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Forests аnd Natura 2000

Bulgarian forests host 26 types of protected forest habitats from the NATURA 2000 network. Nearly 65% of the Bulgarian state forest fund is part of NATURA 2000 sites and adequate management is necessary in order to ensure their favorable conservation status. Apart from the need of sustainable management of NATURA 2000 forest habitats another very important conservation concern is related to the adequate restoration of forest habitats damaged by natural disasters or human activity.

In the past few decades Bulgarian forests are more frequently damaged by natural disasters – forest fires, wind falls, calamities, etc. This is related to improper management practices as well as the increased frequency of extreme weather linked to climate change. EFA data shows that in the last couple of years alone more than 60 000 dka of Bulgarian forests were destroyed by nature-related disasters.

The shortage of budget funding is one of the reasons because of which many of the destroyed forest habitats cannot be restored in a timely manner. Another problem is related to the lack of reproductive material (seeds and seedlings) of priority tree and shrub species that are key elements of NATURA 2000 forest habitats. Some improper management practices (like planting monocultures in the place of natural mixed forests) also contribute for the degradation of priority forest habitats in Bulgaria.

Project „Conservation of the Genetic Fund and Restoration of Priority Forest Habitats in NATURA 2000 Sites” is targeting the problems mentioned above. More information regarding the protected forest habitats in Bulgaria as well as recommendations for their sustainable management and restoration is available in the “Resources’ section.

LIFE+ Programme of European Comission NATURA 2000 Vitosha Initiative Group Association Executive Forestry Agency Forest Seed Control Station Sofia
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