Here is how we celebrated the World Wetlands Day

The World Wetlands Day in Plovdiv
This year is the 50th anniversary since the creation of the Ramsar Convention – the Agreement on wetlands conservation. It is celebrated on 2nd February.

Due to the epidemic restrictions, we made our information campaign on the social media. However, we didn’t miss the opportunity to organize a live event as well.

The “Natura 2000 in Bulgaria – New Horizons” LIFE17 GIE/BG/371 project team and some colleagues from the Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds and the Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Water – Plovdiv organized the observation of the Pygmy Cormorant roosting site on Adata Island in Plovdiv. Several volunteers joined the event and they had the chance to observe with a field scope the concentration of many Pygmy Cormorants in one place as well as other species (Eurasian Teal, Mallard, Little Grebe) for which Maritsa River is an important habitat. Experts from the organisations talked about the importance of protected species such as the Pygmy Cormorant, the Red-breasted Goose and the Sandwich Tern as well as details regarding the violation of the law of the protected species. Not lastly, of course – we shared information about the Ramsar Convention and its relation with the Natura 2000 ecological network.

The focus of our information campaign is the newly created animated map showing information about the 11 Ramsar sites in Bulgaria and Maritsa River as well as T-shirts promoting the species conservation in the wetlands. They were made with the support of the French Agency for Biodiversity (OFB), MedWet Initiative and World Wetlands Day (WWD), as all participants received the materials. The map will be available for distribution to all state and educational institutions as well as online for the wide public to download it as an attached file.

We would like to thank the students and their teacher Mrs. Tanchovska from “Elin Pelin” Primary School in Plovdiv who sent us a picture from their celebration of the World Wetlands Day in class! Everyone can follow their example!

The project team in Stara Zagora organized an information presentation for the wetlands and Natura 2000 ecological network. Green Balkans took the most active volunteers to visit the Ovcharitsa dam in order to observe birds - some of which are included in the Natura 2000 network: Dalmatian Pelican, Great Egret, Great Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Mallard, Eurasian coot and otter.

Our campaign is not over after our celebration on 2nd February! For one month (until 02.03.2021) the “Natura 2000 in Bulgaria – New Horizons” project team and RIEW Plovdiv announce an art contest for children on topic: “Wetlands – a source of life”. Children at the age of 3 to 7 years can send their drawings in A4 or A5 format with a drawing technique of their choice and with images of wetlands inhabitants to the address of the eco inspection:
Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water Plovdiv (for the contest)
122 Maritsa bul.
4000 Plovdiv

! Do not forget on the back of your drawing to write down your name, age, address and some contact of yours. On 12 March, a jury from both organizations will announce the best artwork respectively in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. If the epidemic situation allows it, we will organize an exhibition using a big portion of the drawings to celebrate the World Water Day. More information about the contest you can find in the attached files below and on the RIEW Plovdiv website.

Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages in the next month for interesting information about the wetlands in Bulgaria and the biodiversity which they preserve.

You can download the infographic regarding the lack of water in the Mediterranean region HERE.

The Ramsar Convention:
The Ramsar Convention is the only global agreement that focuses on a specific ecosystem –wetlands. Today the convention is adopted by 171 Contracting Parties, obliged to identify wetlands with а high conservation value in the list of Wetlands with International Importance – the Ramsar sites. By signing the contract, the Parties agree to use wetlands wisely and to co-operate on cross-border issues.
Bulgaria is one of first countries that signed the Ramsar Convention. At the moment the country is represented by 11 wetlands areas – Atanasovsko Lake, Belene Islands Complex, Durankulak Lake, Ibisha Island, Shabla Lake, Poda Nature Reserve, Pomorie Lake, Ropotamo Complex, Srebarna Lake, Vaya Lake and Dragoman Marshland.

Natura 2000
Natura 2000 is the largest coordinated network for nature conservation. More than 30% of the territory of Bulgaria falls within the scope of the network - 120 areas for the protection of wild birds and 234 areas for the protection of natural habitats.

We would like to take the opportunity to share that the information activities are implemented within the “Natura 2000 in Bulgaria – New Horizons” project and are realized with the financial support of the Life Programme of the European Union.
The Life Programme announced a call for proposals in relation to the European Green Deal. Non-governmental organisations, working in the field of conservation and climate, can apply to it. The total funding under this call is 12 million euros. The project proposals can be submitted until 31 March 2021 – 17:00 h (Brussel time).
You can receive more information on the “Capacity Building Technical assistance to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water for implementing the LIFE Programme”– LIFE 14 CAP/BG/000013 – (CAPTA BG) project website.

Miloslava Mihaylova – PR RIEW Plovdiv – tel. +359882388720; e-mail: riosv_pd_pr@abv.bg
Polina Hristova – Green Balkans – tel. +359882508721; e-mail: phristova@greenbalkans.org
Aneliya Pavlova – Green Balkans – tel. +359899269576; e-mail: apavlova@greenbalkans.org
Vladimir Dobrev – Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds – tel. +359877790975
Polya Ruseva (Stara Zagora) – Green Balkans – tel. +359894059156; e-mail: ptoncheva@greenbalkans.org

The events are implemented within:

Inhabitants of wetlands 152.68K b (jpg) download
Information for parents and teachers 320.38K b (pdf) download
Contest rules 142.25K b (pdf) download
Green Balkans
Hobby Tv
Natura 2000