation status of natural habitats and species - phase I". The project will be managed by the National Nature Protection Service Directorate at the Ministry of Environment and Water.

For two years about 120 teams of environmentalists will carry out fieldwork for mapping and determining the conservation status of 87 habitats and 119 species and will study the migration routes of 40 bird species from the NATURA 2000 network. The information thus collected will be available to all interested parties - state institutions, local authority, scientific community, non-governmental and business organisations.

"This is not only the biggest project for preservation of biodiversity under the operational programme, but it is the project on the largest scale ever since we began to talk about biodiversity", Deputy Minister Maneva said. According to the minister, after the completion of the project, Bulgaria will have objective information, which will serve as a basis for decision making not only with regard to the management of protected areas, but also in connection to all issues, related to compliance assessment for implementation of investment projects.
The contracts with the two project contractors were signed at the end of March. Consortium NATURA Bulgaria will do the mapping and determine the conservation status of invertebrates, fish, amphibian, reptiles, cetacean, mammals, plants and moss, while Consortium Ekonekt will determine and minimise risks for wild birds. Fieldwork is expected to start in July.

The Bulgarian part of the NATURA 2000 network consists of 118 protected areas for wild birds and 231 areas for natural habitats. It comprises 34% of the territory of the country, which is one of the biggest shares in Europe.

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