Public Board

First meeting of the Public Board

First meeting of the Public Board

Opening of the meeting and greetings - Radostina Tzenova

 Presentation of the new role and expectations of the Atanasovsko Lake Public Advisory Board in the Lagoon of Life and brief history for the Public Council developed during the Salt of Life project. 
With the new Atanasovsko Lake (AE) Public Advisory Board, we aim to look ahead to the future, not as before, to discuss the current situation and what has been done so far twice a year.

The city of Bourgas itself is unique with its three lakes and the sea and has always been a pilot in its initiatives, so we want AE to serve as a successful model for integrating natural resources in the economic development.

Introducing the participants: Who I am and why I am here (list of participants)

Why did we get together? - Diana Kostovska

The theme of the first Board meeting is the establishment of a common vision for the development of the Atanasovsko Lake area. Our target area is the Natura 2000 Zone Atanasovsko Lake and the adjacent neighbourhoods of the city, and it is important for us to integrate nature conservation and urban planning into the territory of Burgas;
So far, we at BBF have priority worked on the lake, which is the heart of the area, but now we want to work for the target area around the N2000 area. It is important for us to see the strengths of this territory and to look for an answer to how this territory should look/develop in the future. We are looking for places where conflicts can arise between the functions of the area and places where they are favourable.

A brief introduction by Gloria Marinova, a student in landscape architecture from the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands, who is developing her master's thesis on the theme "Interconnection between protected wetlands with urban and suburban areas in Burgas".
At her first meeting with the BBF team, she saw that we at BBF are focused only on AE, and the three Bourgas lakes are natural green wedges in the city. The example of Copenhagen urban planning on the principle of the 5 fingers - the 5 green wedges in urban planning, which they artificially created in 1947, and we have them naturally with the three lakes and we need to comply with these territories.

If Copenhagen did not have the natural resources of Burgas and artificially realized the importance of the 5 artificial green wedges - the finger for urban planning, in Burgas the natural resources are the connection of the city core with a larger urban level and can serve to integrate new areas.

What are the functions of Atanasovsko Lake and its adjacent territory? - Rescue of Uzunov

Short discussion 
N. Pironkov - Black Sea Saltworks AD presents the case for the necessity of gravitational discharge directly into the sea of ​​water from the western part of the bypass channel around the AE and, not as it is now by pumping and with large consumption of electricity. Mr Pironkov explained that there was a plan drawn up last century for the gravity discharge of the bypass.

R. Boyadzhieva, deputy Mayor Burgas Municipality - we have tакe into mind that this separation of functions presented by Spas is very general and there are often conflicts with other functions such as tourism. Because this discharge that Mr Pironkov is talking about will be directly on the beach of the city which will be not acceptable. A balanced option must be found - because there is a conflict between the different sub-functions, different land ownership of the planned gravity discharge - private, state.

According to the information provided so far, it turns out that AL is already an urban lake, but it also has a wild northern part.

There is a predefined OPE project of RIEW Burgas that could finance the drainage of the AL, but the N2000 area itself is excluded as a target area because of the LIFE project, so it will work for Vaya, Mandra and Ropotamo.

Funding for the new programming period has significant differences between 2014 and 2020. The sectoral Operational Programs that have been operating so far have tried to cut a separate piece of territory to finance, and the main concern was not to fund the same things. The new framework planned in the EU General Regulation (not yet adopted, probably until the second half of 2020 under the German Presidency) - will be funded differently:

1. For integrated territorial investment (ITI), 6% of the state package with European funds should be for reconstruction and development as an engine of urban growth.

The Regional Development Program will have two lines of funding:

1. For urban projects (narrow criteria), which are so far 39, and now will probably be only for the 10 largest cities in Bulgaria (incl. Burgas).
2. ITI - a wider range of cities (broader criteria) - 60 cities where there will be support for out-of-town projects, regional projects, functional territory. The general impact map will be monitored - without considering whether with Burgas or Pomorie. An integrator will be sought


4 groups were proposed:
  • Group 1 working on the environmental aspect of the target area;
  • Group 2, which operates the economic aspect of the target area;
  • Group 3, which works on the social aspect of the target area;
  • Group 4, which works on the aesthetic aspect of the target area.
For each group, a Lagoon of Life team facilitator was pre-selected. Each group was tasked with answering 4 questions:What are the ecologically important / economically important / socially important and aesthetic places in the AE and what are their most important characteristics? - the importance of the sites had to be determined by the type of group
  • Would you locate them on the map? - For each group, there was a printed map with the target area
  • What are the main threats to these places?
  • What drives the conservation/development of these places/opportunities?
The PB participants split into groups according to their personal preferences. Each group had 30 minutes to work.

Here are the presentations of the work in groups:

Group I - ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECT (facilitator - Spas; 7 participants)
What are the ecologically significant sites in AE and what are their most important characteristics?
  • maintained reserve; protected area; rivers; environmental corridors; places of conflict; meadows/pastures; agricultural land; the sea; habitat, N2000 zone
  • protected, administrative protection, function as natural systems, produce natural resources (purify water, air)
Would you locate them on the map? (attached)

What are the main threats to these places?
Pollution; urbanization; sewage; unsustainable agricultural practices; Road infrastructure; technical aspects; fragmentation and isolation; invasive and alien species; predators; tourism; overpayment of resources; rapeseed as an inappropriate species for farming, poaching, over-tourism, fires, destruction directly, reduction or fall of legal status, hunting, fishing, poaching; climate change.

What drives the conservation/development of these sites? (opportunities)
Reserved territories; statutes statute; administration; preventive actions; common interests and support; economic stimulus; clear economic and administrative stakeholders; Stakeholder communication created; successful conservation practices tested. The boundary between other NATURA zones and the connection between them / Aytoska Mountain and a possible connection with it.

Group II - ECONOMIC ASPECT (Facilitator - Diana; 5 participants)
What are the economic places and what are their most important features?
Income; services and products; create jobs, generate GDP, money, pay taxes and more.

Would you locate them on the map? (annex)
Black Sea Salinas Ltd; Burgas Airport; Geotone; Ceramics JSC; retail outlets; tourism; Avenue Tennis Courts; Horse base; agricultural producers; Chicon Group; The Atlantic; farms, tourism (establishments), production facilities;

What are the main threats to these places?
Legal restrictions; lack of infrastructure; lack of manpower, demographic reasons, low purchasing power, restrictions on area farmers, overbuilding.

What stimulates the development of these places? (opportunities)
Improving legislation; improving infrastructure; salt marshes; the sea; location; urbanization; market development, investments and partnerships, sustainable agricultural practices, available natural resources (salt production, extensive agriculture, aquaculture).

Extraction of phosphorus; new environmental routes; alkali and mud; goals in the OP; to develop salt treatment (alkali, mud) and to improve the conditions for it, to think about how to develop this business.

Group III - SOCIAL ASPECT (Facilitator - Diana; 3 participants)
What are social places and what are their most important features?
Recreation and sports, health - lye, curative mud, mineral water, bike lane, marathon, walk; Educational sites - bird watching, games, walks, shelter, brigade, Avocet trail, Aqua Calide, Regional Museum of History, symbiotic hunting, fishing, gardens; accessibility/safety/participation of others; Pet cemetery; fishing; concerts; festivals; Industrial sites; city ​​cemetery.

Would you locate them on the map? (attached)

What are the main threats to these places?
The channel around the AL, if discharged into the lake; vandalism; rebuilding; soil and water pollution; no owner; The alleyways are concentrated only in the southern part, accessibility to the viewing points. The pet cemetery next to the shelter and the inappropriate place appeared; if construction continued, the lake would be enclosed in an urban ring like an island (a new term "insolation") - something very visible to you; over-exploitation, stopping of urban transport.

What stimulates the development of these places?
Maintenance of salt production / traditional salt production; more bicycle lanes, places for recreation, art spaces, scenes, trolley, cleaning, train, railway. Line; owner, security, civic participation, popularity.

Group IV - AESTHETIC ASPECT (Facilitator - Radost; 3 participants)
What are the aesthetic places and what are their most important characteristics?
Visual communication, inspiration, color, landscapes, look, educational, meditative - purification, return to self, photography - photography and photographic tours; opportunity for contemplation, inspiration, social communication.
Would you locate them on the map? (annex)
Park Ezero, pools with meadows and mud, Avocet trail, the Point, above the Black Sea, above Banevo, Aqua Kalide, Burgas (center), symBiotic.
What are the main threats to these places?
Pollution, rebuilding, over-exploitation, lack of interest, mosquitoes, destruction, touring. attractions, vandalism, no maintenance (lack of landlord)
What stimulates the development of these places (opportunities)?
Popularity, funding, advertising, partnerships (with Aqua Calide, publishing with the Regional Library), infrastructure, marking, citizens' interest, biodiversity conservation.
Roman bridge to the village of Rudnik - to develop as a rope attraction, upgrade, photographs; Bio-library tour, stage and events, a tour of tall buildings.
The groups presented their work to all participants (3-5 minutes per group). The facilitator initiated a short discussion after the presentations and we loaded the cards to see if there were any areas matching. The project team takes the work of the 4 groups as a first step to develop a common vision for the development of the Atanasovsko Lake area. The website will be used as a platform for sharing information about the lake and the area, and through online correspondence, members of the PB will be informed periodically about occurrences.

The meeting closed with a tasting of products from a farmer in the target area that does not use fertilizers but consumes different types of AL salt.
On November 14, 2019, the Public Advisory Board for Atanasovsko Lake was formed in the hall of the Chitalishte of Hamalogika.

Establishment of the Board

On November 14, 2019, the Public Advisory Board for Atanasovsko Lake was formed in the hall of the Chitalishte of Hamalogika.

It was convened by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation as an informal structure with an advisory role for decision-making on the sustainable management of Atanasovsko Lake and the surrounding area. It will build on the successful work of the Atanasovsko Lake Public Council, which was established in March 2013 as a part of the Salt of Life project. For the last 6 years, it has served as a good dialogue platform between various stakeholders to resolve emerging lake-related issues.

The new Board form includes a wider range of stakeholders, with a focus on users and close neighbourhoods around the Natura 2000 area - Vetren, Banevo, Sarafovo, Rudnik and others. Representatives of the state and local authorities such as Burgas Municipality, Burgas Regional Administration, RIEW Burgas, Basin Directorate for the Black Sea Region, scientific, social and environmental organizations such as the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BSPB, Green Strandja, etc., as well as business structures such as Black Sea Salinas Ltd., Burgas Airport and others. The Advisory Board will meet once a year, but will use this website as a platform for its work and exchange of information between members.

At this first meeting, the participants started together to create a common vision for the development of the Atanasovsko Lake area by integrating nature conservation and urban planning. The main functions of the territory were discussed, as well as the conflict sites and user-friendly activities. This marked the beginning of a process that the Lagoon of Life project will continue to lead and develop. Moreover, a new phase of integrated planning for the development of Burgas and the region is to be launched in 2020.
Salt factory
Together 21
Life programme
Natura 2000