BG03 BIODIVERSITY AND ACOSYSTEM SERVICES
|Programme Operator:||Ministry of Environment and Water|
|Programme Partner||Norwegian Directorate of Nature Management|
|Total grant amount:||8 000 000 Euro|
|Date of approval:||1.10.2013|
Why is the Programme needed?
The loss of biological diversity is a challenge in the EU, with around one in four species currently threatened with extinction. Bulgaria is amongst the countries with the richest biodiversity in Europe covering 3 bio-geographical regions – Alpine, Black Sea and Continental. The geology and specific microclimatic conditions in the country account for the rich diversity of species, natural habitats and ecosystems, a large part of which are of conservation concern. The main threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functions identified in the Bulgarian National Biodiversity Conservation Plans (2005-2010), as well as at the EU level, are habitat loss, introduction of invasive alien species, climate change, overexploitation of natural resources and pollution. Due to the lack of coordination, effective legislation and control, the national authorities have not been able to address the threats to biodiversity in a more holistic and integrated manner. There is therefore a need for Bulgaria to raise awareness and apply a more analytical and methodological way for assessing the ecosystems and their services, defining the main negative factors and mitigating their impact. The programme will address this through participative education on biodiversity, a more integrated information system and proper mapping and assessment of the ecosystem.
What will the Programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?
The overall aims of the programme are to address the degradation of ecosystem services, enhance the knowledge of their economic contribution and contribute to halting the loss of biodiversity in Bulgaria. The programme will result in a more integrated approach to collecting information on the ecosystem, an upgraded national data collection system, increased awareness on the importance of community based monitoring and increased understanding of the complexity of the biodiversity sector among local stakeholders and policymakers. Finally, the programme will contribute to Bulgaria being able to fulfill the requirements set in the EU Biodiversity strategy 2020.
The main target groups are institutions competent for defining and implementing policies in the area of biodiversity, research bodies and individual researchers, and NGOs.
How will it be achieved?
The programme is focused on activities relating to ecosystem services and biodiversity, including:
- Participative education of 240 volunteers in community based biodiversity monitoring
- A new module to be designed and integrated into the national information system on biodiversity
- Ensuring a dynamic regional information network for Invasive Alien Species early warning following existing best practices
- The development of four ecosystem assessment and ecosystem services valuation methodologies
- Mapping and assessment of 100% of the non-Natura 2000 territory for a national ecosystems inventory pursuant to the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020
- One impact study conducted on specific ecosystem services and/or their relationship to climate change
- Capacity building for the national implementation of new legislation and the practical implementation of legislative measures
How will bilateral relations be strengthened?
The Norwegian Environment Agency is involved in the implementation of the programme. This will further strengthen the co-operation between the Norwegian Environment Agency and relevant Bulgarian entities, including the Ministry of Environment. The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research – NINA is a partner in two pre-defined projects. The programme aims to bring local policymakers and stakeholders together with nationally competent authorities in the donor states to create an optimal exchange of experience in all relevant aspects of biodiversity.
Who can apply for funding under this programme?
Entities registered in Bulgaria are eligible to apply as project applicants. The main target group includes state institutes and enterprises, local administrative entities (regions and municipalities); scientific and research institutions and NGOs. There will be three open calls and the project support will be in the range of €170,000 to €680,000. The programme also includes two pre-defined projects and a small grant scheme, targeting municipalities, regional authorities, private entities and NGOs.
What are the partnership opportunities?
The Bulgarian Ministry of Environment manages the programme and plays a key role in facilitating networking and cooperation between Bulgarian and Donor state entities. The Norwegian Environment Agency also plays a key role in facilitating bilateral cooperation, and will be assisting the Ministry on this matter, as well as acting as a contact point for donor entities, public and private, wishing to operate in the Bulgaria and participate as partners in projects funded through the programme.