MOEW awarded executed projects under the Financial Mechanism of the EEA

07 Nov, 2017 | 15:51

Under the patronage of the Minister of Environment and Water Neno Dimov, a conference was held at the National Gallery "Square 500" for the successful completion of the work on "Integrated Marine and Inland Water Management" and "Biological Diversity and Ecosystems" programmes. The total budget of the two programmes, amounting to EUR 18.8 million, was provided by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA) 2009-2014, with the support of the Governments of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Thirty-eight projects were implemented within the programmes.

The President of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Water of the National Assembly, Ivelina Vasileva, representatives of the donors, of the Bulgarian government and of the third country partner organizations took part in the forum.

"Through the implementation of both programmes, the MOEW has successfully managed a sustainable mechanism for application of priority national and European environmental policies. The Ministry has been assisted in the application of the water management policy and in particular: integrated marine and inland water resources management, detailed marine water monitoring, with the results achieved, part of the projects contributed to the updating of the programmes of measures laid down in the River Basin Management Plans", Minister Dimov pointed out in his speech. A flood risk early warning system has been launched in some of the vulnerable areas.

Researches complementing the River Basin Management Plans were implemented in the framework of the projects. Marine expeditions were conducted to assess the state of the marine environment. Various marine and freshwater organisms – bioindicators were tested for chemical pollution of the Black Sea, Danube River, and other freshwater basins. The safety of the marine and freshwater organisms as a food resource was assessed through the projects. The distribution, the biological characteristics and the stocks of some non-fish marine resources with economic importance were established and measures have been taken to manage them. Over 600 volunteers were trained in biodiversity monitoring and data entry in the biodiversity information system. A new module on invasive species and ecosystem services was developed and integrated into the national information system for biodiversity monitoring. A national methodology for biophysical assessment of the ecosystems was developed with success in our country and for the services presented by them. The nine types of ecosystems in Bulgaria in line with the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy were mapped and evaluated. ''Draft strategic and normative documents were developed", said Minister Dimov. He thanked donor countries for their contribution to the realization of key environmental policies, for fruitful cooperation with the programme partners and the active involvement of all beneficiaries.

The Ministry of Environment and Water awarded in 9 categories the most efficient and outstanding projects that exceeded the targets set in different areas. For the most innovative project was awarded the Naval Academy "N. J. Vaptsarov" for the project ‘’Integrated Information System for Coastal Zone Management Support" (IISSCZM). For the most significant public benefit the award was awarded to Burgas Municipality for the project "Integrated flood risk management in the municipality of Burgas’’ (IMFR). The scientists at the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences were awarded for the best collaboration for their work on "The Network for Invasive Alien Species in Southeast Europe – A Tool to Support the Management of Alien Species in Bulgaria" (ESENIAS – TOOLS). In the "Care for Nature" category, REC was awarded for the project "Assessment of Combined Impacts of Hydroelectric Power Station on Ecosystems and Ecological Condition of the Rivers" (ANCHOR). The best cooperation between projects for joint achievement of the objectives of programmes BG02 / BG03 was achieved by the Institute of Oceanology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the "Black Sea Basin" Directorate for the projects "Waste Assessment Tools, Eutrophication and Noise in Marine Waters" (MARLEN). "Improved Monitoring of Marine Waters" (IMAMO); "Marine Environment Status Surveys and Improvement of Monitoring Programs Developed under the RDDM" (ISMEIMP). With contribution to the development of volunteer activities is the "Bulgarian Economic Forum" association for the project "Environmental Monitoring of the River Dragovishtitsa" (RiverMon).

The BTV Media Group was awarded for the best journalistic material related to coverage of BG02 and BG03 Programs, and FOCUS News Agency was awarded the largest number of radio broadcasts information messages. In the category "Best Photography", the Association for Wildlife Conservation was promoted by the project "Enhancing Volunteer Capacity in North-East Bulgaria for the Implementation of Biological Monitoring" (MonNe) and for an overall contribution to the implementation of the priorities of Programme BG02 / BG03 was awarded the Naval Academy "N. J. Vaptsarov " for the project " Integrated Information System for Coastal Zone Management Support "(IISSCZM).