Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
NATIONAL POLICY OF CONSERVATION OF THE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
The general principles and measures for the conservation of biodiversity are described in the Environmental Protection Act 2002, which sets up the contemporary framework of the state policy and management. There are three main acts and their sub-law-documents in Bulgaria that regulate biodiversity conservation, which are: the Protected Areas Act, the Biological Diversity Act and the Medicinal Plants Act. The Protected Areas Act is the first modern nature conservation Act in Bulgaria. It took force in 1998. It introduces a contemporary, adequate to the international norms, system of protected areas categories and defines the interactions between the institutions responsible for their management. This law has also imposed the elaboration of management plans, determining the concrete regimes for each protected area.
Another specialized nature conservation law is the Biodiversity Conservation Act, adopted in 2002. It settles the relations between the State, the municipalities, the juridical and physical persons, in terms of the protection and the sustainable use of the biological diversity in Bulgaria. The law regulates the protection of habitats, of species of plants and animals and their biotopes, the elaboration of action plans, as well as the hunting, the gathering and the trade in them. The Act on the Biological Diversity introduces in the national practice the requirements of the Habitats and the Birds Directives, focused on preservation of habitat types and biotopes of plant and animal species. The Act on the Biological Diversity envisages the establishment of National Ecological Network, consisting of protected zones and protected areas.
The Biodiversity Conservation Act provides protection for plant and animal species. 598 plant species and 441 animal species are strictly protected, whereas 30 plant species and 55 animal species are under a regulated regime of use. Those species are listed in separate Annexes of the Biodiversity Conservation Act. The act also ensures the development of Action plans for plant and animal species. Such plans are being developed with priority for species that are threatened on an international level or whose populations are in bad condition on the territory of Bulgaria. There are 35 action plans for different species.
The Biodiversity Conservation Act regulates the introduction of alien species or reintroduction of local species. This could happen after the elaboration of a comprehensive program, approved by the National biodiversity council under the MOEW. The act introduces the regulations of CITES convention. The MOEW is the authority in charge for the implementation of the CITES convention and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is the consultative body. Finally, the act introduces Decrees for minimal conditions for keeping of animals in Zoological gardens and other for Licenses of the zoos.
MEDICINAL PLANTS ACT, 2000 Wild growing medicinal plants are one of the major renewable resources of our country. Bulgarian medicinal plants are characterized with a large diversity of species and rich composition of active ingredients. There are about 770 species of medicinal plants being 20% of the Bulgarian flora. From these species, 200 are currently in use, from which more than 250 herbs are derived, currently used in the prophylactics, medicine, cosmetics, and the food industry.
The legislation determines two categories of conservation significance species: protected species and species under special regime for conservation and use. During the year 2004, two regulations were enforced pursuant to the Medicinal Plant Act: Regulation № 2/2004 concerning the rules and the requirements for collecting herbs and genetic material from medicinal, and Regulation № 5/2004 concerning the requirements towards the stations for herbs processing and/or herbs stores .
Concrete rules and requirements for herbs collecting were introduced by these regulations, as well as requirements towards the organization and the activities of the herbs primary processing stations and the herbs stores. Some general conditions concerning the traditional processing of the herbs are laid in the regulations, scientifically proved requirements, as well as elements from the good practices in the domain of collecting and processing of herbs.
The conservation and use of the natural resources and biodiversity are regulated with other specialized acts, including not only species from wild flora and fauna, but species cultivated from the people as well. They are the Agricultural Land Conservation Act, the Agricultural Land Ownership and Use Act, the Protection of new Plant Varieties and Animal Breeds Act, the Forestry Act, the Hunting and Game Protection Act, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Act, the Veterinary Practices Act, etc. The great number of elaborated and promulgated acts and regulations at national and global level in the field of environment and nature protection is a consequence of the intensive legislative work which is done in the country in the context of the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Management Plans The Protected Areas Act requires the elaboration of management plans for protected areas. There are 31 management plans approved, 11 are in the process of approval, and 20 are in the process of preparation.