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16 January 2018

Save Kresna Gorge in Bulgaria!

A spectacular nature haven in southwestern Bulgaria, home to twice as many butterfly species as the whole of the UK and protected by EU nature laws, is under threat from an EU-funded motorway from Sofia to Greece. The detailed briefing is here.   kresna1 CEEweb together with 7 other NGOs has warned the Bulgarian government of the large-scale damage to biodiversity that cannot be mitigated by measures such as animal-crossings, and similar negative effects on local people as well. The EC will soon face a decision on whether to approve the release of funds for this, and will also have to give its opinion on whether a derogation to EU nature protections be allowed.
We are calling upon the European Commission to intervene to protect European nature and the rule of law, and to ensure European taxpayers’ money is not misspent on a damaging, unlawful project. In particular we urge the EC to:
  •   launch an infringement procedure against Bulgaria for significant breaches of EU law, to protect Kresna Gorge Natura 2000 site;
  •   work with Bulgaria and condition use of EU funds to ensure successful completion of the project by 2023 in full compliance with the Birds and Habitats Directives, by removing transit motorway traffic from Kresna Gorge via a route outside the Gorge.
Please help the cause by sharing our briefing and call! If you are interested, you can also listen to the Friends of the Earth podcast, in which several activists from the field talk about the situation.