Via Pontica Foundation Invites You to Celebrate World Wetlands Day

Every year on February 2nd, the world celebrates International Wetlands Day. This time Burgas joins the initiative with some interesting events organized by the Via Pontica Foundation, together with the Municipality of Burgas and RIEW-Burgas. The patron is Mrs. Yordanka Ananieva – Deputy Mayor for Education, Health and Social Affairs.

On January 29 at the Flora Expocenter at 2 pm there will be an information day and presentation of a mobile application for migratory birds, developed jointly with children from the Captain Planet Eco Club at the “A.G. Kozhakafalia” Primary School.

Another interesting part of the program is the presentation of the winners in a Comic Book Contest with environmental focus on “Superheroes in Wetlands and the Environment”.

You will learn more about the event from Anna Yancheva – Project Coordinator at the Via Pontica Foundation. She was a guest on Palitra broadcast.


Krasimira Todorova


25 Years Strandza Nature Park


The team of the Via Pontica Foundation visited the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Strandza Nature Park. The event was held on January 24 from 11:00 in the Hall “Petya Dubarova”, Cultural Center “Sea Casino” Burgas.

The opening elicited admiration with the performance of the Strandza Mountain Anthem – “A Clear Month is Rising” by the talented children of folklore formation. Greetings from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests, associations, non-governmental organizations, former directors and associates filled the team of Strandza Nature Park with wishes for ever more valuable deeds and appearances.



The Regional Governor of Burgas Mr. Valcho Cholakov and Ms. Diana Savateva, Deputy Mayor for Culture, Tourism and Sport, presented their wishes and declared their wish for professional support in the upcoming initiatives of the Strandza Nature Park.



All guests, friends and lovers of nature “traveled” in time with a brief flashback to the memories of the creation of the Nature Park. Smiling photos and quotes from the Visitor Book reminded us of the importance of our colleagues’ mission and how we should work in collaboration and united in a common concern for nature.

Thanks for the invitation and positive emotions!

Wetlands Days 2020 in Burgas


On January 29, the Via Pontica Foundation, Burgas Municipality and RIEW Burgas jointly launched the Wetlands Days 2020 Initiatives to celebrate and promote World Wetlands Day 2020.

They will provide an opportunity for all participants in an eco-friendly Comic Book Competition to present their works. The exhibition will make the general public aware ofthe World Wetlands Day 2020. The campaign will raise awareness among residents and visitors of the city of all sensitive issues and forthcoming activities related to the conservation of the thriving wetlands in the Burgas region.

Local experts and volunteers will “train superheroes” in the fight for wetland conservation and biodiversity, spreading the message to participants that each one of us can become a “hero of the day” through shared responsibility and an adequate attitude towards nature conservation.


Superheroes in Wetlands and Environment Conservation

In view of the 2020 theme “Wetlands and Biodiversity”, Via Pontica Foundation launched in November a Ecopower Comic Book Competition among all schools and education establishments in Burgas region. The topic is: “Superheroes in Wetlands and Environment Conservation”. Spread your imagination and express your catchy and offbeat suggestions for superheroes in their shared nature care!

In the heart of the city of Burgas, Via Pontica Foundation and Burgas Municipality will exhibit all comic books created during the Ecopower Comic Book Competition. The exhibition will introduce the broad public to World Wetlands Day and initiatives for 2020. Moreover, the campaign will raise the awareness among residents and visitors of the city of all sensitive matters and forthcoming activities related to the preservation of the thriving life in the wetlands of the Burgas region.

Most Wintering Waterfowl – along the Black Sea and Danube

Most wintering waterfowl in Bulgaria are registered along the Black Sea coast and the Danube River. This is indicated by the results of the 44th census of wintering waterfowl in Bulgaria.

Due to warmer weather, a significantly lower number was found than last year. So far, about 80 percent of the data have been processed, and they show that the total numbers of identified bird species are 247 908 individuals, with a total of 361,933 individuals in last year’s census, and in 2018, significantly fewer or just under 130,000 individuals. The three most abundant bird species in the country’s ponds are the Mallard (31,902), the Common Coot (29,921) and the globally endangered Common Pochard (19,180).

The event was made possible by the participation of 41 teams of experts and volunteers of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), the Executive Environmental Agency (EEA), the Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water (RIEW), hunting associations and representatives of others non-governmental organizations that managed to get around and collect data on wintering birds in over 200 wetlands in our country.

The teams were able to monitor and count only 3300 Greater White-fronted Gееse and 322 of the endangered Red-breasted Geese, compared to 120,000 Great White-fronted Gееse and 3500 Red-breasted Geese last year.

Of the globally endangered waterfowl species, in addition to the Red-breasted Geese and the Common Pochards, 18 Horned Grebes, 4 Velvet Scoters, and 427 White-headed Ducks have been identified.

Among the interesting observations are 5 Common Cranes in the area of Hadzhi Dimitrovo fish farms, Common Eiders and over 4000 Mediterranean Shearwaters in the area of Cape Emine, a record number of Ferruginous Ducks (about 40) in the area of Rozov Kladenets dam, 3 Velvet Scoters in Sofia region. 741 Dalmatian Pelicans, 341 Pink Flamingos and 40 Great Black-headed Gulls in the Burgas Lakes Region.

Special attention was paid to the wintering Whooper Swans and Tundra Swans as the event coincided with the International Census of both. Our teams were able to identify 1,216 Whooper Swans and 157 Tundra Swans.

It is gratifying that more than 80% of the teams used the SmartBirds Pro mobile data entry application this year, which collected nearly 5,000 entries and helped tremendously to quickly aggregate the results.

The census of wintering waterfowl has been conducted worldwide since 1967 and is one of the largest conservation events in the world, involving over 15,000 people. It is implemented simultaneously and synchronized across Europe and North Africa for the purpose of counting waterfowl as accurately as possible. Internationally, the information is compiled by Wetlands International. The census estimates the status of waterfowl populations and the state of their habitats, many of which are part of the Natura 2000 ecological network. According to recent data, populations of some of the world’s endangered species such as the Lesser White-fronted Goose and the Common Pochard continue to decline, putting those species at real risk of extinction.

United for a Cleaner Black Sea


On January 10th, 2020 at the initiative of the Marlena BSB139 project participants a meeting between the representatives of projects on ENI Cross-Border Cooperation Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020 in Bulgaria, namely RedMarLitter BSB 552- Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas, Marlena BSB 139- Marine and River Litter Elimination New Approach and Zewsges BSB257- Zero Waste Strategy for Good Environmental Status was held. The meeting took place in Burgas city. These three projects are funded under the First call for proposals of the CBC Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020, Priority 2.2. Promote common awareness-raising and joint actions to reduce river and marine litter.

In compliance with the overall objective of this programme to improve the welfare in the Black Sea basin region through sustainable growth and joint environmental protection all participants have decided to act upon further cooperation to ensure that project implementation and main objectives will be reached and even exceeded.

Via Pontica Foundation has provided the Cooperation Memorandum for the envisaged exchange of knowledge, know-how, database information and monitoring results. As per the document to be signed by Via Pontica Foundation, Zelena Strandja Association, Malko Tarnovo Municipality and the Tourism Council Development in Nessebar Municipality all parties will improve and increase the information flow on:

– Analysis of the degree of contamination of the Black Sea basin;

– Results from monitoring actions and identification of waste load and its accumulating points;

– Identification of “hot points”;

– Evaluation and increased awareness of common suggested measures.

During the meeting was set a working group that will implement the following capitalization actions:

– Exchange of information on projects’ websites about all projects under priority 2.2.

– Exchange of access and guidance to databases and interactive platforms developed under the projects;

– Exchange of information with observation of relative legislation on stakeholder groups in the Programme region, incl. other partner countries in the three projects.

The aim of the working group is to capitalize and further promote activities with EU support in the region. Any interested party is more than welcome to join and support our shared efforts upon reduction of river and marine litter in the Black Sea basin! Please call +359899840138 or write to [email protected]

A European Green Deal


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Striving to be the first climate-neutral continent!

Becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 is the greatest challenge and opportunity of our times. To achieve this, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal, the most ambitious package of measures that should enable European citizens and businesses to benefit from sustainable green transition. Measures accompanied with an initial roadmap of key policies range from ambitiously cutting emissions, to investing in cutting-edge research and innovation, to preserving Europe’s natural environment.

Supported by investments in green technologies, sustainable solutions and new businesses, the Green Deal can be a new EU growth strategy. Involvement and commitment of the public and of all stakeholders is crucial to its success.

Above all, the European Green Deal sets a path for a transition that is just and socially fair. It is designed in such a way as to leave no individual or region behind in the great transformation ahead.

You can find everything about the European Green Deal HERE



Climate Disaster in Europe Predicted by Scientists

Climate disaster in Europe predicted by scientists

According to forecasts by Dutch scientists, the North Atlantic drift could change its direction in the next hundred years, which would have catastrophic consequences for Europe where the climate is often mitigated by the warm waters brought to its coasts.


This image shows the Atlantic Ocean Circulation, which transports relatively warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to north-western Europe.


Scientists at the University of Groningen and the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands predicted that the North Atlantic drift, which is an extension of the Gulf Stream, could change direction in the next 100 years, which which could have disastrous consequences for Europe, informs a press release published on EurekAlert !.

Increased precipitation and melting glaciers in Greenland due to global warming are increasing the amount of fresh water in the upper layers of the northern Atlantic Ocean.

The North Atlantic Current transports warm water from the Gulf of Mexico towards Europe, providing much of north-western Europe with a relatively mild climate. However, scientists suspect that meltwater from Greenland and excessive rainfall could interfere with this ocean current.

Simulations by scientists from the University of Groningen and Utrecht University showed that it is unlikely that the current will come to a complete stop, due to small and rapid changes in precipitation over the North Atlantic. However, there is a 15 percent likelihood that there will be a temporary change in the current in the next 100 years. The results were published on 30 December in the journal Scientific Reports..


Surfers and Friends Make a Clean Christmas Campaign under the Motto: “Black Sea without Plastic and Concrete”



„Аkasha“ school surf enthusiasts and their friends ended the year in a very attractive way. Surfers behind the Wind2Win Clean Campaign and the blogger Nikola Bobchev of Lessplastic Bulgaria have organized a winter cleanup at Arkutino Beach on Christmas Eve.

This year’s participation in the Clean Christmas campaign is under the motto: “Black Sea without Plastic and Concrete”.

Before the bTV Mr. Vladimir Dimitrov of the Green Strandzha Association, said that the beach, which was well cleaned in June, has become a landfill again. According to the inscriptions and the type of waste, most of them are from Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, he said.

During sea storms, tons of waste are dumped on shore. Only about an hour volunteers filled dozens of garbage bags. Some of the debris across the rivers falls into the sea, said reporter Laura Stamatis, waving a chocolate dessert package that came from Turkey.

More than 60% of the waste dumped from the Black Sea along the coast are plastic.
This shows a study by the Basin Directorate. 10 of the largest but landless beaches along the Black Sea have been surveyed.

“These are everyday products, everyday products – straws, stirrers, utensils …  The environmental culture of society is increasing, people are becoming more alert,” explains the head of the Marine Conservation and Monitoring Department, Ms. Miroslava Robinson. The results show that the total amount and weight of offshore waste is decreasing.

The survey does not cover winter, and it is then that the sea throws away the most rubbish, reports eco-organizations. During their last hike in the Ropotamo Reserve, Green Strandzha activists determined that one of the bays was buried by debris.

Scientists in Burgas are working on a project to reduce plastic particles in the Black Sea.

“The idea is to receive information about the type of pollution, to be able to estimate the levels and work with effective measures to minimize them,” says BAS Regional Representative Prof. Sevdalina Turmanova, who is also chairman of the Burgas Municipal Council.

The first step is to ban the use of plastic by tourists on St Anastasia Island.

After the end of today’s action, which the organizers called “Clean Christmas”, part of the collected waste, which is suitable for art installations, was separated and from 16:30 at the Flora Exposure Center in Burgas, an attractive Christmas decoration was made. For the art workshop in the Sea Garden, the organizers have provided a Christmas dress code.

The finale is a free screening of the movie “Wind of the Sea,” which was shown in the summer in many places around the country. After that, there is also time for discussion on Black Sea topics.




First Partners Meeting under Smart Farming 4.0 All Project



The first transnational partner meeting on Smart Farming 4.0 All Project took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, December 9-10, 2019. During the two-day event, many fruitful discussions were held, as was talk about the launch and implementation of the project in accordance with the pre-set work plan and schedule.

On the first day, an introductory presentation of the Smart Farming 4.0 All project was made and the focus of the discussions was on the following key points: the development and adoption of the Project Management Handbook, Quality Assurance Plan and Project Dissemination Plan, a logo, website and design of the project page.

The second day of the meeting was devoted to horizontal project activities, including: quality assurance, evaluation, publicity and promotion, technical and financial implementation and accountability. The event ended with the presentation of a Work Plan for the two project years, the planning of the next partnership meeting and an assessment of the current one.



The Smart Farming 4.0 All project brings together six partners from Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus with different backgrounds, expertise and culture, which share a common vision to assist people in acquiring and developing basic skills and key attributes regarding their importance in the labor market and their contribution to a united society and promote the improvement of quality, the integration of innovation and internationalization in the field of agriculture. The Smart Farming Handbook will be developed under the project and a specific training curricula will be developed, that will be utilized to train experts from the participating organizations as “carriers” of innovation. This will ensure relevance and recognition of the achieved results in other European countries.



The leading partner of the project “Smart Farming in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” is Via Pontica Foundation and the other partners are:

  • HAKAN KANSO, Turkey