Toma Belev: Nature conservation is still not a priority for government and business
Environmental protection in Bulgaria is unsatisfactory because of the lack of a functioning judicial system, authorities' incompetence and the insufficient capacity of environmental organizations
According to Belev environmental protection in Bulgaria is unsatisfactory because of the lack of a functioning judicial system, authorities' incompetence and the insufficient capacity of environmental organizations. "We must also add the 40% gray economy - huge ammounts of dirty money keep on flowing that damage democracy in Bulgaria," he said.
Belev said that the biggest achievement of the Bulgarian conservation movement over the past decade is the Natura 2000 network of protected areas. This is the most recognizable environmental campaign in Bulgarian society. A Eurobarometer survey showed that 80% of Bulgarian citizens have heard of Natura 2000 and its objectives - a significantly higher percentage than in other European countries.
Other major achievements of the environmental organizations is the conservation of the Strandja natural park, the succesful fight against GMO market liberalization and the termination of the vicious practice of forest and land exchanges.