The South-West University “Neofit Rilski” is one of the partnering organizations implementing the project “Improving the conservation effectiveness of wetlands” (WetMainAreas), under the European Programme for Transnational Cooperation Balkan – Mediterranean 2014-2020.
The overall project’s objective is protection, conservation and development of wetlands, as a shared asset of the Balkan Mediterranean (BalkanMed) territory. BalkanMed wetland ecosystems are biodiversity hotspots with significant natural and cultural values and with high potential for territorial development and cooperation, including ecosystem basis development, improvement of knowledge, knowhow exchange and capacity to take informed decisions with positive impact on the whole territory. With its activities, the project will contribute significantly to the overall program’s objective for a more competitive and sustainable Balkan Mediterranean area.
The project expected results are:
- Demonstration at 4 pilot sites of joined-up wetland conservation techniques to enhance ecological connectivity and transnational ecosystems’ integration in selected agglomeration of designated sites (i.e national parks, Ramsar sites, NATURA 2000 sites).
- Development of good practices for simultaneously promotion of environmental and cultural heritage based on joined-up wetland eco-tourism demonstration at 4 pilot sites.
- Improvement of wetland conservation policies in the BalkanMed territory and of the capacity of competent authorities to enforce national legislation, cooperate for effective implementation of EU Directives and promote wetland natural and cultural heritage and eco-tourism.
- Increase in the visibility of BalkaMed wetlands’ role in ecological connectivity and transnational ecosystem integration of designated areas (national parks, NATURA 2000 sites, Ramsar sites).
The project partnership is as follows:
- LP (PP1) University of Forestry – Bulgaria
- PP2 Goulandris Natural History Museum/ Greek Biotope-Wetland Centre – Greece
- PP3 Faculty of Economics, South-West University "Neofit Rilski” – Bulgaria
- PP4 National Observatory of Athens – Greece
- PP5 National Environmental Agency – Albania
- PP6 Macedonian Academy of Science and Arts, Investigation centre for environment and materials, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- PP7 Thessaly Region – Greece
- PP8 Municipality of Gotse Delchev – Bulgaria
- PP9 Ministry of Environment and Energy, Greece
- PP10 State Environmental Inspectorate, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia