Project objectives:

The project aims to achieve a significant change of the attitude and public awareness on the NATURA 2000 network, using flagship, easily identifiable species from the EU Directives on Birds and Habitats.

NATURA 2000 is the main instrument of the EU for protecting the biodiversity of the member states, yet currently there is a significant negative attitude against the network in Bulgaria. This is mainly due to large-scale information campaigns run by representatives of business with interests in construction or damaging resources within the protected areas and are directly interested in undermining the public opinion regarding the NATURA 2000 network. The dissemination of biased and misleading information has lead to prejudice, fear and hostility in the general public regarding the network.

A great deal of the NATURA 2000 species, subject to conservation are affected by a number of threats, such as destruction of habitats, direct persecution, illegal use of poisons, disturbance, illegal trade, etc. All of which result from the lack of awareness and acknowledgment of their conservation significance and the need for their protection. This practically makes the very establishment and functioning of the NATURA 2000 network redundant and impedes achieving the conservation objectives of the EU Directives on Birds and Habitats.

Introducing people to the importance of flagship species, key for the NATURA 2000 network and the need for their conservation would lead to an overall shift in the behavior concerning these species. Overcoming negative factors and the related negative activities (such as habitat destruction, use of poison, illegal traffic, etc.) will have an overall positive impact on the conservation of the species throughout the NATURA 2000 network. Furthermore, the implementation of a wide national campaign will contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in general.

Particular project objectives

The particular project objectives are:
  • Raising the overall awareness and overcoming the low environmental consciousness of the wide public on the NATURA 2000 network through the use of key flagship species subject to conservation;
  • Overcoming negative factors and activities resulting from poor awareness, which have adverse impact on the populations of the flagship species, subject to conservation within the NATURA 2000 network;
  • Recruiting public support and active citizen involvement in actions for nature conservation;
  • Better understanding of the concept and role of NATURA 2000 for the preservation of the unique European biodiversity and achieving sustainable development, without compromising economic activities;
  • Mobilizing and directly involving the responsible authorities and key stakeholders in actions for preservation of the NATURA 2000 target species and habitats;
  • Attracting media interest and active involvement of media in actions for the conservation of the NATURA 2000 sites and target species;
  • Improving the conservation state of the populations of the target species;
  • Gaining acknowledgement and understanding of the roles of NGOs as a partner of mass-media and state institutions in translating and explaining the concept of NATURA 2000 and the environmental benefits of the network and the species and habitats it is striving to protect.

Expected results

As a result of the project actions the project plans to achieve the following results:
  • increased public awareness and recognition of NATURA 2000 and the flagship species among at least 62 % of the population of the country;
  • mobilized civic support and involvement for direct participation in actions aiming at flagship NATURA 2000 species;
  • created positive image and overcome fear and negative attitude towards some of the target species in 450 000 people;
  • decreased impact from certain limiting factors or threats affecting the populations of key NATURA 2000 flagship species (habitat destruction, use of poison, collecting chicks from nests, illegal traffic, etc.) through increased awareness, better understanding and recognition;
  • 50 relevant institutions mobilized and involved in actions targeting the conservation of the target species;
  • increased awareness among target groups and stakeholders;
  • attracted interest and active involvement of more than 200 media in actions targeting the conservation of the target species;
  • better recognition of the roles of NGOs as a partner of mass-media and state institutions in explaining the concept of NATURA 2000;
  • improved conservation state of the populations of the target species as a final result;
Green Balkans
Hobby Tv
Natura 2000