The final version of the "Environment" program for the next 7 years was approved by the members of the thematic working group at a meeting last Friday. It will then be presented successively to the Council of Ministers and the European Commission for approval.
In the new "Environment" program 2021-2027, greener and more sustainable goals are set. This opinion was united by the partners in the Thematic Working Group, who participated with notes and opinions in the development of the document.
The financial framework of the PES 2021-2027 is EUR 1,531,590,093. The process of developing the PES 2021-2027 lasted 2 years within the framework of the thematic working group in partnership with regional and local authorities, socio-economic partners, non-governmental organizations, the academic community and various stakeholders.
The objectives of the PES 2021-2027 continue to be related to the improvement of water supply infrastructure and atmospheric air quality, environmentally friendly waste management and protection of our rich biodiversity. Measures to prevent and manage the risk of floods, landslides and forest fires are in the "Risk and Climate Change" Priority.
Over EUR 715 million (BGN 1,399.23 million) will be spent on expanding and modernizing the water and sanitation infrastructure for the already consolidated areas of Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Pleven, Sofia-city, Sofia-region, Targovishte, Haskovo and Dobrich. Among the permissible measures for Priority 1 "Water" is the development of Regional pre-investment studies for the regions of Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik and Razgrad after their consolidation.
Over EUR 312 million (BGN 611.49 million) are the funds under Priority 2 "Waste" to promote the transition to a circular economy based on the efficient use of resources. Systems for separate collection and recycling of biodegradable waste, centers for separate collection and preparation for reuse and repair, reclamation of landfills, information and explanatory campaigns, etc. will be financed.
Under Priority 3 "Biological diversity", the measures for the development of the "Natura 2000" network will continue, as well as for the protection and restoration of ecosystems outside the network. The planned budget for this priority is EUR 132.47 million (BGN 259.09 million).
Among the eligible measures under Priority 4 "Risk and climate change", it is envisaged that the provision of ground capacity to fight forest fires, the development of digital models, analyzes and forecasts in relation to climate change and others.
The reduction of all forms of air pollution remains a top priority in the new "Environment" Program 2021-2027. More than 395 million euros (773.47 million BGN) will be directed to measures to reduce harmful emissions from domestic heating and transport, to deal with secondary dust, improve the monitoring of ambient air quality (AQM), as well as to create a National Network of AQM experts.
In the Environment Program 2021-2027, special attention is paid to integrated territorial investments, as well as to the "Community-Led Local Development" approach. A total of 6.99 million euros have been allocated for it, with priority "Waste" for information and explanatory activities, and priority "Biodiversity" - for information and training, change in attitudes, seminars, forums, etc.
On June 30, 2022, the Interdepartmental Commission (a specialized body of the High Expert Environmental Council under the Minister of Environment and Water) approved the report on the environmental assessment of the Environment Program 2021-2027, which reflects the results of consultations with the public, stakeholders and the EC.
The "Environment" program is the only "green" program that provides an opportunity with European funds to realize significant investments for environmental protection.