This a campaign by FWFF to have the Kotel Mountain region designated as a NATURA 2000 site by the European Union. First this needs to be organised by the Bulgarian government who has unfortunately been very slow in acting on this piece of European legislation. The entire designating process has been very slow and as of September 2007 the government is 9 months past the deadline for handing over the national list of NATURA 2000 sites to the European Union for evaluation.
A poster that FWFF produced and distributed widely as part of the campaign
NATURA 2000 is an international network of the most important sites for nature within the European Union and in theory they are the most protected sites for nature within the union.
FWFF has already been instrumental in getting Kotel registered as an IBA or Important Bird Area under a scheme organised by the NGO Birdlife International. Although this carries no official legal protection the European Union automatically designates IBAs as NATURA 2000 sites as it has faith in the experts at Birdlife.
We believe it is essential for Kotel Mountain to be designated a NATURA 2000 site because of the huge variety of wildlife that exists here and because of the very real threat of wind farm developments in the area.
If you just look at the statistics for the birdlife of the region it is obvious enough why it should be designated a NATURA 200 site and why it has already been registered as an IBA. 81 species of bird that are classed as endangered in Europe are present in the area of which 8 are globally threatened with extinction. On a national level it is also extremely important as 69 species which are listed in the Bulgarian Red Data Book for Birds are present.
FWFF also believes that once the area is designated (which we are confident we will achieve) that this protection should not just be a paper exercise. We want to see a proper management plan for the area and the proper controls for inappropriate development put in place.
You can be confident that FWFF will be campaigning hard on this issue in the future.