An island for wild birds will be built in Lake Varna

A pilot artificial island will be built near Varna. It will be home to protected bird species and will improve the condition of the aquatic ecosystem of Lake Varna. The green business solution for efficient use of dredging masses, which is fully in line with the high ambitions of the European Green Deal, comes from Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company (BPI Co.).

In cooperation with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), BPI Co. will build a large-scale green infrastructure that will contribute to achieving the goals of biodiversity conservation of Natura 2000 project area ‘Varna-Beloslav Lake’. More than 20 000 waterfowls of 64 species are concentrated there every year. On the territory of the lakes, 202 species of birds have been identified, 79 of which are included in the Red Book of Bulgaria.

The general development plan of the Municipality of Varna envisages the cretaion of 10 new islands in the waters of Lake Varna and Lake Beloslav. The aim is to increase the green areas around the city and to compensate the bird habitats destroyed in the past. That is why building the pilot island is a strategic step.

Within the project, the most appropriate methods and techniques for the cretaion of the first of the 10 new islands will be developed. Before, during and after the building of the island, precise monitoring of the impact of the activities on the ecosystems will be carried out. Thus, the good experience can be used in the creation of the other 9 islands and it will be possible to anticipate and prevent any risk of damage to the quality of the aquatic ecosystems.

The project also envisages the construction of two wooden pilе platforms for bird nestling – in Yatata protected area and in the western part of Lake Beloslav. The island and the platforms will provide suitable conditions  for waterfowls to nest in a quite and safe place during the spring and summer period, as well as a safe place to rest during migration and wintering.

The Varna-Beloslav Lake Complex, located near one of the largest tourist and industrial  centers in Bulgaria – the city of Varna, has a great social and economic important not only for the region, but also for the whole of Bulgaria.  It is an important area of international importance for wintering waterfowls. In 1997 it was declared an Important Bird Area, and in 2007 – a Protected Area under Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds under the name ‘Varna-Beloslav Lake’ BG0000191.

The project ‘Demonstration of Pilot Green Infrastructure as a winning solution for Varna Lake Biodiversity and Development’ – LIFE for Lake Varna is the first step in BPI Co.’s efforts to implement the concept of ‘Green Port’ for the Bulgarian ports and contributes to the implementation of one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN 17 SDGs) – to conserve and sustanably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.  

The project is funded by the EU LIFE Program. The program implements large-scale projects for the protection of environment and nature. In this way the implementation of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and the establishment of Natura 2000 network of protected areas is supported. The projects are pilot schemes to meet the EU’s goals of halting the loss of biodiversity.

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