The recent devastating floods in Bulgaria attracted the public attention to a number of anthropogenic causes, which have increased the damaging impact of the floods as natural disasters. The crisis revealed the inadequacy of the national system for floods risk management. There is a direct link between the existing practices for water management and flood prevention and the loss of natural river habitats and degradation of riparian ecosystems.
The Bulgarian institutions in the field of water management and natural disasters are not aware of the new approaches and policy documents on sustainable flood risk management like the EU Best Practices on Flood Prevention, Protection and Mitigation, the UN/ECE Guidelines of Sustainable Flood Prevention, the ICPDR Flood Action Programme – Action Programme for Sustainable Flood Protection in the Danube River Basin, as well as the draft of the EU Floods Directive.
In the framework of the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC and the Water Act in Bulgaria the management plans for the river basins and other strategic documents are in process of elaboration.. This process requires improved capacity of the governmental and non-governmental sector as well as active public participation.
Considering the national and European importance of this issue and the negative environmental impacts of inadequate flood prevention measures, the BBF was involved in several new initiatives. The foundation facilitated the Environmental NGO’s Coalition in coordination and preparation of a common declaration about the floods in 2005. A working group of NGO representatives and experts was created in order to coordinate the activities of these organizations on river conservation and flood risk management.
The specific objectives of the present project are:
1. Experience is exchanged on conservation of river ecosystems and flood risk management
2. Coordination between stakeholders (institutions, NGOs and science) on river conservation and flood risk management is improved
3. Awareness and support for new approaches of flood risk management are raised