WWF’s hard work with municipalities and local communities already brings great results
As we reported last November, WWF Bulgaria and our partners mapped out the old forests on the territories of 38 municipalities in the country.
Municipalities manage 13% of the forests in Bulgaria (523 thousand ha) and only 9% of them are over 100 years old. They are mainly concentrated in watersheds and steep terrains. In addition to being home to amazing flora and fauna, they protect the waters, prevent erosion and floods, purify the air, and enrich the soil, making them of great importance to humans and to sustaining our environment in the face of climate change.
However, in order to continue providing these vital ecosystem services, urgent measures need to be taken. One of them – to convince the owner of the land – the respective municipality – to put the old forests under protection and declare them a no-go area for commercial use. The first municipality to answer WWF’s request was Botevgrad with 1000 decares.
In May the municipality of Sevlievo (Central Balkan) took that step, too, declaring 700 decares of 150-year old beech forests under protection.
We continue our work with state and regional authorities and there is hope that more municipalities will follow the example of Botevgrad and Sevlievo.