Persistent fight for a change of minds

© Gunther Willinger

Inter alia thanks to the commitment of Green Balkans, partner of EuroNatur, one third of Bulgaria is part of the Natura 2000 ecological network of protected areas. The implementation is difficult, though. Corrupt local policymakers contribute to destroying nature. “The only concept they know is that development equals construction – the more concrete is used, the more developed you are”, says Ditimar Popov from the nature protection organization Green Balkans. Therefore, positive signals from Brussels are even more important. In mid January, the European Commission reinforced that it would refuse a softening of the Natura 2000 legislation (see EuroNatur press release from January 21, 2010; in German). In an interview with EuroNatur, Dimitar Popov from the nature protection organization Green Balkans reported about the difficulties they have in Bulgaria.
Green Balkans, partner of EuroNatur, is one of the biggest nature protection organisations on the Balkans. EuroNatur has been supporting Green Balkans for years in their fight for the preservation of Bulgaria’s biodiversity. Despite all opposition the work of Green Balkans and EuroNatur recorded considerable success. The population of the imperial eagle in the Sakar Mountain, for example, has stabilised through numerous measures. Furthermore, the buying of areas in the back-country of the Lake Durankulak protects important food sources for red-breasted geese. Another especially successful project is “NatuRegio – trainees for nature”, which is supported by EuroNatur, too. It offers trainee positions for young professionals from Romania or Bulgaria in German nature protection organisations. In our interview, Dimitar Popov talks about his experiences in Germany.

Click here for the interview with Dimitar Popov (EuroNatur magazine 1-2010, PDF, 643 kb)

Go to Green Balkans website

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