Иво Данчев

We are

The Lagoon of Life project is being implemented by four partners. The leading partner is the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation. The core team also includes representatives of the four partners.

Team of the Project

The main team:

Project Manager
Diyana Kostovska, BBF 

Diyana is an experienced manager with expertise in different European projects and different habitats - forest, wetlands, coastal lagoons and more. She graduated from the University of Forestry and received her master's degree from the Technical University in Munich, Germany. Diyana has been working at BBF for 7 years.

Conservation Expert
Spas Uzunov, BBF

Spas is an Ecologist by education and vocation. He has many years of experience in the Strandja Nature Park Directorate, as an industrial ecologist and in wetland management. Lecturer at the University of Plovdiv. He has been working at BBF for 5 years.

Communication expert
Radostina Tzenova, BBF

Radostina holds a Master's Degrees in Ecology and in Public Relations. For 20 years he has worked at the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation - as a Communicator for Burgas wetlands, for the Balkans and the people and at the headquarters of the organization and as a Coordinator for Strandzha and Life for the Burgas Lakes Project.

Green Economy Officer
Diana Pavlova, BBF

Diana holds degrees in Public Relations and Ecology. She has worked at Strandja NP Directorate, BSPB and BBF. Her work on biodiversity interpretation has been particularly successful. She is the engine of the interactive exhibition "symBiotic" and the eponymous space of Atanasovsko Lake.

Project Technical restoration Coordinator
Deyan Tomov, Black Sea Salinas Ltd.

Graduated of Burgas Free University, majoring in Industrial Management (Master's Degree). In the project, he manages the technical implementation of activities such as cleaning of salt canals, construction of mini dykes, restoration of dykes on the coastal belts, etc. Responsible for the planning, organization, reporting and control of C1, C2 and C4 conservation activities.

Dr. Petar Yankov, BSPB

Petar is one of the most experienced birdwatchers in Bulgaria, who has worked for 30 years for BSPB, explored dozens of territories and contributed to the conservation of hundreds of bird species. Expert with international experience, recognized in our country and around the world. In the last few years, he has been working at the Poda Nature Conservation Center near Burgas.

Zaedno 2011 Coordinator
Stefka Polonova 

Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF)

Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF) is a non-governmental nonprofit organization working for nature conservation in Bulgaria and neighbouring countries, especially for key regions such as Central Balkan, Pirin, Burgas Wetlands, Strandja Park, Osogovo and Belasitsa. For more than 20 years BBF has supported civil participation in managing natural resources and protected areas (PA), changing environmental legislation, presenting

sustainable business models, enhancing organizational cooperation, and raising public awareness on the issues of biodiversity and nature protection.

Individually and in partnerships, BBF has developed 15 Management Plans for PA and 15 Action Plans for endangered species from the IUCN Red List and prepared the documentation for declaring 3 Nature Parks, 11 protected sites and three new Ramsar sites. Target habitats and associated species include High mountain meadows, pastures and forests (Balkan Chamois, Lilium spec, European Brown Bear, Capercaillie,

Three-toed Woodpecker); Beech forests (White-backed Woodpecker); Wetlands (Red-breasted goose, Dalmatian pelican, Avocet); Humid Meadows (Orchids); Dry grasslands (Marbled polecat, Orchids, Tortoises), sand dunes and carst complexes.

BBF’s main operational areas are Protected areas and NATURA 2000, Green Belt and Biosphere reserves, Endangered Species, Sustainable tourism, Environmental Educational, Public campaigns and coalitions. BBF gained substantial experience in project management and mediation. The trustworthy team with excellent

capacity led and managed more than 20 national and transboundary projects with

European/national/private donor funding.

BBF is a member of IUCN, CEEweb, European Green Belt Association, Bulgarian Donor’s Forum, Bulgarian Association for Alternative Tourism and ForTheNature in Bulgaria Coalition and a wide range of international partners.

BS Salinas

BS Salinas was founded in 1906 when the natural lagoon Atanasovsko Lake was turned into Salinas. During the last 110 years, the company has been producing salt in the traditional manner and thus protecting and preserving the natural and cultural heritage Atanasovsko Lake. For the needs of salt extraction, Atanasovsko Lake was divided into basins with different sizes through the use of earth dykes and wooden barriers, and channels. The dykes and barriers create the unique structure of the lagoon with a rich variety of micro-habitats and higher biological productivity of the ecosystem,

presenting priority habitat 1150. They create suitable conditions for nesting of various birds, while the sea water with different concentrations – necessary for the production of salt is inhabited by specific species that serve as food for the birds. Salt extraction is done through solar evaporation of concentrated seawater.

Although the annual yield depends on weather and annual rainfalls and can vary from 0 to 50 000 tonnes, the salt production is considered industrial activity.

The BS Salinas company has an experience in two LIFE projects with a partnership with the biggest NGOs in Bulgaria (BBF and BSPB). It is an example of a sustainable business that supports biodiversity of the lake.The lower economic efficiency of the traditional salt production process and the obsolete infrastructure are threats to salt production in its current form and are considered a serious threat to the maintenance of the wetland in general. BS Salinas, as a partner in the Salt of Life project (LIFE11NAT/BG/000362)

developed its own “100% natural salt product”, an upmarket alternative to table salt for the Bulgarian market. Study for options the inclusion of sea salt production in the Agro-environment Program was made by the same project but these are in consultation with Agriculture Ministry and it is not likely to be approved since salt mining is not declared agricultural activity.


The BSPB is one of the largest national membership NGOs that has been working for 22 years to preserve Bulgaria’s wild birds and their habitats for the benefit of the society. The BSPB has 14 branches and local groups, operates two Nature Conservation Centres, and five regional offices the work of which focuses on implementing the concept of the Important Bird Areas and establishing a functionally connected network of SPAs - a cornerstone of the European Natura 2000 network. The BSPB is the sole national Bulgarian partner of BirdLife International.

An important part of BSPB’s work is dedicated to conserving globally threatened species such as Egyptian vulture, Black vulture, Imperial Eagle, Saker Falcon, Red-breasted goose, White-headed duck, Dalmatian Pelican and Pygmy cormorant, through securing long-term protection to their habitats by implementing direct conservation measures and encouraging sustainable development.

The BSPB plays an important role in the European Common Birds Monitoring, thus producing bird indicators to measure the government progress towards the 2010 target and EU Sustainable Development Index. Through its Business & Nature Advisory Service, the BSPB contributes to the EU Business & Biodiversity Initiative, identifying and facilitating with landowners and SMEs from across the private sector to implement business activities that are compatible with biodiversity management.

Since its establishment, the BSPB has been working in the region of Burgas and especially in Atanasovsko Lake and many of its members have gone through the 'Atanasovsko Lake School' - the annual field practicum, where natural science students get acquainted with various aspects of bird conservation while also helping to improve the wetland habitat.  The BSPB has already been involved as a Coordinating or Associated beneficiary in two LIFE+ projects dealing with the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the resources of the Atanasosko Lake.

Zaedno 2011

Zaedno 2011 is a new local NGO, established mainly to support the activities of the Black Sea Salinas and to implement activities in the both salt lakes on the coast – Atanasovsko and Pomoriisko. The team of the NGO takes a keen interest in sustainable salt production and favourable conditions in the lakes, as well as involvement in practical conservation actions. The NGO has experience with the cleaning of the coastal habitats after the completion of the active summer season, together with “M-Pomoriiski solnici” LTD. The NGO has the interest to study the sustainable and financially valuable mechanisms to secure the conservation management of Atanasovsko Lake, as well as the development of a marketing strategy to identify new products and services from the salt-pans that add value to the Atanasovsko Lake ecosystem services.

At the same time, Zaedno 2011 will be engaged to monitor the conditions at Atanasovsko Lake resulted by the Project’s conservation activities. Giving a chance to a local NGO supported by the national ones – BSPB and BBF is a good opportunity to develop the organizational capacity and to increase their abilities to work long-term in the salinas

Salt factory
Together 21
Life programme
Natura 2000