Goal and objectives
The main goal of the current project idea is: Conservation and Sustainable Management of forests within the NATURA 2000 sites in Bulgaria

The project objectives are:

1.To contribute for synchronization of the forestry practices with the conservation objectives of the NATURA 2000.
2. To contribute for establishment of local capacity for management of NATURA 2000 sites.
3. To start up a constructive dialogue and interaction amongst the stakeholders in the direction of joint management of SCI “Tsigansko gradishte”.

All the project activities will be implemented through the principle of active and constructive dialog with all interested parties on all levels.
Presenting the German experience, one of the leading member states of the EU, will have an extremely positive effect over the understanding that the integration of nature conservation with economic development as a whole and in particular in the forestry sector will guarantee the long term existence and use of the natural resources and thus the wellbeing of the future generations.
To a certain extent the current project will build on results achieved within former initiatives in the region. Within the already completed project “Conservation of globally important biological diversity in the landscape of the Rhodopes” funded by GEF and implemented in partnership between UNDP and FEA one of the main target groups were those employed in the forestry sector. They were presented basically with the establishment of the NATURA 2000 network. In several forestry units, one game unit (Izvora-Devin) and a private forestry company, within the project the adoption of forest certification according FSC criteria was supported. Keeping the FSC certification requires covering a definite criteria and that is a guarantee for sustainable and nature-friendly use of the forest resources
Currently there is a practical manual on management of forests in NATURA 2000 sites developed by DG Environment of the EC whose Bulgarian publication was supported by WWF but its application in practice is lagging behind. The project takes that document into consideration and it will be one of the basic ones we shall work with. The manual can be downloaded from the website section: Synchronization of Forestry Management Plans with the objectives of NATURA 2000

Within the project’s frame we plan to present the German experience in the field of forestry management within NATURA 2000 sites as well as applying “best practice” adapted to the specifics of the target area. We foresee implementation of seminars and workshops for presenting the successful initiatives in the field of sustainable forestry, a study tour to Germany for presenting on-site the experience in forest management in NATURA 2000 sites and working models for collaborative management of protected sites as well as active participation of German experts in the other project actions. We also plan to invite for the workshops and seminars colleagues from Greek nature conservation NGOs, foresters from the border area so to plan future cross-border initiatives for conservation of biodiversity and management of NATURA 2000.