Partnership for nature-friendly management of pastures

The main project objective is to develop joint solutions to the governance and management problems of municipal pastures in Natura 2000 sites (based on the case of Godech Municipality) as well as to establish a partnership between municipal administration, local livestock breeders, volunteers and STEP staff. Based on this framework the project team will propose and adapt a methodology for nature- friendly management of municipal pastures in Natura 2000 zones.
The project is funded under the NGO Programme in Bulgaria of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2009 - 2014

The project implementation period is 14 months, November 2014 - January 2016.

What motivates are to work on this issue?

High mountain pastures are among the most valuable grassland ecosystems both for biodiversity conservation and for rural livelihoods improvement. The challenges of their sustainable management are many and varied. However, from the perspective of local people, the most serious problem is succession and expansion of scrub and tree cover (the so-called unwanted vegetation) on municipal pastures, making them unsuitable for use and ineligible for public support.

What can be improved as a result of the project implementation?

  • Improve the municipal legislative framework for contracting pastures to local livestock breeders;
  • Support local farmers to remove the unwanted vegetation from the municipal pastures they use in a nature-friendly manner;
  • Increase the knowledge and skills of local administration, livestock breeders, and the public about the sustainable management of municipal pastures within Natura 2000 sites;
  • Set up STEP’s volunteers network to support the nature-friendly clearing up of pastures used by local livestock breeders.

Project Partnership Group

The Project Partnership Group is formed by representatives of the local community such as agricultural producers and farmers; experts from the municipal authority and municipal office "Agriculture", local forestry service, community cultural centers (chitaliste), LAG Berkovitsa-Godech, NGOs, local media, citizens of Godech municipality and STEP staff/members.

The members of the Project Partnership Group discuss and develop proposals on topics and issues related to the analysis of renting/leasing procedures and use of pastures, communal pastures (meri) and meadows in Godech Municipality. The discussions aim to improve the practical and legal understanding of the existing problems for the sustainable management of municipal pastures, and thus seek and find joint solutions to the governance of municipal pastures, particularly in Natura 2000 sites.

The expected concrete results from the work of the Project Partnership Group are:

  • An established and active partnerships within Godech municipality for sustainable management of municipal pastures, meri and meadows;
  • Improved regulatory framework for pasture governance in Godech municipality;
  • Increased awareness and capacity of the local community and administration on the ecological value of pastures, meadows and the importance of extensive farming for their protection;
  • Activated behavior for volunteering and improved knowledge for the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity among farmers, students and citizens of Godech municipality;
  • Selected 50 decars of HNV grassland in Godech municipality for clearing up from invasive/unwanted vegetation;
  • Agreed dates for two volunteering actions for clearing the selected pastures to be carried out during May, June or July 2015.

If you would like to join the Project Partnership Group, please fill in the Partnership Agreement for voluntary participation and mail it to:

Project’s Volunteers

Main project activities

Project timetable

Plan for project publicity and visualization