Wetlands for Sustainable World

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The Wetlands for Sustainable World presentation is published by Svetoslav Apostolov with the aim of enhancing public access to information on the Bulgarian Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction Project as a demonstration project for the sustainable economic and human development of a wetlands area.

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Wetlands for Sustainable WorldPreparation of the Restoration of the Belene Marshes and the Kalimok–Brushlen Marshes Complex as a demonstration project for the sustainable economic and human development of a wetlands area : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Wetlands for Sustainable WorldPreparation of the Restoration of the Belene Marshes and the Kalimok–Brushlen Marshes Complex as a demonstration project for the sustainable economic and human development of a wetlands area Svetoslav P. Apostolov National Nature Protection Service Ministry of Environment and Water 22 Maria Luisa Blvd., room 523 1000 Sofia Bulgaria

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All rights reserved. Reproduction is authorized under the Use Agreement terms and conditions. Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 © Svetoslav P. Apostolov, 2002

Facts and Figures about Bulgaria : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Facts and Figures about Bulgaria Total area of the country - 110912 km2 Land - 110550 km2 . Relief - predominated by lowlands, plains and low hills. Climate - temperate continental in the north and west, Mediterranean in the south and east. Biodiversity - 94 mammals, 383 birds, 36 reptiles, 16 amphibians, 207 fish species, about 27000 invertebrates, 3500-3750 vascular plants and more than 6500 non-vascular plants and fungi.

Bulgarian Biosphere Reserves : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Bulgarian Biosphere Reserves 16 Biosphere Reserves, classified according to the old concept of UNESCO (Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, 1974 ). Average area - 2458 ha (largest: Djendema - 4220 ha, smallest: Srebarna - 902 ha). Regime - strict protection (IUCN category I). As a party to the MAB Programme, Bulgaria is expected to re-categorize its Biosphere Reserves according to the new concept (Seville Strategy, 1995).

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Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002

Challenges Faced by Bulgaria : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Challenges Faced by Bulgaria “Re-categorization challenges” faced by Bulgaria: Gaps in the legislation - missing category Biosphere Reserve. Economy in transition - hence, insufficient funding. Different interests of various stakeholders at all levels - hence, conflict of interests. Different land ownership. Different land use. The process is complicated by the fact that in many cases the user of land is not the owner of the land.

MAB Seville Concept : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 MAB Seville Concept Biosphere Reserve is intended to fulfil three complementary functions: conservation function (to preserve genetic resources, species, ecosystems and landscapes); development function (to foster sustainable economic and human development); logistic support function (to support demonstration projects, environmental education and training, and research and monitoring related to local, national and global issues of conservation and sustainable development).

The Seville concept is integrated in the Management Plans of different protected area categories : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 The Seville concept is integrated in the Management Plans of different protected area categories

Conservation efforts will only be successful if socio-economic factors are considered : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Conservation efforts will only be successful if socio-economic factors are considered Means - implementation of pilot projects in different regions of Bulgaria. Purposes: study the impact of the application of the new Biosphere Reserves concept under the socio-economic climate in the country. promote the combination between the environment protection and conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable management and use of the natural resources.

Bulgarian Wetlands I : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Bulgarian Wetlands I First protected wetland: the Ropotamo Reserve – 1940 (site number 38 in the map on the next slide). Party to the Ramsar Convention – 1975.

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Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002

Bulgarian Wetlands II : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Bulgarian Wetlands II Systematic studies on the importance of wetlands: D. Yoakimov (1909) - detailed biodiversity inventory of the Straldzha Marsh (site number 10 in the map on the previous slide). G. Bonchev (1929) - inventory of the Bulgarian marshes. D. Yordanov (1931) - broad study on the vegetation of the Bulgarian wetlands. Clear need for a new comprehensive inventory of Bulgarian wetlands and their conservation status: "Le Balkan–Bulgaria" Foundation implemented a project titled "Inventory of Bulgarian Wetlands". The results of this project will be published in the early 2003.

Importance of wetlands I : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Importance of wetlands I For biodiversity: 41 wetlands plant species of the 158 ones included in the Red Book of Bulgaria are endangered. 39 wetlands birds of the 100 bird species included in the Red Book of Bulgaria are endangered or extinct.

Importance of wetlands II : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 For man: direct economical benefits: source of revenue for local communities living in the poorer regions of Bulgaria (some 50 years ago only the Vaya Lake (31) has produced over 1000 t/year fish, and the total catch of fish in the Danube River was only 360 t in 1989. This drastic decrease in the total fish production from the Danube in comparison to the 40-ies and 50-ies is attributed to the drainage of the wetlands along the river where fish used to spawn and hatch). indirect economical benefits: flood mitigation. decrease water pollution, cheap wastewater treatment, etc. Importance of wetlands II

Wetland policies I : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Wetland policies I Past - wetlands drainage as an anti-malaria measure and as a means to provide more arable land was widely adopted all over the world in the first decades of the last century: natural wetlands of Bulgaria covered some 200000 ha at the turn of the century. resulting from the policy of wetlands drainage, the area covered with natural wetlands has drastically decreased to 11000 ha, and most of the remaining wetlands are influenced by human activity to some extent.

Wetland policies II : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Current - following the world trend, the general awareness of wetlands importance and the respect for this ecosystem type gradually increased in Bulgaria. Being aware of the multiple functions and values of wetlands for biodiversity conservation, the Bulgarian Government accepted the policy of protection of this important habitat. According to the provisions of the Biodiversity Law (accepted 2002), every wetland, whether protected by the Protected Areas Law or not, will be surrounded by a buffer zone. Wetland policies II

Wetland policies III : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Wetland policies III Based on the experience from the last decades of the past century, it became obvious that the mere protection of wetlands is inefficient for their conservation. In order to restore the past biodiversity of the degraded habitats, the Bulgarian Government planned priority actions aimed at the restoration of wetlands to the optimal status.

Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction Project : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction Project Restoration of 2 former wetlands along the Danube River – the Kalimok and Brushlen marshes (1050 ha) and some of the marshes on the Belene Island (1290 ha). Mrs. Marietta Stoimenova - Project Manager Project Co-ordination Unit 22 Maria Luisa Blvd., room 408 1000 Sofia BULGARIA FOR MORE INFO...

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Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002

About the Project : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 About the Project Total cost of the Project - US $ m 13.28, of which: Bulgarian Government - US $ m 2.90 Local communities - US $ m 0.15 GEF grant - US $ m 7.50 PHARE national programme - US $ m 1.59 Austrian Government - US $ m 0.38 DONORS WANTED - US $ m 0.76 Recipient - Government of Bulgaria Implementing agency - Ministry of Environment and Water Implementation period - 5 years

Development objective of the Project : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Development objective of the Project Local communities and local authorities in the Persina Nature Park and the Kalimok–Brushlen Protected Site areas adopt sustainable natural resources management practices.

The Project helps meet the following objectives : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 The Project helps meet the following objectives Sustainable natural resources management. Promote alternative livelihood. Strengthen implementation and compliance with EU environmental directives.

Components of the Project I : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Components of the Project I Component 1 - Wetlands Restoration: The Project will help restore critical priority wetlands in the Danube River basin to demonstrate the use of the wetlands in riparian zones as nutrient sinks. Expected annual reduction of nutrients (estimation):

Components of the Project II : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Component 2 - Protected Areas Management: This component will support the next step towards the sustainable resource management and protection within the two protected sites, Persina Nature Park (ca. 22000 ha) and Kalimok– Brushlen Protected Site (ca. 6000 ha). Starting with the preparation of protected areas management plans at the two sites, the component will then move on to support the implementation of priority actions identified within the management plan framework such as monitoring of water quality and ecosystem health, public awareness/ participation programs and environmental education. Components of the Project II

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Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Both the wetlands restoration design and protected areas management regimes will integrate needs of the local communities with the biodiversity objectives of the two protected areas. Although the Project only directly addresses the restoration of selected priority wetlands in Bulgaria, these activities will play a critical demonstration role within the region, promoting nutrient reduction investments in other parts of Bulgaria and neighbouring countries.

Incentive measures within the frames of the Project : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Incentive measures within the frames of the Project To encourage the conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources, the following incentive measures are provided within the frames of the Project: Farmer Transition Support Fund - assist farmers in transitioning to environmentally-friendly agricultural practices and to change the cropping patterns where necessary (GEF); Biodiversity Small Grants Scheme - support activities that promote biodiversity conservation (GEF); Fund to support local entrepreneurs - three forms of support are expected: a machine leasing fund program, a small loans fund program, and an investment fund program (Austrian Government). In addition, the Austrian Government will finance consultancy services to carry out feasibility studies of "green business" concepts and ideas.

Demonstration role of the Project : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Demonstration role of the Project Innovative and potentially high-impact wetlands restoration programme - a transboundary effect both from pollution reduction and biodiversity conservation point of view. Promote the integration of environment protection and conservation of biodiversity with the sustainable management and use of the natural resources. Pilot for Bulgaria management model of a protected area that engages virtually all stakeholders.

Protected area pilot management model : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Representatives of all interested parties established an Association that will be fund-raising for the protected area and will provide the overall policy of management. The Association will fund staff of the protected area that will be responsible for the implementation of the management activities. Protected area pilot management model

“Green business” promoted by the programme I : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 “Green business” promoted by the programme I Some of the alternative incomes generating activities planned for the two protected areas are: Eco-tourism development; Development of ecologically friendly agriculture and livestock breeding, eco-labelled products; Development of the home and international markets for the ecologically clean products; Fish farming in small dams;

“Green business” promoted by the programme II : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Non-timber forest resources gathering – herbs, mushrooms, forest fruits, snails, others; Herbs and spices cultivating – Bulgaria is the biggest exporter of herbs in Europe and one of the biggest in the world; Bee keeping; Silkworm breeding; Handicrafts development. “Green business” promoted by the programme II

Future of the Project : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 Future of the Project This year Bulgaria submitted to PHARE - CBC a proposal for the preparation of a Transboundary Wetland Protected Area between Bulgaria and Romania in the region of Silistra (BG) and Calarasi (RO) districts. The proposed PHARE project would provide an excellent opportunity to integrate the two demonstration GEF/ WB funded projects (Bulgaria Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction project and Romania Agricultural Pollution Reduction project) and to upgrade them in the future, covering broader area and range of activities. The area would also serve as yet anther model site fulfilling the functions of a Biosphere Reserve.

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Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 All these programmes are intended to provide benefits to the present generation while at the same time maintaining the values and ecological processes for the future generations.

“We have not inherited the nature from our ancestors, we have borrowed it from our children” : 

Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 “We have not inherited the nature from our ancestors, we have borrowed it from our children”

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Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 USE AGREEMENT FOR THE PRESENTATION Wetlands for Sustainable World AGREEMENT REQUIRED TO USE THE PRESENTATION Thank you for your interest in the Wetlands for Sustainable World presentation. The presentation is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright. By continuing working with the presentation, you agree to accept and abide by the terms and conditions specified hereunder. Age and responsibility for Agreement You represent that you are of sufficient legal age to contract or create a binding legal obligation.   Assignment You may not assign, convey, subcontract, give or donate, or delegate your rights, duties or obligations under this Use Agreement.

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Role of Wetlands in Biosphere Reserves, Mikulov Chateau, 2002 USE AGREEMENT (continued) Disclaimer § 1. General The Wetlands for Sustainable World presentation (hereafter: the presentation) is published by Svetoslav P. Apostolov (hereunder: the Author) with the aim of enhancing public access to information on the Bulgarian Wetlands Restoration and Pollution Reduction Project as a demonstration project for the sustainable economic and human development of a wetlands area. The use of the presentation takes place on the basis of these terms and conditions of use. The user accepts these as soon as he/she has been informed of them, has had a reasonable opportunity to read them and continues to use the presentation. This disclaimer is not intended to limit the liability of the Author in contravention of any requirements laid down in applicable national law nor to exclude his liability for matters which may not be excluded under that law.

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