Иво Данчев


How high is the price of the „services“, which Natura 2000 zone Atanasovsko Lake provides?

Nov. 25, 2019

The exhibition "Atanasovsko Lake - the Lagoon of Life", installed in the "Troikata" Square, answers this question.

Apart from the impressive footage of Atanasovsko Lake, the exhibition presents all those more or less visible "services" that the lake and all the wetlands around Burgas give us.

Are we thinking about the cost of nature - the air we breathe, the clean water we drink, the beautiful views, the good food …

One of the "most productive" but also most endangered natural ecosystems in the world are the coastal lagoons, whose representative in Bulgaria is Atanasovsko Lake. Although they occupy only 13% of the coastline worldwide, the lagoons provide food, natural protection from storms and floods, as well as a place to relax. These ecosystems are endangered due to changes in land use, water pollution and urbanization. Their shallow waters and proximity to the sea make them vulnerable due to climate change and rising sea levels.

We do not always see the "services" these ecosystems provide or take for granted, and we do not think about how high their cost really is. In general, ecosystem services from our lake are:

Material - food, genetic resources, raw materials for the biochemical and pharmaceutical industries, homeopathic medicine, fresh water, etc .;

Regulatory - regulation of water level, erosion, water treatment and waste treatment, regulation of diseases and pests, natural disasters;

Supporters - soil formation, photosynthesis, nutrient cycling and water cycling;

Cultural - education, inspiration, aesthetic value, social relations, recreation and tourism.

Thanks to the cooperation with the Municipality of Burgas and, the LIFE project "Lagoon of Life" presents to the citizens of Burgas and guests of the city some of the "services" that Natura 2000 Zone Atanasovsko Lake offers - a place for sport, recreation and healing, inspired by its vivid colors and extraterrestrial landscapes, resources and food source, flood buffer, important natural ecosystem, top ornithological tourism destination and fashion photography.

The team of the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF) has selected photos of professionals and amateur photographers. Along with the breathtaking aerial footage of Ivo Danchev (photographer at National Geographic) and Todor Bozhkov (participant in the photo-plenary of the lake), there are photos of people who worked with BBF as the architect Galina Milkova (one of the authors of the "symBiotic" exhibition), Valentin Kolev (volunteer at the Salt Festival), Dimitar Gradinarov (BSPB), Spas Uzunov (BBF). The story of the photo "The Salt of the Sea" by Yavor Michev from Ruse, which was selected as the best shot by a photographer born and living in Bulgaria in the section of the Sony World Photography Awards and after the recognition it gained immense popularity. Also unusual is the shot of young designer Dilyana Cholakova, who uses the lake for inspiration and "interior" for her diploma project “The Salt of Life” in "Fashion" Department of the National Academy of Arts.

You can learn more about the Atanasovsko Lake ecosystem and the services it provides at


Salt factory
Together 21
Life programme
Natura 2000