On October 13, 2016 in Bojura area, near town of Sredets was held the annual meeting of the Bulgarian Nature projects under the LIFE+ program of the European Union. The meeting was hosted by the Executive Forest Agency and their project "Preservation of key forest habitat of the Lesser Spotted Eagle in Bulgaria". They also have a site visit by the representatives of the LIFE Unit (together with the EVN project).
The meeting was opened by Ilian Tochev - Secretary of EFA, Svetoslav Spasov - Director LIFE projects BSPB, Simon Goss - European Commission, DG-ENV, LIFE Unit, Sylvia Barova - European Commission, DG-ENV, Natura 2000 Unit and Anita Fassino - EASME.
EFA and colleagues from BSPB presented their joint project "Forests of the eagle" and activities undertaken in various Natura 2000 sites. Two new projects launched in 2016 were presented - "Nature" of the publishing house Enlightenment and BSPB, and CAPTA for the technical assistance of the Ministry of Environment.
All participants presented the progress on their projects - Riparian forests, Free fish, Salt of life, Promotion of sustainable use of medicinal plants, More chance of Lesser Kestrel, Life for Neophron, Bright future for Black vulture, Live for the Kresna Gorge , Land for Imperial eagle, Imperial eagle Life, Conservation of black and griffon vultures in the Rhodopes.
Then there was a discussion on important issues and problems associated with applications, management and reporting of the projects and the campaign of "black PR", which impact part of the LIFE projects in Bulgaria. In the late afternoon the whole group visited the site near the village Vulchanovo and saw the nest of Lesser Spotted eagle, suitable habitat where the birds meet and even managed to watch a young Imperial eagle, Sea eagle and more than 30 crows.
The evening was especially exciting because farewell evening with European expert Simon Goss, who will soon retire, but until now was responsible for the Bulgarian LIFE projects. All these years he supported and helped our teams to achieve conservation goals and to deal with LIFE requirements and reporting. Strong positive words that Simon addressed to the participants for their dedication to the cause are motivating for further work of those who continue their projects in LIFE. Special gift for his own "After LIFE" plan get Simon wishing years later to move to Bulgaria. Traditional dances and songs got interested and impressed both guests and meeting participants. Host of the next meeting of LIFE projects will be the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna in 2017 in the region of Kresna Gorge.