The Ministry of Environment and Water declared protected zone “Kamchiya”

29 Jul, 2022 | 16:10


The Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov signed an order declaring the new protected area “Kamchia” for protection of natural habitats and wild flora and fauna. Nearly 129,200 acres will be under protection, of which 7,500 acres are marine areas.

The zone encompasses and places under protection sand and mudflats permanently covered by seawater, silty-sand coastal areas that are not covered or barely covered by seawater, extensive shallow bays, nascent mobile dunes and such along the coastal strip (white dunes), stationary coastal dunes with grass vegetation (grey dunes), forested dunes, as well as underwater sea caves.

According to the order, alluvial forests, riparian mixed forests, and Pannonian forests are also under protection within the zone. Under the Biodiversity Act, the order also describes the protection of the habitats of certain species of mammals such as the European wolf, otter, spotted ferret, ground squirrel, pufferfish, porpoise, spiny-tailed, spiny and common terrapins, as well as several species of fish, invertebrates and others.

The territory of the “Kamchiya” Zone is within the lands of the villages of Bliznatsi, Dabravino, Krusha, Kitka, Ravna Gora and Sadovo, Avren Municipality, Varna Region; the villages of Venelin, Goren Chiflik and Grozdevo, the town of Dolni Chiflik; the villages of Novo Oryahovo, Nova Shipka, Pchelnik, Staro Oryahovo and Shkorpilovtsi, Dolni Chiflik Municipality, Varna region.

The announcement of the protected area is done in order to take timely steps on the infringement procedure launched against Bulgaria for failure to fulfill its obligations under the Habitats Directive. “The order for the Kamchiya zone with these additional protection regimes should have been issued by 2014. Thus, due to the non-implementation of the Habitats Directive and the lack of these decisions, the EC filed a case against Bulgaria in the Court of Justice of the EU. With this order, we will overcome another infringement procedure against our country, namely the one for the lack of measures to protect cetaceans in our marine protected areas,” said Minister Borislav Sandov.

Within the boundaries of the protected area, the main prohibitions are for: motor vehicle racing, movement of motorcycles, ATVs, buggies (in non-urbanized territories and off existing roads); deliberate spread of non-native species; drainage of coastal floodplains of rivers and marshes; damage and destruction of natural vegetation on the coastal beach strip and in dunes; use of trawls; construction of permanent structures, artificial underwater reefs and islands on marine habitats; change in the way of permanent use, plowing, afforestation; prospecting and exploration of minerals and use of fertilizers; use of irrigation water; stubble burning and logging in riparian natural forests and riparian tree strips in the 15-meter zone around permanent watercourses. It is prohibited to pass or park vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers, campers and caravans, as well as fishing with gill nets, and the ban comes into force as of 01.03.2023. It is inadmissible to carry out seismic surveys without an assessment of the degree of impact on the area within the boundaries of the protected area and a buffer of one kilometer around it.