Common Land Use
Common grazing in Bulgaria is a historical tradition of whole Europe. It has developed over the right of the population of a settlement to use its adjacent pastures and meadows for grazing and feeding of livestock. In the past the main challenges were related with limitation of access to the common grassland resources and the regulation of their usage. Nowadays, the challenges are mainly related to preventing their abandonment, ensuring their sustainable use and their recognition as a specific type of land use by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In addition, their importance for nature and biodiversity conservation is increasingly recognized. More than the half of the common grasslands in Bulgaria (above 800 thousands hectares) fall within the areas of the European ecological network Natura 2000, but less than 10% receive support under the schemes and measures of the CAP.
STEP participates in the Common Land Network in Europe, which aims to create and strengthen the links between communities with significant areas under common use (agricultural, forestry, water) and these who support it; to document and increase the recognition of common lands; to contribute for the dissemination and implementation of good practices.