Natura 2000

Natura 2000 – financial mechanisms and opportunities for local development

Experts discussed recommendations for biodiversity conservation and compensation mechanisms

A seminar to discuss Natura 2000 and financial mechanisms and opportunities for local development was organized on June 28, 2007, in Sofia by the association, with the assistance of the British Embassy in Bulgaria. More than 100 representatives of the state administration, municipal authorities, leading NGOs and international environmental experts participated. The main goal of the seminar was to provide information to stakeholders – municipal authorities and landowners included in the network, as well as branch organizations – on the main compensation mechanisms and EU funds related to the Natura 2000 network. The program included presentations by experts from environmental organizations responsible for determining at the places under the two directives, representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Regional Development.

10 recommendations to the government were made by the participants in the seminar, related to biodiversity conservation, financing of protected areas, compensation mechanisms for lands included in the eco-network, financial instruments and operational programs of the EU, as well as methods for sustainable tourism development. Specific examples of economically successful Natura 2000 sites were presented by Ivan Lang, Governor of Natura 2000 Pagham Harbour Local Nature Reserve, UK, and Hungarian environmental consultant Mihai Veg, who stressed that the European eco-network does not stop but promotes sustainable economic development of its regions.

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