The Annual Grazing Plans for National Parks have been Approved

23 May, 2024 | 16:25

The directors of the directorates of national parks have approved the annual grazing and hay use plans for the national parks for 2024. On the basis of these plans and the procedures set out in them, grazing and haying permits will be issued to livestock keepers. The plans lay out the necessary preconditions for environmentally sound use of the protected areas, which also ensures the livelihoods of the population.

The grazing areas and the permissible stocking rates are in line with the analysis of the grassland monitoring data from the previous year. The grazing standards are also in line with the data, studies, analyses and assessments of habitats and species habitats in the Impact Assessment Report and the conclusions of the Environmental Assessment Report of the Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Development in the Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2023-2027, taking into consideration the mitigation measures and conditions in the Environmental Assessment Opinion No 5-4/2023 on the plan.

According to the approved annual plans for grazing and hay use, the area for these activities in the national parks is relatively the same compared to 2023 and is approximately 34 000 ha. The entire eligible grazing resource of the national parks will be made available for the use of livestock farmers, and the conditions for support will be in accordance with the requirements of the Strategic Plan and Ordinance No 10 of 27 June 2023 on the conditions and procedures for implementing environmental and climate interventions and animal welfare included in the Strategic Plan for Agricultural and Rural Development for the period 2023-2027, according to which the maximum density is 0,4 livestock units per hectare.

Given the changed stocking requirements in the national parks and in order to ensure that animals are fed during the summer months, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has carried out an analysis of the areas available for grazing outside protected areas in this category. Livestock farmers for whom the grazing resource in national parks is insufficient will be able to use areas of nature parks and areas of state forests, subject to the procedural arrangements laid down in the legislation, for which the necessary arrangements have been made.

Checks on the compliance with the requirements and conditions of the intervention "Traditional practices for seasonal grazing (pastoralism)", including for the areas of the national parks, will be carried out by the State Fund for Agriculture. On-the-spot checks by the State Fund for Agriculture will ensure compliance with the applicable standards  for good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC) and the statutory management requirements (SMR). Animal registration and identification are also monitored. Information on compliance with prohibitions is obtained from the competent authority.