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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BULGARIA

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Collegium, whose members are the Deputy Ministers, the Heads of Departments, the Chairman of the Agricultural Academy, and the Heads of the organizations and services with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Agrarian Reform provide the decision making structure for agriculture. The national bodies, which are responsible for the nutrition and food policy in Bulgaria, are Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, National Center for Health Education, Regional Hygiene and Epidemiology Inspectorates.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

There are about 90 decrees and legislative acts concerning nutrition and food safety but the Food Law was elaborated only in 1998 and has been submitted to the Parliament for its consideration.

Draft for Food and Nutrition Policy was developed in 1992 after the International Conference on Nutrition in Rome. A national seminar with the participation of representatives from all the ministries related to the food and nutrition problems, food industries and NGO’s, was conducted in the preparatory stage, but up to now the policy was not adopted by the Government, which has been changed several times during this period.

A Governmental Decree and programme for Iodine Deficiency Disorders and Diseases (IDD) control were adopted in May 1994. (Decree N 96 on measures for prevention and elimination of IDD, 1994).  Dietary Guidelines for Bulgarians were developed in 1996 and updated in 1998. They are directed to the entire population as well as to the specific groups of pregnant and lactating women.  Moreover, Dietary Guidelines were also directed to primary health providers for the prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases.

A basic Food Law was developed and at present it is under consideration in the Parliament. An extensive updating of existing food regulations started. They are harmonizing with the European Union Directives.  Strengthening the regulatory control over food is undertaken through structural and functional reforms of the regional Hygiene and Epidemiology Inspectorates. They are directed to the improvement of both efficiency and effectiveness.  The internationally recognized system for efficiency assurance of the food safety "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point", is being adapted and applied.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Some measures regarding nutrition policy in relation with the Rome Conference was adopted in "Health Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria" in 1996 and they are for:

The present Ministry of Health strongly wishes to adopt a food and nutrition policy.  Despite all the difficulties, some specialist from governmental institutions introduced some measures in the field of nutrition policy and food safety.  The National Agriculture and Rural Development Plan (NARDP) addresses special care for:

  1. young and starting farmers (Measure 1.1. Investments in Agricultural Holdings);
  2. women (Measure 2.1. Development and Diversification of Economic Activities; Providing for Multiple Activities and Alternative Income; Measure 3.1. Improvement of Vocational Training);
  3. minorities and disabled persons (Measure 2.1. Development and Diversification of Economic Activities; Providing for Multiple Activities and Alternative Income).

The financing of the projects and activities on this measure will contribute to the following positive results related to the priorities of the National Agriculture and Rural Development Plan (2000-2006):

Privatisation and local governing will be achieved through the acceleration of the transfer of responsibility for exploitation and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure to the organizations of water users, as well as through assistance and support for the establishment of such organizations and assistance in the preparation of necessary documents for the transfer of management and maintenance of some hydro-melioration facilities to these organizations.

NARDP will also support projects in the diversification of economic activities in the rural areas of the country.

Private projects in the following areas of activities will be supported by the same measure, as well as other diversification activities that are based on the relevant local potential for growth:

The measure will also encourage the enforcement of the "equal opportunity" principle by providing equal opportunities to apply for men and women, as well as disabled persons. Women, disabled persons and minorities will receive special attention, support and education should they decide to start or develop activities in the "in-house" craftsmanship area (knitting, glueing, bouquets, ikebana, etc.).

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

In the context of general positive effect derived by the enhanced restructuring of activities in the field of management of water resources, the significant role of non-governmental organisations should be underlined. From the Union of Water Users, Bulgarian Society of Hydraulic Engineers, Bulgarian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, Bulgarian association on waters, Bulgarian Association on Water Quality, different foundations in the field of agriculture and organisations that will be established in near future are expected to participate actively in the restructuring and implementation of reforms in order to revive the activities on irrigation and drainage; in supporting agricultural producers with advice, methodical and technical assistance; in protection of their interest; etc.

Programmes and Projects 

The programme for IDD control includes iodine fortification of the table salt for humans, the salt for animal consumption and for food production as well as iodine supplementation by tablets of young children, schoolchildren, and pregnant and lactating women. A non-iodized salt was started in 1994. The neonatal thyroid screening is very important for early diagnosis and treatment of the congenital hypothyroidism and for prevention of mental retardation. The iodine deficiency problem is gaining pace both in the media and in the official establishment of a national Expert Committee on the Iodine Deficiency Disorders. National representative survey on goiter and urine iodine excretion was conducted in 1997 for estimation the efficiency of IDD Programme.

Bulgaria was included in WHO Country Integrated Non-communicable Disease Intervention (CINDI) programme in 1994. A National Committee at the Ministry of Health was established. It includes representatives of different professions related to the non-communicable diseases, governmental and NGOs and institutions. Strategies and programmes for intervention directed to positive changes in the dietary habits of Bulgarian population were developed. The programme is going in 7 regions in the country. The programme got a great publicity, policy advocacy as well as a financial support from private and governmental institutions.

A Nutrition Surveillance Programme was developed for identifying the nutritional problems at the national level, population groups at risk, and assessment of the prevalence and distribution of diet-related health problems. Two national representative surveys on Dietary and Nutritional Status of Bulgarian Population were conducted in 1997 and 1998. A national survey on dietary and nutritional status of schoolchildren and women in child bearing age (18-45 years old) was carried out in 1998 and data obtained are under processing.

An Intervention Programme for nutrition improvement in Orphanages started in 1998.

The activities supported under Measure 1.6. Water Resource Management – Irrigation, are included in the National Investment Programme until 2006.

Objectives of Measure 1.6. Water resource management – irrigation

  1. Adaptation to usage and management of irrigation water and land in the framework of the Agricultural Reform.
  2. Providing water users with economically affordable water for irrigation and sustainable exploitation of the natural resources of land and water with respect to the environment.

Specific objectives:

  1. Water provision to irrigatable agricultural areas in the framework of the implemented Agricultural Reform.
  2. Protection of agricultural land from the detrimental effect of the water.
  3. Investing in activities such as drainage of waterlogged agricultural lands, corrections of riverbeds and special afforestation for protective purposes of upper watersheds and along the hydrographic network, will thus prevent the danger of over-moisturizing, flooding and bank erosion of threatened lands and will improve local environmental condition.

  4. Completion of certain infrastructure for irrigation purposes (i.e. dams and their irrigation networks) and its operation.

Major activities that Bulgaria has initiated to increase non-farm employment opportunities in the rural areas include Measure 2.1. Development and Diversification of Economic Activities; Providing for Multiple Activities and Alternative Income.

Status

In 1996 the Bulgarian economy entered into a deep foreign currency and banking crisis which led to unprecedented financial destabilization and dramatic decline in the economic life. The economic programme approved in mid 1996 which was supported by an agreement with the IMF, failed mostly due to the attempt to bypass the commitments undertaken with respect to the structural reform in the state owned sector.

The depth of the financial crisis reflected the economic performance in 1996 and more specifically:

Despite of that the messages from the International Conference on Nutrition in Rome were very important for the Bulgarian society and especially:

Low input sustainable agriculture, organic farming and other integrated agro-ecological measures can lead to stabilization of the eco-systems, preservation and restoration of national resources and development of the countryside.

One of the priorities of the Bulgarian government - the establishment of a sustainable, competitive and environmentally friendly Bulgarian agriculture - could not be implemented without rational management of water resources as well as without reestablishment, restructuring and development of the irrigation network.

Integrated economic system needs to be developed in rural areas in order to provide basis for sustainable development. In these areas, along with the agricultural activities other related and complementary activities have the potential to be developed.

The overall goal of the rural population should be to explore the maximum natural potential for growth based on the optimization of the availability of valuable natural, historic or cultural resources will be fully utilized, while the rural population earn additional incomes.

Challenges

One of the greatest challenges for Bulgaria in the process of economical restructuring is to balance the sufficient production of food and the increase of the employment rate with the protection of the environment

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

The National Agricultural Advisory System was established in 1994 with an ordinance of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. NAAS has 30 local offices, 3 specialized offices and 4 national centers – study, informational, agrobusiness and accounting, and laboratory. The headquarters of the NAAS are in the Ministry of Agriculture. From 2000 NAAS is a separate legal entity. The NAAS provides equitable access to all major groups – farmers, women, youth, etc. Special attention is provided to young and new farmers regarding their education and training.

Information

A decree for improving the nutrition of schoolchildren was adopted by the government and published in 1996. It includes legal and economic measures for nutrition improvement in the school canteens and refreshment bars, makes provision for an increase of the state aid directed to the school meals. Directions for requirements and practical approaches for the establishment of healthy nutrition in school canteens and refreshment bars, as well as Manual with recipes were developed and are under publication.

Reference values of Energy and Nutrient Intake for Bulgarian population, were updated in 1994.  Bulgarian Food Composition Tables were updated in 1995.  

The main outcome of this Conference was the establishment of FAO Global Information and Early Warning System of Food and Agriculture. From 1997, Bulgaria started to carry out an Annual Food Supply and Nutritional situation assessment. This assessment has to be carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Research and Technologies 

The objective of the measure "Development of environmentally-friendly agricultural practices", included in the NARDP is to encourage and support farmers to start using environmentally-friendly agricultural production methods. The incentives for farmers will be in the form of direct payments per hectare. Under this measure pilot projects for organic and environmentally friendly agriculture are developed and supported. 

List of agro-environmental actions included in the measure include:

  1. Organic crop farming – eligible crops: cereals, vegetables, oil seeds, fodder crops (pulses, clover, alpha-alpha), vineyards for wine production, aromatical and medical crops
  2. Organic livestock farming - small ruminants - sheep, goats; other ruminants - dairy cows, cows and calves for meat production; pigs (extensive breeding systems); bee keeping
  3. Extension of grazing systems
  4. Maintenance of endangered local races of farm animals – buffaloes; black pigs; horses; sheep; goats
  5. Maintenance of endangered local varieties of cultivated crops
  6. Maintenance and restoration of landscape features – hedges; tree belts; independent landscape features; manmade features - terraces, stonewalls, pathways;
  7. Conversion of arable land to extensive permanent pasture land in environmental sensitive areas and in areas with high erosion potential
  8. Management of abandoned agricultural lands
  9. Management of abandoned forest lands

Financing 

No information is available.

Cooperation  

No information is available.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: June 2000.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Environment and Waters conducts Bulgaria’s overall environment protection policy, including the clean ambient air policy.

The Ministry of Environment and Waters and the relevant ministries (Ministries of: Healthcare; Economy; and transport and Communications etc.) are involved in the following activities:

·        developing the strategy of the government for environmental protection;

·        co-ordinating the environmental control functions of ministries and agencies; and

·        jointly with the interested ministries and other state authorities approves emission levels and concentration limits for harmful substances by region, by environmental media and by pollutant type, and for the use of renewable and non-renewable resources.

Regional inspectorates of environment and waters have been established as authorities of the Ministry of Environment and Waters to conduct the environment protection policy. The Regional Inspectorates serve the municipalities which do not have environment protection equipment and staff.

The local authorities (municipal authorities) create their own environment protection programmes in agreement with the competent authorities of the Ministry of Environment and Waters and, if necessary, with the Ministry of Healthcare and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and with other competent government authorities, inform the population about the state of the environment and about activities and actions implemented and subject to environmental impact assessment, manage the municipal environment protection funds etc.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The protection of ambient air is legally defined in the Clean Air Act and in the following regulations harmonized with the EU legislation).

·        Regulation No 1/13.02.1998 on the conditions and procedures for approval of temporary standards for harmful substances emitted in the ambient air from immobile operational sites. (SG issue51/98).  For further details, see the web page of the Ministry of Environment and Waters: http://www.moew.govrn.bg

·        Regulation No 2/19.02.1998 on the admissible emission levels for emissions of harmful substances in the ambient air from sites with immobile sources. (SG issue 51/98);

·        Regulation No 3/25.02.1998 on the conditions and procedures for approval of temporary standards for harmful substances emitted in the ambient air from immobile operational sites related to the national fuel and energy balance of Bulgaria. (SG issue51/98);

·        Regulation No 6/26.03.1999 on the procedures and manner of measurement of emissions of harmful substances in the ambient air from sites with immobile sources. (SG issue31/99);

·        Regulation No 7/03.05.1999 on the assessment and management of ambient air quality (SG issue45/99);

·        Regulation No 8/03.05.1999 on the levels of ozone in ambient air.

            (SG issue 46/99);

·        Regulation No 9/03.05.1999 on the levels for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, fine particulates and lead in the ambient air. (SG issue46/99);

·        Regulation No 15/29.07.1999 on the admissible emission levels (concentrations in exhaust gasses) for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and dust emitted in the ambient air from new large combustion plants (SG issue 73/99);

·        Regulation No 16/12.08.1999 on the restriction of the emissions of volatile organic substances during storage, loading or unloading and transportation of petrol (SG issue75/99);

·        Regulation No 17/02.11.1999 on the levels of lead, sulphur and other environmentally harmful substances in fuels (SG issue97/99);

·        Decree of the Council Ministers No 254/ 30.12.1999 on the control and management of ozone layer depleting substances. (SG issue3/2000);

·        Order No RD – 299/ 16.06.2000 of the Minister of Environment and Waters on the Approval of a Method for Calculation of the Balance of Emissions of Harmful Substances (Pollutants) Emitted into the Ambient air; and

·        Order No RD – 02-14-211/ 25.02.1998 on the approval of a method for calculation of the height of emitting facilities, scattering and expected concentrations of pollutants in the ground layer.

·        One of the most important prerequisites for resolving of the environmental problems of the economies in transition is the successful introduction and use of economic tools in the environment protection policy. These become increasingly more important for the generation of environment protection funds and for providing of incentives to the economic subjects to conduct pollution reduction activities. The Environment Protection Act defines the basic framework for the environmental policy by using principles such as:

·        “polluter pays”, “public right to know” and “prevention”;

·        assigns to the Ministry of Environment and Waters and its regional structures and to the municipalities all authority for the implementation of the policy of the state;

·        defines the payment of all taxes, fees, penalties and sanctions for damages or pollution caused; and

·        itt also defines the establishment of the National Nature Protection Fund and the Municipal Environmental Protection Funds.

Economic Tools Introduced for Environmental Purposes

Sanctions:

The most used economic tools enforced on the polluters are those for pollution of air, water and soil in excess of the admissible levels. This measure has been in use since 1978, but since 1993 the regulations for those sanctions have been the subject of multiple updates and additions conforming to the economic situation. The latest amendments and supplements made in 1999 increased the amounts of the sanctions multiple times. The revenue is distributed as follows: 30% - into the relevant municipal environment protection funds and 70% into the National environment protection fund.

If the polluter should undertake measures to achieve the standards in accordance with an investment programme approved by the Ministry of Environment and Waters, he/she will pay only 20% of the sanction. The procedure for the implementation of this relief is determined by the Minister of Environment and Waters.

Provisions allowing the Minister of Environment and Waters to increase the amount of individual sanctions exist for the cases of damage or pollution in excess of the admissible levels in areas with deteriorated environment. The government determines the environmentally deteriorated areas through accurate expert analyses.

Tax relief:

Profit tax reliefs are allowed for legal persons and for natural persons who have made donations to environmental organisations.

Emission fees:

These are fees for emissions (into water and air) of harmful substances within the admissible levels. Such fees are provided for in law but are still not enforced.

Fees for importing of hazardous waste are introduced, including for ozone layer depleting substances such as HCFC and methyl bromide.

Importing of equipment, raw materials etc. in the form of grants under international agreements and/or contracts ratified by Bulgaria's National Assembly and aimed at reducing the risk to human health and to the environment is free of duties and fees.

In case of large-scale emergencies or incidents caused by atmospheric pollution or climate changes, the Council of Ministers makes decisions for the compensation of the groups of victims by the State.  Their protection from unfavorable impacts from atmospheric pollution is regulated in the Clean Air Act. According to this Act: “The Minister of Environment and Waters shall, jointly with the respective interested ministers, elaborate and submit for approval to the Council of Ministers a programme for gradual reduction of the overall emissions of certain harmful substances (pollutants): sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide etc.), emitted in the ambient air from certain operational sites and activities such as large combustion plants and others.”

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The First National Report on Climate Change was completed in conjunction with the National Energy Strategy which was recently debated in the National Assembly.

In 1991 representatives of the World Bank and experts from the Ministry of Environment and Waters elaborated the first Environmental Protection Strategy. This was followed by a study on the Environment Strategy for Bulgaria conducted in 1994 and by an updating and follow up proposed, again, by World Bank experts (Report 131493BUL).

The elaboration of a National Environment Protection Strategy and an Action Plan is under way. These documents are being developed under a joint project with the Ministry of Nature, Nature Resources and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of Germany financed under the PHARE 98 Programme. The 'Air' section will define the overall ambient air protection strategy.

Greenhouse gas emissions:

In July 2000 the Council of Ministers adopted a National Climate Change Action Plan. The Plan contains administrative, economic, technical and technological measures which should be adopted during the subsequent years with a view to the main strategic objective of the National Plan for Economic Development (NPED) for 2000-2006, namely « achievement of a sustainable low-inflation economic growth as a prerequisite for increased income and improved living conditions with a view to further integration into the European economic and social space. »

In accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers all institutions responsible for the implementation of the action plan should include the policy and measures provided for in the plan into their programmes. The policy and the measures for reduction of GH emissions, as provided for in the Action Plan, cover all economic sectors and make provisions for the attaining of the highest economic efficiency at the lowest cost. The measures are based on both technical solutions and legal, institutional, managerial and behavioural changes.

Opportunities are proposed for the removal of the inadequacies of the market (such as monopoly, inequity, absence of information, legal obstacles etc.) indirectly leading to excessive greenhouse emissions. Their overcoming will ensure saving of resources and reduction of emissions at the same time.

Terrestrial and marine resource development for GHG sinks:

The first (1996) and the Second (1998) national communications of the Republic of Bulgaria on Climate identify the areas occupied by forests acting as carbon dioxide sinks, and this is held in consideration in the annual inventories of greenhouse gasses.

Ozone layer depleting substances:

The National Strategy for the Ozone Layer Depleting Substances is aimed at the gradual termination of their use. For this purpose the National Assembly elaborated a National Programme for the Termination of the Use of Ozone Layer Depleting Substances, between 1992 and 1994. This programme was concerned with chlorfluorocarbons. A programme for gradual reduction and termination of the use of methylbromide is under way at present, and the preparation of the National Programme for the Elimination of the Use of Hydrofluorcarbons was initiated on January

Transboundary air pollution:

The Environmental Strategy (1991) referred to in item 1. contains a section describing the actions required from Bulgaria to limit transboundary air pollution. Presently, the policy for such a restriction is related to the obligations assumed by Bulgaria under the EIA Convention and under the Convention on Transboundary Pollution of Air at Long Distances (Geneve, 1979, ratified by Bulgaria in 19981) and its subsequent 8 protocols.

Reduction of GHG emissions:

Short term (2-3 years): In its ratification document Bulgaria assumed, and fulfilled, the obligation that anthropogenic GHG emissions in the year 2000 should not increase the levels for emissions of these gasses during the base year of 1988. The following short-term activities have been planned: elaboration and coordination of energy efficiency improvement and energy saving programmes and implementation of specific measures in individual sectors; incentives for investment in environmentally sound technologies and energy saving activities; increased initiative of private businesses to participation in energy saving activities.

Long-term (5-10 years): In accordance with Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol at the UNFCCC, Bulgaria has the obligation to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions between 2008 and 2012 by 8% in accordance with the base year.

The National Climate Plan contains the following long-term objectives:

Mitigating ozone depletion:

Short term (2-3 years): elaboration of a national programme for the disuse of hydro-chlorfluorcarbonates (HCFC) by July 2002; gradual reduction of the use of methyl bromide in accordance with the Montreal Protocol. Long-term (5-10 years): termination of the use of methyl bromide until 2005; termination of the use of HCFC until 2010.

Transboundary air pollution:

The annual national anthropogenic emissions for the base 1990 and the period between 1995-1999, and the short-term (2000 and 2005) and long-term (2010) obligations assumed by the state to reduce emissions are presented in the following table:

No*

 

1990

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2005

2010

1

SOx (as SO2)

2008

1476

1420

1365

1251

943

1226

890

856

2

NOx (as NO2)

361

266

259

225

223

202

280

270

266

3

NH3

144

99

83

77

66

60

109

113

108

4

NMVOCs

217

173

147

120

132

118

185

194

185

5

CO

891

846

613

515

650

617

820

800

750

6

CH4

757

506

495

533

553

478

451

420

420

7

CO2

85

63

60

59

55

-

68

88

101

SO2, NO2, NMVOCs, NH3, CO and CH4 in thousands of tonnes per year.; CO2 in millions tons per year.

·     Gas emissions from No.1 through No.6 are calculated using CORINAIR/EMEP 94, СО2 emissions are calculated using IPCC 96.

Measures in industries:

·        Changing of the fuel for energy sources in industrial enterprises from coal and heavy liquid fuels to natural gas;

·        Optimization of energy costs; Monitoring and preventive maintenance of energy intensive machines and equipment; Improved thermal insulation of pipelines, valves, subscriber stations and boilers; Improved management and maintenance of energy equipment;

·        Training of executives and managers; and

·        Development of norms and standards for energy use and energy intensity in production. These activities are determinative in the short-term.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

The possibility for each group to participate in the decisions concerning the protection of the atmosphere is regulated in the Environment Protection Act and in the Clean Air Act, and is the regular practice of the MOEW.

In establishing the atmosphere protection legislation, prior to its submission to the Council of Ministers for approval, it is discussed and agreed with non-governmental organizations, business and industry organizations and scientists.

In reality all groups may participate in the discussions, and in the preparation and proposing of sites for environmental impact assessment. According to the Environment Protection Act:

All groups of people working outdoors and whose subject of activities (water, soil) is subject to atmospheric impacts (fishermen, farmers etc.) suffer losses from pollution of atmosphere. The compensation for the unfavorable impact of human activity caused atmospheric pollution of water and soils is settled with the Environment Protection Act, which stipulates that: “the responsibilities for environmental damage caused by past activity or inactivity shall be borne by the state under conditions and procedures determined by the Council of Ministers.”

Programmes and Projects   

In protecting the global atmosphere and air quality, Bulgaria has completed a National Programme for Phasing out Ozone-depleting Substances and is utilizing a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant of US$10.5 million to implement it.  National programmes for reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases and sulphur oxides are under development.

The National CFC Use Reduction Programme

The implementation of the National CFC Use Reduction Programme ended in April 2000. The National Programme was elaborated between 1992 and 1994 in observation of the Montreal Protocol. The programme had two main directions:

·        undertaking of administrative measures and development of the relevant legislation aimed at terminating the use of ozone layer depletion substances; and

·        development of specific investment projects introducing new technologies and equipment which do not use such substances.

By decree of the Council of Ministers dated January 1, 1996, the importing of freons and of facilities and products made of or using these, was terminated. This regulatory document was further developed and supplemented in accordance with the new requirements of the Montreal Protocol and with the relevant EU legislation. A new Regulation on the Control and Management of Ozone Layer Depleting Substances is in effect as of January 1, 2000. It prohibits not only the import but also the use of freons in Bulgaria, provides for deadlines for the ending of trade and use of the so-called transitory substances (hydro fluorocarbons), prohibits the import and export of those to states who are not parties to the Protocol, determines recycling and regeneration of freon 12 for servicing etc.

Unassisted, Bulgaria terminated the use of freons in construction, pharmaceuticals and perfumery as early as 1995-1996.

The programme provides for investment projects in refrigeration and in the use of solvents in machine building and electronics. Grants from the Global Environmental Facility were agreed with the IBRD and received for the implementation of these projects.  he projects lead to importing of up-to-date plants and technologies. This has resulted not only in discontinued environmental damage but has also allowed the companies to retain their scope of activities and to preserve and even increase their production capacity and be competitive on foreign markets.

In prevention of illegal imports and use of prohibited freons, portable freon analyzers were purchased. Some of them were submitted gratuitously to border check points through which the preceding substances may be imported. Another part is used for control by the experts in the Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Waters of the MOEW.

A strategy for CFC management in existing plants is under preparation with a view to reducing their emissions in the atmosphere. Also, a National Programme for the Termination of the Use of Hydro fluorocarbons (HCFC) is being elaborated.

The first step in the Programme for the termination of the use of methyl bromide was the limiting of areas in which this substance could be used. Its use is allowed only in greenhouses with very restrictive requirements for less frequent fumigation, for the prohibition of its use near schools, kindergartens and housing areas.

For better understanding of the process and of the significance of the changes of the air, various activities for training in enforcement are provided to representatives of MOEW, EEA, RIEW, municipalities and enterprises

The following “atmosphere” related programmes were elaborated, approved and successfully implemented:

·        National Programme for phase out of leaded gasoline in the Republic of Bulgaria;

·        National Programme for Termination of the Use of Ozone Layer Depleting Substances;

·        National Action Plan for Climate Changes under the Climate Change Strategy.

Implemented projects:

·        Project for further construction of the system for real-time monitoring of air;

·        Project for ambient air quality monitoring systems in 4 towns on the Danube;

·        Approximation of Bulgaria’s legislation with the EU industrial pollution control requirements;

·        Projects for installing of new equipment and reconstructing of old facilities in various enterprises throughout the country (predominantly power plants).

Status   

There is no oil or natural gas in Bulgaria. There is enough brown coal with more than 3.5% sulphur content and up to 60% humidity and 70% ash residuals. That coal provides 45 to 53% of the total energy production (38 billion kWh in 1994). In addition, because of the severe drought experienced over the last five years, the share of hydro energy in total production has fallen from between 6-8% to 1-2%. About 41% of the total population has been threatened by air and water pollution coming from the energy sector, industry, and transportation. Fourteen hot spots with high levels of pollution harmful to human health have been declared in the country.

Condition by Sector

Healthcare:  The analysis shows that in the structure of morbidity the highest incidence rate belongs to respiratory diseases. The rate of acute infections of respiratory tract is increased. The chronic respiratory diseases are increased in towns polluted by chemical and petrochemical industries, as well as in regions subjected to intensive automobile transport.

Residential areas:  By decree of the Council of Ministers, 14 regions in Bulgaria where ambient air quality causes the most serious problems were declared as ecological “hot spots”. They span an area of 3,514 square miles and a population of 3.2 mln. residents. In most cases, excess of admissible air quality standards is registered in these locations.

Ecosystems:  The observation of forest ecosystems is the subject of an International co-operative programme – the “Evaluation and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests”. The 1999 data show an improved condition. This effect is due, to a certain extent, to the reduced emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other harmful substances emitted from industries in Bulgaria and to the reduced transboundary transfers.

At the background level (Background Station Rozhen) in 1999:

High quantities of lead in moss were measured at the early stages of vegetation. The accumulated concentrations are in excess of the European standards. Maximum ozone levels were measured during the year between April 6-10 and August 24-28, and they coincided with the active vegetation of plants, with significant impacts on plant and tree species.

Total quantities of anthropogenic GHG emissions in Bulgaria, in thousand tons:

GAS

1988

1990

1991

1993

1995

1996

1997

1998

CO2

96 878

85 278

67 020

63 257

63 109

60 291

59 217

55 150

% с/о
1988 г.

0

- 11.9

- 30.8

- 35.7

-34.8

-37.7

-38.8

-43.07

CH4

1 412.7

1 420

1 358

1 117

901

852

892.4

654.4

% с/о
1988 г.

0

+ 0.51

- 3.87

-20.9

-36.22

-39.6

-36.8

-53.6

N2O

30.8

29.6

23.2

17.5

20.6

20.5

21.2

47.7

% с/о
1988 г.

0

-3.9

-24.6

-43.1

-33.1

-33.4

-31.1

+54.8

Nox

486.35

250.8

191.4

183.7

161.3

133

142.7

143.4

% с/о
1988 г.

0

-48.4

-60.6

-62.2

-66.8

-72.6

-70.5

=48.4

CO

826.59

951.8

738

767.7

706.6

726.9

622.7

516.3

NMVOC

132.3

104.9

58.3

67.9

73.4

68

72

98.3

SO2

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 304

1 226

* Calculated according 1996 IPCC Guidelines

Aggregated GHG emissions (expressed as СО2 equivalent, in th. tons)

Emissions

1988

1990

1991

1993

1995

1997

1998

CO2 [Gg]

99 878

85 278

67 020

63 257

63 109

59 217

48 917

CH4 [Gg]

29 667

29 820

28 518

23 457

18 921

18 740

13 742

N2O [Gg]

25 255

23 964

21 217

16 675

17 110

17 608

14 779

TOTAL [Gg
CO2 eqv]

136 093

124 274

102 730

92 139

88 416

84 529

77 438

Percent (1988=100)

100

91.32

75.49

67.70

64.97

62.1

56.90

* Calculated according 1996 IPCC Guidelines

Total GHG emissions for 1998 by main sectors, in th. tons

Green-house gas source

CO2
emissions

CO2
removals

CH4

N2O

NOX

NMVOC

SO2

Total National Emissions and Removals

55 149,86

- 6 232,7

654,41

47,67

143,48

89,31

1226,2

Energy

51 388,22

 

175,6

8,78

134,31

44,91

1 213,44

Industrial Processes

3 761,64

 

2,83

3,12

8,31

15,47

12,76

Solvent and Other Product Use

0

 

0

0

0

28,9

0

Agriculture

0

 

113,72

35,15

0,86

0

0

Land-Use Change and Forestry

 

- 6 232,7

 

 

 

 

 

Waste

0

 

362,26

0,61

0

0

0

Inter-national Bunkers

1 512,41

 

0,03

0,03

28,41

0,46

15,8

aviation

279,86

 

0,01

0

1,11

0,09

0,09

Marine

1 2132,55

 

0,02

0,03

27,3

0,37

15,78

* Calculated according 1996 IPCC Guidelines

The proportion of land that could be considered as greenhouse gas sinks in our country is as follows:  

CO2 sinks in Bulgaria by Land-Use Change and Forestry

Years

1988
base year

1990

1991

1993

1995

1996

1997

1998

CO2
th. Tons

4 657

5 801

7 880

7 022

7 520

7 190

5 852

6 23

Consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances for the period 1992-1999

 

Substance

Total consumption in metric tons

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Annex A,

Group I

CFCs

 

1363

 

719

 

702

 

697

 

5

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

Annex A, Group II

Halons

 

16

 

2

 

2

 

2

 

0.2

 

0.2

 

0

 

0

Annex B, GroupI

Other CFC

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Annex B,
Group II

CTC

 

35.0

 

20

 

20

 

20

 

5

 

0.02

 

0

 

0

Annex B, Group III

MCF

 

10

 

 

45

 

45

 

45

 

 

1

 

0

 

0

 

0

Annex C, Group I

HCFC

 

3.0

 

 

71

 

 

79

 

 

80

 

 

105

 

103

 

180

 

115

Annex E

Group I

Methyl bromide

 

100

 

100

 

100

 

 

80

 

 

100

 

 

60

 

 

60

 

 

60

 

 

·     Technical Research, England.

Challenges  

Most of the high pollution, industrial facilities are still in operation. Little large-scale investment for pollution control equipment has been made to date. As a result, the pollution and resource intensity of the economy remains very high. The recent reduction of discharges of pollutants into the air and water was principally due to the decline of industrial and agricultural production (due to the recession that took place before 1993) rather than to more efficient production or cleaner industrial processes. Pollution loads may increase once economic growth resumes, unless environmental policy is strengthened. In fact the 1.4% growth of GNP registered in 1994 was equal to an increase of 300,000 tons of emissions compared to 1993.

In Bulgaria, ambient air quality is controlled only in the urban environment and the country has no system for early warning for the population.

Air quality

The concentrations of total dust in the whole country are traditionally high. The main sources of dust are from the combustion of solid fuels in the thermal power stations, the households and the industry. There continues the trend from the recent 3 - 4 years towards stabilization of the annual concentrations of sulphur dioxide in the air around and over the maximum allowable concentrations. The main source of this pollution is the energy sector. The main polluters of the air with nitrogen dioxide are the transport and the energy sectors, whereas the highest concentrations were measured at the stations, monitoring the pollution from the traffic in the larger cities in Bulgaria.

Institutional and Structural problems in reduction of greenhouse gases:

Many of the necessary and mandatory institutions provided for in the UNFCCC and in the Kyoto Protocol are new for Bulgaria and there is no experience in their establishment and in the organizing of their activities, such as “registration centres”, emission trading etc., in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol.  The establishment of new private legal subjects in the process of privatization requires time and creates difficulties for the timely implementation of the new regulatory framework, created in the process of accession to the EU.

In a currency board situation it is difficult for the state to provide large resources for the environment and for measures to reduce harmful gasses released into the ambient air. The private companies are also still unable to invest in new environmentally clean technologies, to replace equipment etc

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

The use of chlorofluorocarbons in production was terminated completely. The use of recycled chlorofluorocarbons for service purposes is allowed.  A centre was established retraining refrigerator repairmen in using alternative substances. More than 1,500 repairmen were trained. They also received free service equipment. Thirty two freon 12 recycling and regeneration centres were established throughout the country, and were granted to refrigerator repair companies. The processed freon can be used for servicing in existing refrigeration and air conditioning systems and in household appliances without breach of our legislation and of obligations under international agreements.

The Ministry of Environment and Waters is a governmental institution distributing among the general public information on the activities against climate changes and protection of the ambient air. According to the Environment Protection Act, every year the Ministry issues a Green Book where not only detailed air quality information is presented, by also all ambient air protection activities undertaken at the national and local level are described.

The evaluation of GHG emissions and the study of their impact was conducted under the project “Study for Bulgaria of Climate Change Issues”, developed in 1993-1996 with the financial assistance of the Department of Energy of the USA. During this study organization structures were established, as well as teams of experts, covering all the main aspects of the climate changes related to: GHG inventory; vulnerability and adaptation to climate changes; development of GHG reduction measures; technical and economic assessment of GHG emission reduction measures; GHG emission forecasts. The results from this study and the National Climate Action Plan elaborated on its basis were broadly publicized through the mass media, discussed at NGO seminars and meetings and were submitted to libraries, scientific institutions etc.

The EnEffect centre, established as an NGO and involved directly with energy efficiency projects and GHG reduction, conducted a number of studies on the implementation of flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, whose results were broadly promoted by means of seminars, broadcasts on the national radio and publication of information materials.  A number of seminars were organized by the ecological movement Ekoglasnost in several large municipalities where scientists and government experts acquainted the public with the activities undertaken against climate changes and for protection of the atmosphere.

National public campaigns for ambient air related awareness are organized. The following campaigns have been organized during the last years:

Usually, these campaigns are conducted by non-governmental organizations and include radio and TV shows, publications in newspapers and specialized magazines, seminars, press-conferences, children’s drawing contest and contests for best presentation of the subject by journalists, issuance of leaflets and advertising materials, concerts etc.

The Ministry of Education and Science (MOS) in Bulgaria has the direct task of providing environmental knowledge in secondary and tertiary level schools. In 1996 the MOS approved and co-operated in the publication and distribution of ecological education bulletins in schools. This was made possible through the assistance of the Environmental Education and Technologies Association sponsored by the PHARE programme. The purpose of the bulletins was that ecological knowledge should be distributed in an attractive manner in the form of a game. In 1997 the MOS approved the Ecological Education in Secondary School curriculum, uniting the ecological elements contained in other subjects into one. In April 1998, the MOS, in cooperation with the National Education Institute and with the European Council, organized a seminar called “Ecological Requirements for School Curricula” as a stage of the EU Project on “Secondary Education in Europe”.

Information   

Ambient air quality

Information is gathered from the entire country. There are 15 Regional Dispatching Points in the system of the MOEW and they submit information to the Central Dispatching Point (CDP) in Sofia on a daily basis.  The information is sent to the CDP by telex, radio or paper. The data base is designed in the Debase language. The information system using this database has been in operation since January 1991.

Atmospheric Pollution Studies

A number of studies directly or indirectly related to protection of the atmosphere have been and are being conducted in Bulgaria. This research involves scientists from various institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, the Institute of Forests, the Institute of Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, the Institute of Economics, and by other organizations such as EnEffect????, Energy project, private consulting companies etc. The Executive Environment Agency is one of the main coordinators of research of this type with much of the work being done under international projects funded by the PHARE Programme, or under bilateral co-operation agreement (with the Netherlands, Denmark etc.). Studies have been conducted jointly with experts from USEPA, the Danish DEPA, the World Bank, the UNDP, UNEP, REC etc.

Exchange of information

Manually operated points – the data, concerning the preceding day, are sent to the CDP by telex every day by 14:00.

Automatic stations:  the one-minute data are kept for a period of one year at the regional dispatching points. The half-hour and the one-hour data are sent to the national data base once daily in the same manner as the data from the manually operated points.

The construction of the national data base and of the local data bases designed in ORACLE was started in the year 2000. A wide-area network was established between the RIEW and EEA. A PHARE project was initiated at the end of the same year. It will result in the construction of the National Network for Real-Time Ambient Air Quality Information Network. At the end of the project in year 2002, all automatic stations in Bulgaria will be connected via radio with the RDP and via a wan-network with the CDP, and the information will be received in real time.

The Ministry of Environment and Waters is a governmental institution distributing among the general public information on the activities against climate changes and protection of the ambient air. According to the Environment Protection Act, every year the Ministry issues a Green Book where not only detailed air quality information is presented, but also all ambient air protection activities undertaken at the national and local level are described. The evaluation of GHG emissions and the study of their impact was conducted under the project Study for Bulgaria of Climate Change Issues, developed in 1993-1996 with the financial assistance of the Department of Energy of the USA. During this study organisation structures were established, as well as teams of experts, covering all the main aspects of the climate changes related to:

·        GHG inventory;

·        vulnerability and adaptation to climate changes;

·        development of GHG reduction measures;

·        technical and economic assessment of GHG emission reduction measures; and

·        GHG emission forecasts.

The results from this study and the National Climate Action Plan elaborated on its basis were broadly publicised through the mass media, discussed at NGO seminars and meetings and were submitted to libraries, scientific institutions etc. The EnEffect centre, established as an NGO and involved directly with energy efficiency projects and GHG reduction, conducted a number of studies on the implementation of flexible mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, whose results were broadly promoted by means of seminars, broadcasts on the national radio and publication of information materials. A number of seminars were organised by the ecological movement Ekoglasnost in several large municipalities where scientists and government experts acquainted the public with the activities undertaken against climate changes and for protection of the atmosphere.

The web page of the EEA, www.nfp-bg.eionet.eu.int, presents data on the condition of the environment on a daily basis.

In keeping with the Environmental Protection Act, the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) drafts and submits every year Reports on the Condition of the Environment, to be promulgated under the name of Green Book upon approval. The Executive Environmental Agency at the MOEW drafts daily, weekly and quarterly bulletins and annual reports on the condition of the environment (including ambient air), available to all interested persons and agencies.

The MOEW issues a bulletin reporting on all events, news (including methods, legislation, projects, programmes and forums) regarding the environment. Information about the MOEW’s environment protection policy, the legislation, projects and programmes may be found on the web page of the MOEW: www.moew.govrn.bg.  Heads of various departments and experts from the MOEW and the Environmental Executive Agency participate in radio and TV programmes presenting information about the state of ambient air and about the policy and measures undertaken by the MOEW for its preservation. The MOEW organises press-conferences acquainting journalists with the current ambient-air related issues.

At national and international forums, representatives of the MOEW present data about the state of ambient air in the country and about the measures and policy of the MOEW for its preservation.

Research and Technologies   

Concerning ambient air quality

·        a National Network of manually operated and automatic ambient air quality monitoring points and mobile stations has been created;

·        dispersion models are used in determining the ground-level concentration of harmful substances; and

·        The MOEW has an electronic data base on ambient air condition and on the sources of harmful substances.

New GHG emission reduction technologies have been used in the implementation of several projects already fulfilled or in progress, mainly in the energy sector, such as:

·        Installation of carbon-in-ash analyzers in 5 of the largest coal stations in Bulgaria;

·        Installation of low-nitrogen burners in three steam boilers in one of Sofia’s heating plants;

·        Replacement of low-pressure K-200-130 turbines with a highly efficient new turbine in the largest power plant in Maritsa East;

·        Construction of gas-turbine modules for co-generation of electricity and heat in three heating plants in Bulgaria; and

·        Construction of experimental wind and solar energy plants.

The necessary technologies may be divided into two groups:

1.   Technologies, preventing or limiting the generation of harmful emissions:

·        highly efficient technologies in the energy sector aimed at reducing the quantities of coal per unit of produced energy; new technologies using renewable energy sources;

·        optimisation of the structure of energy carriers in households and efficient conversion to gas of households;

·        implementation of clean technologies in the production of fertilisers, cement, and in the ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy;

·        modern waste management methods including waste recycling and incineration technologies;

·        methods for cultivation of agricultural lands and selection of tree species for afforestation; and

·        sustainable schemes of organization of transport in towns etc.

The termination of the use of ozone layer depleting substances requires introduction of new technologies and equipment in replacement of HCFC in the production of prefabricated panels, and refrigeration and air conditioning facilities.

2.   Waste gas treatment technologies:

·        new technologies for removal of sulphur and nitrogen oxides from waste gasses;

·        optimization of processes in electrostatic precipitators trapping particulate matter; and

·        installation of a second level of treatment in cement plants etc.

Financing   

The financing of atmospheric protection is derived from the State budget, the National Environmental Protection Fund, municipal Environmental Protection Funds, the Environmental Trust Fund, and external financing.

Main sources or funds for air protection activities:

The 1999 data shows the following sources by type:

                                                                                                          thousand levs

Source type

Total for the environment

Including air

State Budget

14,000

Foreign sources

1,906

1,302

NEPF

27,591

595

National Trust Eco Fund

7,214

Municipal Environment Protection Funds

18,072

1,435

other

382,333

172,678

Total

444,626

176,010 (39,6%)

Cooperation  

Every year reports are elaborated and presented to the governing authorities of various ambient-air preservation conventions to which Bulgaria is a party – UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer and Montreal Protocol for the Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer as amended and The Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution and related protocols.

Representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Waters and of the Executive Environmental Agency have taken part in:

·        Advanced International Training Programme “Air Pollution Management & Technology”, organized by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency;

·        Annual training courses for experts – Industrial Air Pollution Control for EECs – organized by JICA, Japan;

·        Training course for the Eastern European countries – Changes of the Global Climate and Development;

·        Training course at the US Environment Protection Agency on air quality modeling; and

·        Training courses on EIA, organized by the MOEW and the International Center for Technical Research, England.

In co-operation with the World Bank, Bulgaria is finalizing a Pollution Abatement Programme which includes implementation of several projects involving technological reconstruction and innovations aimed at phasing out leaded gasoline, heavy metal pollution from copper smelters, and conversion of central heating from coal/oil to gas.  Regional and international cooperation for atmospheric protection led to Agreements with Romania, Germany, and the USA, and Programmes for Air Purity Protection.

The main international partners are the PHARE Programme, the UNDP, the UNEP, the Global Environmental Facility of the WB, the Danish Environmental Agency, DEPA, the French Agency for Energy and Environment ADEME, the Dutch Senter International etc. Co-operative relations have been established with many countries and individual international organisations for technology transfer.

The National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Changes in March 1995, and this Convention became effective in Bulgaria on May 12, 1995. Bulgaria assumed and met the obligation not to exceed the 1988 emission levels in the year 2000. The Kyoto Protocol was signed on September 11, 1998.  Also, the country has ratified the Vienna Convention on Ozone Layer Protection and the Montreal Protocol on the Ozone Depleting Substances on October 17, 1989. The London and Copenhagen amendments to the Protocol were ratified on May 13, 1998, and the Montreal amendments were ratified on September 23, 1999.  The Republic of Bulgaria ratified the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution on February 19, 1981, and it became effective in Bulgaria on March 16, 1983. The following protocols to this Convention are ratified or signed:

·        The EMEP??? Protocol signed on April 4, 1985, ratified on September 26, 1986.

·        Sulphur protocol, signed on July 9, 1985, ratified on September 26, 1986;

·        NOx protocol, signed on November 1, 1988, ratified on March 30, 1989;

·        Volatile Organic Compounds Protocol, signed on November 1, 1991, ratified on February 27, 1998;

·        Second sulphur protocol, signed on June 14, 1994;

·        Heavy Metals Protocol signed on June 24, 1998;

·        Protocol on the Persistent Organic Pollutants signed on June 24, 1998;

·        Protocol on the reduction of acid pollution, eutrophication and tropospheric ozone, signed on December 1, 1999.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th and 9th and Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  May 2001.

Click here for national information from the Web Site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Environment is responsible for biodiversity conservation and the implementation of the Biodiversity Convention in Bulgaria. The Scientific and Management Authority was established in 1991.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures have been introduced since 1991 under the new Environmental Law and include biodiversity issues.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A National Strategy for the Conservation of Biodiversity was elaborated in 1992-94.   Priorities for immediate action and support, according to the National Biological Diversity Strategy (1994) include:

  1. Strengthening the Scientific Basis for Conservation;
  2. Legislative Initiatives;
  3. Expanding and Strengthening the Protected Areas Network;
  4. Environmental Education and Cooperative Extension;
  5. Developing and Implementing an Ecotourism Policy;
  6. Stimulating Conservation in the Black Sea Basin; and
  7. Stimulating Conservation in the Balkan Peninsula.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Major groups involved in biodiversity conservation include the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, the Ministry of Regional Development and Urban Planning, municipalities, and NGOs. Biodiversity financing is derived from the State budget, the National Environmental Protection Fund, and grants.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed at the Rio Summit by Bulgaria in 1992 and ratified on 29 February 1996. The latest report was submitted in 1995 and the next one will be submitted in 1998. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was ratified in 1991. The second European regional meeting of management, scientific, and other authorities involved in CITES plant issues was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, 14-16 April 1997.

Major steps towards the protection of the rich biodiversity in Bulgaria has been undertaken with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (US AID), the Swiss Government, and the Monaco Ministry of Environment and Public Affairs. Bilateral biodiversity conservation projects are conducted with Switzerland, Monaco, the United Kingdom, and France. The Ministry of Environment hosted a Regional Workshop on the Practical Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries in Lessidren from 25 to 27 June 1995 with 22 countries participating.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, the Committee of Forests at the Council of Ministers, and the Ministry of Environment are responsible for drought and related issues.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No desertification processes have been observed in Bulgaria. Degradation processes are observed in the low-mountain areas of South Bulgaria and along the southern slopes of the mountains. This is the result of deforestation activities carried out in the last century and at the beginning of this century, as well as the progress of intensive erosion processes which have strongly or very strongly affected 8,020 km2 of agricultural lands. For the last 45 years, 9,760 km2 of forest species have been planted, 6,800 km2 of which were for erosion control projects. In the last 7 years the number of erosion control activities has significantly decreased due to financial difficulties.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies  

No information is available

Financing  

Financing of land degradation projects comes from the National Fund for the Preservation and Improvement of Agricultural Land Productivity; the National Fund for Forestry Cultivation Procedures and Construction of Forest Roads; the National Environmental Protection Fund; and the State budget.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification particularly in Africa has not been signed by Bulgaria.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Clean Air has been effective since 1996 and sets the main legal framework for the protection of clean air.

The draft EC Directive on incineration of non-hazardous waste is completely adapted to the Bulgarian legislation. Also, directives 70/220/ЕЕС, 72/306/ЕЕС, 88/77/ЕЕС, 84/360/ЕЕС and 88/609/ЕЕС are adapted partially. Directives 89/369/ЕЕС and 94/67/ЕЕС on setting the emission limits for certain industries are completely transposed.

Air quality evaluation and management (Framework Directive 96/62/EEC, first Daughter Directive 1999/30/EC). An inventory of emissions has been in preparation since 1992 and has to be completed in the year 2000. It involves more than 2000 industrial enterprises. The Directive has been partially implemented in the Clean Air Act, in the Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Evaluation and Management, and in the Governmental Decree of 1998, which establishes the Bulgarian Accreditation Service. A new Regulation on Ambient Air Quality will become effective during the year 2000 and will correspond to the European Directive and ought to be implemented by the end of the year 2003.

The draft amendment of the Energy and Energy Efficiency Act provides for conclusion of long-term contracts (up to 15 years) for purchasing of electric energy from independent producers which ensures stability of foreign investment.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A National Energy Strategy has been recently debated in the National Assembly. National programmes for reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases and sulphur oxides are under development. The Environmental Strategy and its 1994 update were completed in cooperation with the World Bank and the US Government. The basis of the Strategy is the eco-efficiency approach which is concerned with changing the consumption/production models by means of minimizing energy consumption, and flows of pollutants and wastes per unit of economic output.  

The annual greenhouse gas inventories indicate combustion processes as the main source of GG in Bulgaria and thus most of the emission reduction measures are oriented towards fuel and energy production and use. The updating of the National Energy Development Strategy until 2010 will take into consideration the energy sector measures envisioned in the in the National Climate Change Action Plan.

Priority Measures

            -  Increasing production of lead-free petrol (0.001/l lead);

            -  production of diesel fuel containing up to 0.035% sulphur and industrial heavy fuel containing up to 0.2% sulphur up to the year 2004;

              -   limiting the sulphur content down to 0.005% and down to 0.1% in industrial heavy fuel, after the year 2005;

·        Reducing heavy metals and constant organic polluters emitted from energy by placing of filters and absorbers – 2005-2010;

·        Upgrading of central heating and increasing the number of users;

·        Increasing the deliveries of gas for household purposes and for industrial consumers – creation of the necessary infrastructure; and

·        Reconstruction of existing and building of new facilities in metallurgy preventing emissions of dust, SO2 and heavy metals.

The SAEER implements the state policy for operation, construction, reconstruction and upgrading of energy units or systems.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

The low technological and energy efficiency in the production and household sectors make human settlements big electricity consumers.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

All companies within the system of energy production and supply – central heating, power plants, the National Electricity Company, gas supply (Bulgargas), production and processing, electricity distribution, the Kozlodui Nuclear Power Plant, the Energoremont Holding – whose principal is the State Agency of Energy and Energy Resources (SAEER) prepare their short-term and long-term plans and balance sheets. This information is submitted to the SAEER where investment programmes, strategies, secondary legislation and others are designed. The information is then passed to the State Institute of Statistics for processing. The SAEER, the Ministry of Economy and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, assisted by all ministries and branches, prepare the country’s macroeconomic framework.

In keeping with the Environmental Protection Act, the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) drafts and submits every year Reports on the Condition of the Environment, to be promulgated under the name of Green Book upon approval. The Executive Environmental Agency at the MOEW drafts daily, weekly and quarterly bulletins and annual reports on the condition of the environment (including ambient air), available to all interested persons and agencies. Daily data about the condition of the environment are presented on the web page of the Environmental Protection Agency at the MOEW. The MOEW issues a bulletin reporting on all events and news (including methods, legislation, projects, programmes and forums) regarding the environment.

Information about the policy of the MOEW, and about the legislation, projects and programmes related to environmental protection may be found on the web page of the MOEW: www.moew.govrn.bg. Heads of various departments and experts from the MOEW and the Environmental Executive Agency participate in radio and TV programmes presenting information about the state of ambient air and about the policy and measures undertaken by the MOEW for its preservation. The MOEW organizes press-conferences acquainting journalists with the current ambient-air related issues. At national and international forums, representatives of the MOEW present data about the state of ambient air in the country and about the measures and policy of the MOEW for its preservation.

NEC Ltd. issues an annual book within the energy sector on the activities conducted during the preceding year. NEC Ltd. and SAEER publish an ‘Energy’ magazine containing technical information such as articles on the liberalization of the electric energy market, the demands for electricity in the country, and announces implemented projects, if any, etc.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

2000: 40% from the National Budget and 60% from the PHARE Programme.

2001: 64% from the National Budget and 36% from the PHARE Programme.

2002: 68% from the National Budget and 32% from the PHARE Programme.

Cooperation

In co-operation with the World Bank, Bulgaria is finalizing a Pollution Abatement Programme which includes implementation of several projects involving, for example, technological reconstruction and innovations aimed at phasing out leaded gasoline and conversion of central heating from coal/oil to gas.

External Sources of funding

1.      The Fifth Framework Programme of the EU on scientific studies and technological development. The national co-ordinator for the Fifth Framework Programme is the Ministry of Education and Science. SAEER has its own representative (institutional co-ordinator) for the Fourth Topical Sub-Programme on Energy, Environment and Sustainable development – studies and scientific research.

2.      The joint implementation of projects under the Framework UN Convention on Climate Change is implemented through financing under the Framework Agreement between Bulgaria and the Netherlands. The distribution is as follows:

3.       The Energy and Atmosphere programme aims to upgrade the Energy sector and reduce the harmful substances from large fuel farms, in compliance with the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.

4.      A Japanese credit line facility started in the year 2000.

5.       Implementation of projects with the assistance of the Dutch Environmental Agency.

6.      A soft environmental loan from the Danish Export Crediting fund and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency will be provided.

Other Sources

The SOx reduction projects are financed as follows:

Construction of a pilot electronic ray stack gas cleaning technology in the Maritsa East 2 power plant under the project BUL 8/014.

Construction of desulphurisation plants of units 7 and 8 in the Maritsa East 2 power plant. The project was ratified by the Bulgarian Parliament and is implemented under an agreement with the German consortium Кlöcner/SHU, at a cost of 110 million DM.

Energy sector projects are also financed by ISPA – 50 to 75% gratuitously, a credit from the MIF at 15-25%, and internal co-financing at 10%.

Financing is provided also by the Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Fund and by the Safe Radioactive Waste Storage Fund. Both funds are off-budget accounts operating on the ‘polluter pays’ principle. These funds invest in nuclear safety guarantee projects. An agreement has been entered into between the Bulgarian government and the EU for financial assistance for energy and for decommissioning of nuclear plants.

SAEER assists and supports the construction of pilot greenhouse gas reduction plants, including combined heat and power production plants, and of other new technologies improving the energy efficiency in the energy sector.  A trilateral agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency MAAE, Vienna, the Japanese Atomic Research Institute JAERI and the Bulgarian government represented by the NEC Ltd., provides for joint financing for the construction of a Pilot Stack Gas Purification by means of an electronic ray technology at the Maritsa East 2 power plant under the project BUL8/014.

The construction of desulphurisation plants into units 7 and 8 of the Maritsa East 2 power plant is funded through credit agreements with the EBRD and the EIB and through gratuitous assistance by the EU PHARE Programme. The project was ratified by the Bulgarian Parliament and is implemented under a contract concluded with the German Consortium Klöcner/SHU. This is the first project for Bulgaria implemented in line with Bulgaria’s obligations assumed in Oslo under the Second Protocol, to reduce the transboundary pollution with SOx emitted in the ambient air.

Preliminary Feasibility Study for ”Appraisal of CO2 emission reduction and modernization for the Bobovdol TRR” – State Agency of Energy and Energy Resources (SAEER) and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Sumitomo Corporation (SC).

A National Climate Change Action Plan was elaborated and adopted in the Council of Ministers (Decision 393 dated July 6, 2000). The Action Plan considers the requirements and the priorities and puts the sector and branch related measures into a uniform programme whose implementation would guarantee the fulfillment of the obligations under the РКОНИК??? and, mainly, under the Kyoto Protocol, and the acceleration of the country’s economic development and its accession to the international community.

In Bulgaria, 70 – 80 % of the total SO2 emissions are caused by electric energy production in thermal power plants. On June 14, 1994, in Oslo, Norway, Bulgaria signed a Protocol for Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions under the Convention on Transboundary Pollution of Air at Long Distances, 1979 (ratified by Bulgaria with No 332 dated 19.02.1981 and in effect as of 16.03.1983). According to this Protocol, Bulgaria has assumed the obligation to reduce sulphur oxides by 30% during the year 2000 and by 40% during 2005, an by 45 % during 2010.

By signing the Goteborg Protocol (1999), the Republic of Bulgaria has committed itself to achieving further reduction of SOx emissions in 2010, by 57%.

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This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 2001.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

In Bulgaria, the Committee of Forests of the Council of Ministers, and the Ministry of Environment represent the decision making structure. Forest priorities for Bulgaria include sustainable management and use of resources, restoration of habitats, support of international initiatives, and legislative improvement.  

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Main national laws which concern the Bulgarian forestry are the Forests Act (adopted on 29.12.1997) and the Restitution of Forests Act (adopted on 25.11.1997).

The Forests Act threats the issues about general definitions of terms "forest" and "Forest Areas"; the forests ownership; forests management and organization; forests regeneration; harvesting; forests guarding and protection; construction activities in the forests; forestry sector financing; penalties. There are two main points – this law establishes the base for restitution of forests and implementation of the structural reform, which means separation between state and economic activities in the forests.

The Restitution of Forests Act defines all procedures for the restitution process and responsible parties for its implementation. At present moment is finished the first stage of the whole process – gathering of applications and is ongoing the second stage – real ownership restoration. According to received applications there are claims for 13% private, 5% of authorities (school and religious) and 38% municipal forests in future. It is expected the ratio between different kinds of ownership to be 82% state owned, 5% municipality owned, 10% private owned and 3% owned by authorities forests after restitution process finalization. It is envisaged about 30% of future state forests to be given for use of municipalities.

A new Hunting and Game Protection Act has been prepared and is in procedure of adoption.

Recommending minimal prices during 1998 were elaborated and included in the Bulgarian National Standard. They are in accordance with the demand, offering and quality requirements of the harmonized with the EU standards, in order to guarantee the Bulgarian forest regeneration.

New 11 standards in accordance with EU standards were developed and enforced under Bulgarian National Standard.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A concrete action taken in Bulgaria to implement the IPF proposals was the drawing up and enforcement of a new forest policy.

Bulgaria recognizes and respects customary and traditional rights, including the right to land and land tenure of indigenous people, local communities, forest dwellers and forest owners and this has been guaranteed by the current Forest Act.

Bulgaria has only initial ideas for starting the forest certification process but, the Government is highly interested in supporting it in order to introduce new market mechanisms.   There are still no clear financial mechanisms for compensation of the future private forest owners. It is envisaged a bylaw under the Forest Act to developed in this regard.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

Bulgarian National Forest Program (NFP) is still in preparation. A key issue in it will be including of the IPF proposals. There will be strong emphasize on integrated forest and agricultural management.  Bulgarian NFP is being developed in accordance with Bulgarian Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation; Bulgarian National Action Plan for Biodiversity Conservation. The cross sectoral approach is the basis for development of the NFP.

Status   

The process of transition to market economy in the forest and forest products sector. Main priorities in this field are:

Accelerated restitution of forests and lands from the SFA

The work in this field during the last three years was mainly targeted to development and adoption of the necessary legislative base. After Restitution of Forest Act and following from its sub-regulation adoption, started the work for strengthening of Regional Land Commissions. In 1998 started the appointment and training of forestry experts in each Land Commission. Guidelines for implementation of the law requirements have been developed, as well as all different kinds of necessary application forms have been prepared. In the RFBs and SFs has been established special workgroups, which have prepared and submitted to the Land Commissions all existing information and documentation in each forestry unit. Some specific issues as the case of missing old documents were additionally elaborated and solved. This additional work has lead to amendment of the Law for the Forest Restitution in early 1999. Detailed analysis of all applications and fixing of digital models coming from forestry management plans and plans for restitution of agricultural lands is ongoing as a basis for real ownership restoration. Jointly with this was started the process of the new forest owners education and training.

Harvesting and other economic activities conceding to different contractors

This priority is directly connected to the priority for the state and economic functions separation in the forestry sector. The work of contractor firms in the forests started 7-8 years ago and till now there is quite rich experience in this field. The functions and activities separation started gradually but the temps were in generally weak and it was still not real separation.

The structural reform actually started in 1998 and its first stage was finished in March, 1999. With this were fulfilled the requirements of Para 5 from the Forests Act, which obliged the Minister of Agriculture and Forests to restructure the former State Forestry Enterprises.

With completion of the restructuring stage were established 64 state owned joint stock companies, which main task is to realize all activities in the forests. At the same time, the SFs have control functions.

In regard with the economic activities restructuring in the forestry sector, during the last two years a significant part of the activities was concede to private firms. There are contractor activities in all production fazes – harvesting, transport, by-side forest products harvesting, etc. Different forms of activities conceding were used: contracts for particular activities, contracts for renting of equipment, etc.

Possibility for private forestry practice in all directions of forestry activities was created after adoption of the sub-regulative base under the Forestry Act.

The next stage of the structural reform is the privatization of current state owned companies or particular activities in the forests. This process has to be finalized till the end of year 2000. For the moment, one of the main tasks of the NFB and its regional and local units is enforcement of a strict and effective control on the forests guarding, protection, harvesting and regeneration.

Adjustment of timber and other forest products prices to the international prices in accordance with market principles

With aim market principles to be guaranteed and prices of timber materials to be adjusted in accordance to the international ones, in 1997 special "Guidelines for timber trading" were elaborated and enforced for implementation.

Even the fact Bulgaria does not participate officially, there are some areas where a progress in that direction could be observed:

Challenges  

Forestry sector is strongly interfered by the poverty in some regions of the country. There are significant damages caused by poaching. At the same time the forestry is the main livelihood in certain regions eg. local people in rural areas commonly use fire wood.  In Bulgaria, the country recycles only paper and the quantity is in generally insignificant.

Other challenges include:

  1. Institutional strengthening of the National Forestry Board and its regional and local units in regard to the Forests Act implementation and structural reform accomplishment;

    2.  Improvement of the forestry infrastructure and more specifically - improvement of the forestry roads network;

   3. Development of national standards for the forestry certification and support of the whole process in the country;

   4. Finalization of the restitution process;

   5. Review and improvement of the legislative base for the forestry sector; 

   6. Development of detailed database about forests in GIS format; and 

   7. Improvement of financial mechanisms in the forestry sector in order to emphasize on use of the forest non-material resources (for example ecotourism development; agroforestry development).

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

A large amount of national information already exists on forests and national progress towards sustainable forest management within the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organisations. Therefore, these guidelines do not address topics on which information has been collected recently on a global scale. Reference is made, in particular, to the following sources:

A concrete step taken in implementing the IPF proposals for action in Bulgaria was the starting of the restitution process.

Information on sustainable forest management is made available to potential users mainly through media. Internet could be a good tool for spreading of information. Web site is not available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

Bulgaria participates in the Pan-European process.

In Bulgaria, the governance process become more transparent due to the criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, the forest policy has cross-sectoral basis, and the information flows is more operative and easily measured.

The criteria and indicators used in the country to assess progress towards sustainable forest management at the international level include:

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: June 2000.

Click here for UN ECE's timber data base for Bulgaria.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Environment and Waters is the governmental body at national level responsible for co-ordinating water resource management and development. At the river basin level coordinating bodies are in a preparatory stage. At present there are mechanisms for resolution of conflicts surrounding water resource management and development.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In the "Law on Waters" which is being formulated such mechanisms will be at the basin level.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Bulgarian policy for disaster preparedness, particularly with respect to floods and droughts is prepared by the Commission on natural calamities.

The Strategy for unified management of waters and the Strategy for development of the use of water resources and water preservation are the policies for integrated land and water management and development.  The project "Study on integrated environmental management for the Maritza river basin", developed by Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Environment and Waters, is the best example of the implementation of these strategies. 

The aim of the project is to prepare an Environmental Protection Strategy or an Action Plan, based on an inventory and evaluation of each polluter, assessment of its contribution to the water pollution and to set up medium and long term targets and effluent limitations on industry. At a later stage feasibility studies and investment projects (including demonstration and pilot projects) would be undertaken with international support, in order to address the problems rapidly and in the most comprehensive way.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Major groups involved with freshwater resources management include public authorities at central, district, and local levels; municipal water companies and utilities; industrial enterprises; agricultural enterprises and farmers; and the general public and NGOs.

Programmes and Projects   

Freshwater resources and water sanitation are of concern because of severe deficits in some regions. The National Program for Municipal Wastewater Treatment was recently completed, and the cost of its implementation was estimated at US$40 million. It includes specific projects for the protection of the Black Sea from land-based and maritime pollution.

Status 

To focus on water quality protection of the Maritza river is justified because it is a transboundery river and the pollution of the upper reaches has often created international problems. At the same time, the river is the largest one taking sources within Bulgarian territory, covers with its basin about 20% of the country and accommodates about 25% of its population with all the ensuing pollution.

Bulgaria has strengthened water management efforts in recent years. It has assigned increasing financial resources to those efforts. Monitoring and information systems for ambient water quality are well-developed. Early progress has been made in increasing water conservation and pollution prevention approaches in industry and livestock production.

National priorities for freshwater in Bulgaria includes continued and expanded efforts in river basin management with the involvement of all interested parties and agencies; continued and strengthened efforts to encourage water conservation and pollution prevention by industry and agriculture through regulatory and pricing approaches as well as by fostering best management practices; continued development and implementation of a permit system for waste water discharges using a phased approach with interim limits and enforceable compliance schedules; continued price reform for water supply focusing on metering and collection practices, and the implementation of a water effluent charge; funding the completion of unfinished waste water treatment plants giving priority to areas where maximum benefits will occur including attention to important tourist areas; and establishment of clear priorities for each river basin concerning water supply infrastructure projects.

In 1996, the capacity for treating waste water was of 723, 554 millions m3, while 5% of the waste waters were recycled and 39.8% of urban sewerage was treated. At present there is 98% coverage of water supply and 66% in sanitation coverage. It is intended to improve the situation and increase the latter percentage to 90.

Challenges  

Overall problems of water quantity and quality remain severe. Availability and distribution of water present serious difficulties. While current water shortages are related mainly to a prolonged drought, major problems exist with old and leaky distribution systems and with wasteful agricultural and industrial use. Many municipal waste water treatment plants are incomplete and funding for them is slow. It will take decades to address the overall water infrastructure problem.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

Training courses and seminars for the experts in the central and regional units are required to improve capacity and technical competence. Exchange of knowledge and experience in freshwater management at national and international levels and improvement of public participation in the decision-making process are also required.

Information

Information on water use in the agricultural sector is collected by "The irrigation systems" Ltd; for the household sector it is collected by the National Institute of Statistics and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works; for the industrial sector it is collected by the National Institute of Statistics, the Ministry of Industry and the National Electrical Company. This information is distributed by the National Institute of Statistics and the annual bulletin of the Ministry of Environment and Waters.

Research and Technologies 

The standards that are used to measure water quality, including contamination of water by Persistent Organic Pollutants include:

Financing

The system of user charges and pollution fees can be improved to better reflect service cost and environmental damage. This would produce funds for investment in water sewage networks and waste water treatment plants, and give proper incentives for water conservation and pollution reduction. An effluent charge would be useful to this effect.

The technological needs in this area include the building of the 3rd level for waste water treatment. If chlorination is considered a water treatment there is 100% treatment of drinking water. Neverhteless, chlorination is only a desinfection.

The estimated cost for achieving universal coverage of water supply and sanitation in Bulgaria is as follows:

There is no exact data on the ratio between domestic expenditures for water resource management and development and external funds, because the funds are different and conditions as well, but the ratio for 1997 between the governmental budget and funds of World bank is: 30%: 70%. The financing from the National Fund for Protection of the Environment at Ministry of Environment and Waters was 3.1 billions leva in 1996 and 6.8 billion leva in 1997.

The financing from the Governmental budget: For water supply facilities in 1996: 340 million lv for big investment projects; 800 million lv for small investment projects;. For water supply facilities in 1997: 4 billion lv for big investment projects; 2 billion lv for small investment projects;. For waste water treatment facilities in 1996: 406.4 million lv. - 30 projects; For waste water treatment facilities in 1997: 1 656 million lv. - 27 projects.

Cooperation

The current flow of external resources into water resource management and development is: for technical co-operation and grants: 7.5 million CHF; 3.81 million USD in the period of (1996-1998); 322 000 USD and 516 000 USD from the World Bank for water supply in 1996 and 1997 respectively.

Bulgaria currently takes part in the following agreements concerning the use of international watercourses, lakes or groundwater:

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This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th and 6th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: May 1998.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The competent bodies for the protection and use of the non-renewable natural resources are: the sectoral ministries (Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources, Ministry of Industry, and Ministry of Regional Development and Construction), the Ministry of Environment, and the Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources. At a lower level, the competencies of the municipalities are only with respect to construction materials.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The planning of land resources and human settlements are the core issues of the National Strategy for Territorial Development which was developed with special emphasis on transboundary infrastructural communications. The recently adopted Land Protection Act provides the framework for the sustainable use of land resources, especially of arable land.

The changes of the Law on the property and using of the agricultural lands are assumed and according to the law the owners of the lands are free by state and notary taxes for 5 years period of time. This legislative prerequisite is going to facilitate the trade and market of agricultural lands.

The Law on the property and use of the agricultural lands and its ordinances restored the property of agricultural lands for it former owners. The owner s are free to choose the way to use agricultural lands by their purpose. They are able to consolidate their land in the cooperation for the cultivation. By this way they will keep the property of their land.

There are conditions for re-allocating of the lands by use of state and regional land funds. This is done by exchange of private and state lands. To achieve re-allocation of private lands with state ones, a good organisation is established for fast exchange and the process is decentralised. The local authorities will play an active part in that process also.

The use of state land fund for re-allocation with exchange is applicable for big investors, which have to take the responsibility to create a new permanent plantation or a specialized hi tech plants production.  The state will take an active role in the land market, by emitting the compensatory bonuses and is going to sell the state land to owners of such compensatory bonuses.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The principal aim of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy is to find a consistent response to the decline of biological and landscape diversity in Europe and to ensure the sustainability of he natural environment. Special emphasis is put on concerted European action under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Strategy is being implemented by national authorities, donors, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, the research community and the general public. The twenty-years time span of the Strategy consists of five-years action plans. The first one, planned and approved for 1996-2000, addresses 11 Action Themes, including:

Bulgaria thus ranks among the most biologically diverse countries in Europe. Bulgaria has taken urgent measures and legislative actions in order to enforce principals, recommendations and decisions of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy. Follow up is:

National Strategy for Biological Diversity in Bulgaria was established in December 1994 and it includes:

The social state policy includes measures to give the possibility for people without their own and to rent them. Until the end of year 2000 there a mechanism has to be established which allows people could use lands with erosions, ecological damaged and poor state lands for long term period and to receive an ownership on such lands. Also the Ordinance is going to be developed for ensuring people to receive lands for agricultural purposes.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Partnerships involving a wide range of individuals and organizations can and should play a key role in conserving biological diversity in Bulgaria. Partnerships can be formed to support many conservation activities, including park and trail maintenance, education and interpretation programs, biological inventory and monitoring, and fund raising. In Bulgaria, innovative conservation partnerships are still relatively uncommon. However, it is a country rich in human skills, knowledge, and commitment needed to build successful partnerships.

Programmes and Projects   

The various activities for improving the management and conservation of biological diversity in protected areas are developed by the Ministry of Environment and Water in the framework of international programmes and projects. Main partners of the Ministry in this respect are the US government and the government of Switzerland.

Under the PREST project the Bulgarian authorities were supported in the conservation of the qualities of nature in the areas within and around the national parks Rila and Pirin through transfer of British practical experience in protected area management.

There is a considerable increase in scientific information and research programmes concerning protected areas. As a result of the recent economic difficulties, the support for a number of Bulgarian scientific institutes is practically withdrawn. Research is almost entirely carried out by non-governmental organizations or under various nature conservation projects. More important ongoing or completed research and applied research developments are the following:

 Status

Although Bulgaria is relatively small in size (110,912 km2), it is rich in biological diversity due to its highly varied climatic, geologic, topographic, and hydrologic conditions. These conditions allow Bulgaria to support a biota that includes 94 species of mammals, 383 birds, 36 reptiles, 16 amphibians, 207 Black Sea and freshwater fish, an estimated 27,000 insects and other invertebrate species, between 3,550 and 3,750 species of vascular plants, and more than 6,500 nonvascular plants and fungi.

By restoring of the property of agricultural lands and forests till the end of year 2000, the main task of the Ministry of Forests and Agriculture is to establish a mechanism for the trade of lands. That’s why there are activities, which are taken for the activation of the real market of the agricultural lands. There also has to be established a good mechanism for information dissemination in order to achieve the real contact between seller and buyer. The information system on that base is already developed and now will start working.

The assessment of the agricultural land is done according to Ordinance of the Council of Ministers of R Bulgaria for the order of ensuring of current market prices is in force from 1998.

Challenges  

None of the threats to Bulgaria's biological diversity can be easily addressed. In most ecosystems, various threats interact and diminish the ability of species and communities to perpetuate themselves. To prevent future losses of biological diversity, the many threats must be addressed in a co-ordinated and mutually reinforcing manner. A comprehensive conservation program, entailing a wide variety of activities, is needed. Such a long-term program is the National Biological Diversity Conservation Strategy. Its execution is urgently needed and largely achievable with existing institutions, financial resources, and personnel.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information

Information related to soil and slope characteristics, climatic and hydrological data, vegetation cover, land capaciblity and suitability at nation-wide scale, agricultural inputs, land area covered by human settlements and other physical infrastructures, ect. existed in National Soil Directorate in Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.

Research and Technologies  

For details, see "Programmes and Projects".

Financing

Some government institutions and non-governmental organizations work for strengthening the domestic capacity for funding biodiversity conservation activities. One of the main goals of the GEF project is to identify and study alternative financing mechanisms to support conservation of biodiversity management of protected areas. The Ministry of Environment and Water has established a National Environmental Protection Fund. A number of biodiversity conservation projects have been financed through it.

Cooperation

The Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy was launched and endorsed at the Conference "Environment for Europe" held in Sofia, in 1995, by the Environment ministers of 54 countries. In the Conference Declaration the ministers welcomed the readiness of the Council of Europe and UNEP to establish appropriate mechanisms in order to guide and co­ordinate the implementation and further development of the Strategy. Thus, the ministers established a co­ordinating framework for efforts to conserve and enhance nature and landscape throughout Europe.

A US sponsored project for biodiversity conservation, referred to as the GEF project, is aimed at institutional strengthening of the systems for management of nature protection activities at national, regional and local levels, setting an institutional framework for development and implementation of justified and appropriate strategies for the conservation of biological diversity in protected areas. The scope of the project includes also economic activities respecting the support of biodiversity in protected areas.  A main priority of the Bulgarian-Swiss Biodiversity Conservation Programme is the elaboration of management plans, mainly for wetlands in the country.

In spite of the extremely difficult economic situation, some funding was ensured for strengthening the system of protected areas. Most of the funding comes from external sources: the EU PHARE programme, the government of the Netherlands, the Swiss federal government, the Regional Environmental Center - Budapest, WWF - Germany, Monaco, Birdlife International, the British Know How Fund.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: June 2000.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministries of: Environment and Water; Agriculture and Forests; and Regional Development plus Construction and municipalities are responsible for sustainable mountain development in Bulgaria. NGOs contribute to national processes.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

Mountain and semi-mountain areas (up to 2,925 m) comprise 46% of the national territory; 34% of the Bulgarian population live in 1,207 communities in those areas. The Government pays special attention to these regions and provides subsidies and business opportunities to ensure the quality of life of their inhabitants.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies  

No information is available

Financing  

In 1995, a special Fund for Environmental Projects in Mountain Regions provided about BGL 47 million in grants and interest-free loans for combating deforestation and erosion, water supply and sanitation, specific economic activities, ecotourism, and agriculture. The main revenues of the Fund come from taxes on motor fuels. In 1996, this Fund was merged with the National Environmental Protection Fund.

Cooperation  

The forestry sector in the mountains is well provided with personnel, but in the other sectors there is a lack of personnel. Financing for mountain area development is provided from National and municipal budgets, the National Environmental Protection Fund, and grants. Bilateral cooperation for mountain protected areas comes from Switzerland, USA, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Environment and Water and Ministry of Regional Development and Public is responsible for decision-making in the area of integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development. The Ministry of Environment and Water and Ministry of Trade and Tourism are responsible for decision-making in the area of marine environmental protection. And the Ministry of Environment and Water and Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Agricultural Reforms is responsible for the area of sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources.

The coordination is achieved within the framework of the activities included in BSEP (Black Sea Environmental Program)

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Legislation in the area of integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development includes the following:

For marine environmental protection, the following apply:

With respect to the sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources, the all-legislative basis is under the actualization process. The National Action Plan for Black Sea, the new Law of the Black Sea Coastal Structure and Law of the Water are under procedure of endorsement by the Parliament.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Bulgaria has a project to develop a National Action Plan for the protection and rehabilitation of Black Sea and a National Strategy for Biodiversity.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

The percentage of economy contributed by fishing is 0.03% of GDP of 1997.

The Ecological program for Black sea (GEF, PHARE, TACIS) includes protection activities for the control of biodiversity, control of pollution sources, ecological aspects of shipping, exploitation of marine resources.

Challenges  

The process of preparation and putting into force of the new legislation is too slow. There is a delay in the work of the new International Convention for the fishing in the Black Sea. There is a lack of enough financial resources.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Major projects in this area include:

In addition, a number of workshops are organized within the framework of Black Sea Environmental Program.

Information   

The National Centre of Environment and Sustainable Development publishes annual bulletins and reports about the National System of Environmental monitoring, pollution in the Black Sea region. The Minister of Environment and Water publishes annual reports on the subject as well. A set of publications is produced on the Black Sea Environmental Program. The Second National Communication on Climate Change, published by Ministry of Environment and Water in 1998, addresses issues related to critical uncertainties.

There is a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the integrated management of the coastal zone in National Center for Regional Development and Housing Policy at Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works.

Research and Technologies   

The Regional Environment and Water Inspectorates at Ministry of Environment and Water maintain a surveillance system in place to monitor implementation of relevant laws and regulations.

Financing

Cooperation

In Bulgaria, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was ratified in 1996.  The country is also party to the Convention for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Polluting.

In addition, Bulgaria is a party to:

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th, 6th and 7th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1999.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

In Bulgaria, the following parties participate in the decision-making roles with respect to toxic chemicals and they include:

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The legislative framework for the environmentally sound management of chemicals is Article 7, paragraph 1 and 2 from the Law on Environmental Protection and the Decree of the Council of Ministers N268/96. The import and transit transportation of dangerous goods and wastes (industrial and hazardous) are also regulated to prevent illegal traffic. The Council of Ministers Decree includes the lists of dangerous goods published by the United Nations; hazardous substances which are prohibited for import in connection with the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol; permission for industrial waste import for recycling for those enterprises with the technology to use raw materials and waste; and wastes according to the European Union (EU) Commission in connection with regulation N259/93 for the survey and control of waste transportation in and out of EU countries.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

Capacity building and technology issues for toxic chemicals relate to improving the cooperation among state institutions, scientific organizations, and NGOs in the decision making process over environmental legislation.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation

Bulgaria receives financial support for the management of toxic chemicals from UNITAR. Bulgaria's programme is developed and implemented in close cooperation with UNEP, ILO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), WHO, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and OECD.

Since October 1996, the Republic of Bulgaria is included in the programme Preparing a National Profile to Assess the National Infrastructure for Management of Chemicals, supported by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC), a cooperative Agreement among the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). By the end of the second quarter of 1997, the detailed National Profile to Assess the National Infrastructure for Management of Chemicals will be submitted to UNITAR.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

SOLID WASTE AND SANITATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The policy for solid household waste, a priority in Bulgaria, is within the office of local governments. The Ministry of Environment is exercising control over the protection of environmental components which could be adversely affected by waste treatment. Other executive institutions involved in solid household waste management are the Ministry of Regional Development and Construction (MRDC), the Ministry of Health Care (MHC), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI).

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

In the 1995-1996 period, a draft plan for solid waste management in Bulgaria was elaborated. It was based on successful approaches from the United States and the European Union (EU) and reflects the concrete needs and conditions of the country. Special attention was paid to the preventive reduction of wastes in the context of sustainable development. The proposed solid waste policy is based on the following principles:

  1. A clean and healthy environment;
  2. The rational use of available resources;
  3. Integrated waste management;
  4. The polluter pays principle; and
  5. Public participation.

These principles are in compliance with international legislative regulations and the concept of sustainable development. On the basis of the analysis of the present situation, the specific conditions in Bulgaria, and the above-referred principles, the main objectives of the policy for solid household waste are as follows:

  1. Reduction of the quantity of waste generated;
  2. Recycling and secondary use of waste;
  3. Improving the collection and transport of waste;
  4. Deactivation of solid household waste;
  5. Reducing the risk of pollution from the past;
  6. Wise regulation of solid household waste; and
  7. Public participation.

The respective main approaches and immediate tasks have been formulated to achieve these objectives. The tasks are grouped into several major directions: improving the legislation and its harmonization with EU directives; introduction of economic instruments; measures for technical and organizational objectives; and informing and involving the public.

Pursuing the management policy for solid household waste requires the organization and coordination of all efforts and the abilities of all groups of society. In order to achieve the objectives, concrete programmes should be elaborated and the tasks of the state bodies must be incorporated into the legal, institution, and financial framework of the country.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

In Bulgaria, special attention is given to the cooperation and distribution of tasks and responsibilities among state institutions (the Ministry of Environment, MRDC, MHC, the Ministry of Finance (MF), MTFC, the Ministry of Industry (MI), the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MLSA), MAFI, CSM, CP and others) and the municipalities participating in solid household waste management. In summary, the major groups involved in waste management include the legislature; the executive through the Ministry of Environment and all involved institutions; local government bodies and their administrations (municipal councils, mayors); NGOs; and academic circles.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

In the framework of the developed project, a series of workshops have been organized in which a number of environmental experts from the municipalities and NGOs have taken part. Bulgarian experts also participate in international fora on solid household waste.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing

Local sources, the National Environmental Protection Fund; the Municipal Fund for Environmental Protection; the State budget, and international sources are used to finance hazardous waste management in Bulgaria. The international sources include the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the EU's PHARE programme.

Cooperation

Regional cooperation in the field of solid household waste management has been initiated, and more concretely includes the joint construction of regional disposal areas, the implementation of programmes for recycling, etc. Through international cooperation, different projects are implemented and joint ventures are established for solid household waste management.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

HAZARDOUS WASTE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of Environment is the competent authority and the national coordinator with respect to compliance with the Basel Convention. The decisions are taken in concurrence with the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Health Care under the initiative of the Minister of Environment or the other ministers.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

During the last biennium, a number of activities were carried out in order to facilitate compliance with the Basel Convention. In 1993, a Council of Ministers Decree was adopted regulating the collection, transportation, storage and deactivation of hazardous waste. In the same year, a draft law on waste was elaborated which reflects the requirements of the Convention. The law has not been adopted by the National Assembly yet.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement

The major groups involved in hazardous waste decision making are: the legislature; the executive, the Ministry of Environment and all relevant institutions; local governments and local administrations (municipal councils, municipalities, mayors); NGOs; academic circles; and private companies.

Programmes and Projects   

In the period 1995-1996, a national "Study of the Hazardous Waste Management of Bulgaria," developed by an American company, was implemented. As outputs of the study, an Action Plan and a Programme for Institutional Strengthening of Hazardous Waste Management, envisage the following measures:

  1. Elaboration of a system for permits and standards for hazardous waste management;
  2. Requirements for the enterprises generating hazardous waste;
  3. Laboratory capacities and programmes for monitoring;
  4. Rehabilitation measures;
  5. Correcting actions at heightened levels of health risk; and
  6. Institutional strengthening of the system.

Status   

No information is available.

Challenges  

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available.

Information   

No information is available.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available.

Financing

Local sources, the National Environmental Protection Fund; the Municipal Fund for Environmental Protection; the State budget, and international sources are used to finance hazardous waste management in Bulgaria.

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed by Bulgaria in 1989 and ratified in 1996.  International projects for hazardous waste management are implemented under international cooperation programmes.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Bulgaria to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

 

RADIO WASTE

No information is available.


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