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4 December 2020

Monitoring Time in Pirin!

Monitoring Time in Pirin!

CEEweb Member: Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation

The Balkan chamois is endemic to the Balkans subspecies of the Northern chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra). It is also a key species for the mountain ecosystems. The density of its population can reach several dozens of animals per square km. The chamois has a significant impact on the maintenance of open ecosystems and is also a food base for predators such as wolves, lynx, Golden eagles, vultures and crows. The species is strictly protected under the EU Habitats Directive and the Bulgarian Biodiversity Act but is nevertheless subject to regular poaching, including in the national parks.

Thus, between 6 and 9 November 2020, a chamois monitoring practice was conducted as part of the student program organized under the “Future Conservationists” project. Three students, together with experts from the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF) Stefan Avramov and Petar Vanev, went to the Pirin National Park with the task to study the number and the distribution of the Balkan chamois in the middle of their wedding period — when they are active in groups and it is easier to be observed. More than 45 chamois were found in the Southern Pirin, and several groups of chamois were found in the Northern Pirin, totalling over than 110 animals which were not afraid of people — an indicator for lack of poaching in the region.

The density of the Balkan Chamois population in the southern part of the Pirin National Park is several times lower, despite the more favourable habitats in the south. The animals there are afraid of people, which shows that poaching in the southern part of the park has not yet been completely eradicated, and it is the greatest danger to this beautiful animal, perfectly adapted to life in the mountains!

The “Future Conservationists” project is funded by the Erasmus+ programme and is implemented jointly by the Association of Parks in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and the Czech University of Natural Sciences in Prague.

4 December 2020

Biodiversity and Climate Change Awards 2020

Biodiversity and Climate Change Awards 2020

CEEweb Member: Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation

During an emotional ceremony in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, the most outstanding local activists, journalists, campaigns, businesses, and politicians working for biodiversity protection and climate change mitigation were distinguished. For the 9th time, the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF), one of CEEweb for Biodiversity’s network member, organized its special yearly awards to promote the positive examples in nature conservation in Bulgaria, to encourage nature conservation community and their activities, and to inspire them and the citizens to act further. This year, BBF paid special attention to the topic of climate change — one of the biggest global challenges requiring urgent personal and political action.

The nominated NGOs, media, businesses, activists, and politicians gathered on the special Biodiversity and Climate Awards ceremony on 22 October. Simultaneously, during the ceremony, online streaming on Facebook made it possible for more than a thousand people to participate in the event online, to feel the emotions, and to hear the powerful words shared by the winners.

All nominations were publicly accepted; everyone had the chance to propose their favourites, and a total of 58 entries in 5 categories were distinguished this year. The responsibility to choose the best of them was given to an independent jury made of popular Bulgarian journalists, writers, actors and entrepreneurs. Besides, a “public award” winner was chosen through open public voting on Facebook, involving over 7000 users.

As a gift, all winners received a tree with a root, a symbolic scapula — to keep digging in their fields — and various Game On! products, such as t-shirts, metal bottles, and reusable straws. All nominated participants were also awarded an ‘honourable’ diploma — as organizers say, all nominees have done their best for the cause and, because of their work, we have better nature protection, increased climate action, and, most certainly, a better country. Thus, all nominees are winners.

The event was organized by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and the ‘Game On! Don’t let climate change end the game!’ project, funded by the DEAR programme. The project aims to involve young people in the topic of climate change and provoke them to act to mitigate the negative effects on biodiversity, natural resources, ecosystems, and the life of the humans in social, cultural, and economic aspects. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic and giving its best to restrict the spread of the virus, BBF held the event with a heavily decreased number of visitors and focused strongly on the online stream which attracted a much bigger audience than usual.

25 November 2020

In Search of a Climate-Neutral EU

The work to address the sustainability challenges in the European Union fiscal policy cannot stop. With this in mind, CEEweb for Biodiversity, alongside eight NGO’s from the Central and Eastern European region and the European Environmental Bureau, has just launched the new campaign Towards a climate-neutral EU: funding and incentives for a transformative European Green Deal and Recovery Plan in order to get the EU Budget in line with the ambitious environmental and sustainability aspirations of the EU.

By providing input to EU and national policies, exchanging views and experiences, increasing awareness among all stakeholders, and developing targeted recommendations for improving the use of EU funds campaign, we wish to make sure that both the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF) are sustainability-proof.

We call for a reformed EU budget and post-COVID recovery that serve sustainability while increasing well-being. We need to reform the EU budget because unsustainable, incoherent policies lead to a waste of money, waste of time and loss of lives.

Thus, along the campaign, we will continue our work on both the European and national levels to influence decision-making. Among them:

  1. We advocate for improved EU funding and fiscal policy to bring finances in line with environmental ambitions and the European Green Deal.

    The coming weeks present a window of opportunity to influence the European Recovery Plan and MFF — agreed upon by the European Council on 21 July 2020 and waiting for approval by the European Parliament and by national parliaments. We are engaging with European decision-makers to ensure that sustainability checks are included.

  2. We advocate, lobby and raise awareness to the importance of better targeting of EU money in the Member States, particularly in CEE countries, encouraging a green transition.

    As the basic legislative processes relating to the MFF are coming to a conclusion, the most critical next step is by far the preparation of the Partnership Agreements on the European Structural and Investment Funds (PAs). The PAs are legally binding documents signed by the European Commission and national governments of Member States.

Read more about our new campaign, Towards a climate-neutral EU: funding and incentives for a transformative European Green Deal and Recovery Plan.

17 July 2020

A Biodiversity Challenge

2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also a make or break year for biodiversity. We are experiencing a sixth mass extinction. After our failures to reach previous targets, we need to act urgently to solve the crisis. Time to take on the challenge!

Game on! Series: It’s Our Turn! (2/4)

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8 July 2020

The Youth Must Be Heard

Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, the Sunrise Movement. The list goes on, but they act as one: the global youth taking a stand to (finally) address climate change. Welcome to their fight.

Game on! Series: It’s Our Turn! (1/4)

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6 July 2020

The last stand

On 17-18 July, Member States will gather for the Special European Council to define the post-COVID-19 recovery plan and the new long-term EU budget. This is the critical opportunity to align these economic horizons to the Union’s sustainability goals and make them sustainability-proof.

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1 July 2020

Curiosity Saved the Wildcat

Camera traps technology continues to provide useful conservation insights into the behaviour and dispersal of one of Europe’s endangered species, the European Wildcat.

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8 June 2020

The Good Earth

We need to dig deep into the roots of our differences so we can come together to save soil and, by extension, humanity.

CEEweb Series: Our Common Ground (4/4)

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25 May 2020

One reaps what one sows

We take from the soil more than we give. Now, our greediness is one of the greatest threats to our long-term survival.

Our Common Ground (3/4)

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21 May 2020

The shield that guards the realms of men

The tainting of global biodiversity is closely linked to the emergence of pandemics. History tells us so. Time to learn to protect our best line of defence.

CEEweb Series: Silent Pandemic Spring (1/4)

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