Experts from Bulgaria, Spain and Italy discussed dune conservation and restoration

05 Mar, 2024 | 14:00

The Ministry of Environment and Water is hosting an expert mission for exchange of experience on dune conservation and restoration in Bulgaria. The invitees are representatives of the scientific community in Bulgaria, as well as experts from competent institutions and scientific communities from Italy and Spain.

We have lost a lot of dunes in the last 60-70 years. We are fighting a big battle with the owners, construction companies, and other stakeholders for the status of these territories," said Minister Julian Popov frankly during the discussion, noting that the protection of the dunes is a top priority for the Ministry of Environment. "Your involvement in this process is important. I look forward to hearing about the conservation and restoration methodology developed by your scientists and how it is applied in your countries," he addressed the visiting experts.

“I would like to congratulate your Bulgarian colleagues for the recently developed methodology for mapping and delineating sand dunes. Based on our Spanish experience, we appreciate how time-consuming and complex the process of developing such a methodology is. We can see that you have done quite well," said in response Roberto Díaz Sánchez, coastal expert at Spain's Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

"We will share with you mostly our mistakes and our negative experiences, because I see there is the same pressure on your coast as we have in Italy and Spain. We also need support in certain areas where there are different owners, the involvement of local governments who are organising themselves to block the whole process," said Luigi Cipriani, geomorphology expert at the Directorate for Soil Conservation and Civil Protection in the Italian region of Tuscany.

The expected outcome of the mission is to improve the management of sand dune areas in Bulgaria, to improve the conservation process and to find balanced solutions for the sustainable use and restoration of the dunes by sharing the experience, practices and applied scientific and administrative methods in other coastal countries of the EU.

The experience sharing mission will continue tomorrow with presentations on best practices, policy implementation and management in dune habitat conservation and restoration.

The expert mission is organised on initiative by the MOEW within the framework of the Peer To Peer (P2P) mechanism of the European Commission. The Peer to Peer Mechanism is designed to assist Member States in addressing the challenges of implementing European environmental legislation. Through this instrument, the European Commission encourages Member States to improve their environmental performance by sharing knowledge, experience, and best practices. Through the P2P, the Commission facilitates, according to the topic under consideration and the expected outcomes of the discussion, to bring together the most relevant experts from administrative authorities and scientists from Member States.