BulPlantNet - A Pilot Network of Small Protected Sites for Plant Species in Bulgaria Using the Plant Micro-reserve Model

LIFE08 NAT/BG/000279

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Project Manager: Dimitar PEEV
Tel: +359 2 8717166
Fax: +359 2 8719032
Email: dimitar.peev08@gmail.com

Project description:


Plant Micro-Reserves (PMRs) are small (less than 20 ha) permanent, statutory reserves of high value in terms of either plant richness or the presence of rare species. A preliminary analysis of the current state of Bulgaria’s threatened and rare plants revealed 299 species in need of urgent conservation action that fulfil the requirements for conservation in a network of PMRs, for instance, in having fragmented populations that fall outside of existing protected areas.


The strategic objective of BulPlantNet LIFE project was to halt species loss and promote the conservation of plant biodiversity in Bulgaria, with a particular focus on plant species that are unique to Bulgaria or of European Community interest, and that have strongly fragmented populations that fall outside of existing protected areas. To achieve this goal, the project aimed to test the concept of PMRs in Bulgaria, through the designation of a network of Small Protected Sites (SPS) to target 47 plant species fitting the above criteria. The project also aimed to elaborate action and monitoring plans for the target species, implement in situ and ex situ conservation of the target plant species, develop a long-term strategy for the sustainable development of a SPS network, and increase awareness and engagement among local people and various stakeholders.


The BulPlantNet LIFE Bioversity project selected, inventoried and monitored 62 small sites for the conservation of 47 selected endangered plant species in Bulgaria, and deposited 62 proposals for the designation of these sites to the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW). From these, 58 were officially designated as Small Protected Sites (SPSs) under Bulgarian legislation, which was almost double the initial target of 30 sites. A total of 47 action plans for all the target plant species were drafted and officially endorsed by the MOEW to safeguard the survival of these species. As a result of establishing action plans for all the target species, during the next 10 years the management activities for the maintenance of these territories, which comprise around 1 006 ha in total, will be conducted on a predictable basis. BulPlantNet therefore successfully demonstrational the value of the Plant Micro-Reserve (PMR) model for the first time in Bulgaria. This was applied to protect isolated populations of endangered species in the Bulgarian flora. In addition to establishing protected areas, the project contributed by adding an extra set of measures for habitat maintenance and monitoring, improved scientific knowledge in this area, increased public awareness through information campaigns, and involved all interested parties in conservation activities. The project team created a SPS network database for the subsequent development and sustainable management of sites, with detailed information on all the target species including distribution maps. Training in the field was also conducted for targeted expert groups within different administrative regions. The network of SPSs established by the project covers practically the whole territory of the country. Citizens have been well informed and the network is generally well accepted. This is a good prerequisite for the addition of new sites in the future. There is good potential for the enlargement of the network, through the possible inclusion of the remaining endangered plant species from the Bulgarian flora that meet the criteria of the PMR concept. The project’s coordinating beneficiary created an ex situ facility where 21 targeted plant species were propagated and kept for future in situ restoration, according to the recommendations of the action plans. The BulPlantNet model could also be applied in the other countries in the region, as the flora of neighbouring countries had evolved in similar conditions. The project has therefore demonstrated how the PMR concept for the conservation of endangered plant species could be applied throughout the Balkan region. The small sizes of the protected areas, combined with the application of traditional agricultural practices, such as grazing or mowing, are among the reasons for the relatively low level of expenditures expected in creating PMR networks. Therefore, despite its high conservation value, these activities can be characterised as cost-efficient.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Conservation Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Plants


endemic species‚  protected area‚  research project‚  biodiversity‚  nature conservation

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...

Target Habitat types

  • 01 - Unknown (site without information)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Science carries out fundamental and applied scientific research into plants, algae and fungi, covering issues from structure and growth to disease and evolutionary relationships between the different groups.
Partners Ministry of Environment and Water, Bulgaria


Project reference LIFE08 NAT/BG/000279
Duration 01-JAN-2010 to 31-MAR -2014
Total budget 503,778.00 €
EU contribution 227,957.00 €
Project location Associated Bulgaria (BG)(Bulgaria Balgarija)


Read more:

Brochure "A pilot network f small protected sites for plant species sites for plant species in Bulgaria using the plant micro serve model : Bulplantnet = Pilotŭt na mrezhata e malki zashtiteni teritorii za rastitelni vidove obekti za rastitelni vidove v Bŭlgariya s pomoshtta na mikro rastitelni sluzhi model: Bulplantnet" (17.9 MB)
Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Conservation Plan After-LIFE Conservation Plan
Publication: Book "Pilotna mrezha ot malki zashtiteni mestnosti za o ...
Publication: Book "A pilot network of small protected sites for cons ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report
Video link Project's video 2 (5.12')
Video link Project's video 1 (18.57')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version