Projects in Bulgaria
EFNCP opened a branch office in Bulgaria in 2010 to act as a focus for our work in SE Europe. Our first involvement in the country was in the context of the 2005 Pamporovo conference, organised in collaboration with WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme.
As the country, and neighbouring Romania, geared up for accession to the EU, EFNCP, once again in collaboration with WWF-DCP, looked in more detail at the HNV farming concept in a Bulgarian context and to start to consider its policy implications, funded by the Netherlands Government. Three of the project workshops took place in Bulgaria, taking the Strandzha, Rusenski Lom and Western Stara Planina refions as case study areas, with a seminar reporting conclusions from these and the three complementary Bulgarian workshops being held in Brussels, supported by a final publication.
Two themes which emerged in the course of this work was the difficulty in getting CAP payments for semi-natural pastures, due to the permanent pasture rules and their interpretation nationally, and the significance of communal and common pastures and their regulation both in terms of semi-natural pasture and for the most extensive and poorest farmers. You can read more about the former topic in the permanent pasture country report for Bulgaria, produced in the context of our wider work on permanent pastures. The common pastures are the subject of ongoing work, but an introduction to the subject was given at the 2011 IASC conference in Plovdiv.