Financing: The project is implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism www.activecitizensfund.bg
Partners: Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (Lead Partner), Green Balkans
Budget: 79 330 euro (100 % contribution of Active Citizens Fund under the EEA Financial Mechanism)
Duration: 24 months - 1.09.2021 - 31.08.2023
BBF project team: Eleonora Yosifova - project coordinator, Iva Georgieva - communication expert
The goal of "We give nature a voice" is to show the true face of nature conservation in Bulgaria and answer important questions. Who are those brave experts who decided to dedicate their life to nature conservation, what difficulties have they overcome and which are the achievements they are most proud of? What are they striving for and why do we need strong civic support for nature conservation? The project also aims to support local communities to continue their fight for nature in case of emerging conservation issues.
"For the nature" is a non-partisan coalition of civic groups and NGOs that fights for nature conservation by promoting civil society and complying with the law. Bulgaria is among the richest countries in Europe in terms of wildlife diversity. Instead of appreciating this wealth, however, in recent years we see it being systematically destroyed - construction in the last wilderness, fires in centuries-old forests, hydropower plants that destroy river biodiversity, and poaching of the few remaining protected species are just some of the daily crimes against nature.
A group of experts have dedicated themselves to the cause of preserving our natural wealth and fortunately found great support from society. However, over the past 15 years, they have encountered many obstacles placed in their way by people who see nature as a resource for private use. The current project aims to highlight the work of the coalition and attract like-minded people to the cause of protected wildlife.
1. Preparation for the implementation of a communication campaign - Creating content for social networks - videos and podcasts, which will present the experts behind the coalition "For the nature", systematically tell about the cases on which the coalition has worked and will provide a set of knowledge to help all future conservationists in dealing with upcoming problems in the field. The activity also includes preparing a situation analysis through a working meeting of the coalition and conducting sociological research with the participation of focus groups.
2. Image campaign to promote the Coalition “For the Nature” to the general public - the initiative aims to inform the general public about the need to protect nature and how it affects the quality of life of ordinary people and to attract new supporters to the cause of protected wildlife. There will be 22 informational online or offline events throughout the country (e.g. informal green drink meetings, open doors and informational lectures on issues of public importance) and a green festival.
3. Support for advocacy campaigns and local initiatives for the protection of nature and the environment for civil society organizations - support for solving at least 6 important cases for society. Local communities or businesses that operate in Natura 2000 sites and/or have subordinated their work to the sustainable use of natural resources will be supported in their conservation causes. A minimum of 10 on-site information meetings and/or on-site inspections and expert assistance will be carried out to launch specific initiatives and resolve specific issues. An advocacy campaign for the expected changes in the relevant legislation will also be conducted.
4. Capacity building - training will be provided for members and friends of the coalition. It will help them learn to communicate more quickly and easily their needs, problems and achievements with both traditional media and also directly with all people who appreciate wildlife through social media.
5. Project management
6. Project promotion activities
This publication was created with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. All responsibility for the content of the document is borne by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and under no circumstances can be assumed that it reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria.