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ReSAC and Biodiversity and Ecosystems projects

ReSAC participation in two projects, which are financed by Program BG03 “Biodiversity and Ecosystems” and co-financed by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA FM 2009-2014)

GRASSLAND: Assessment and mapping of GRASSLAND ecosystems condition and their services in Bulgaria, Contr. Д-33-90/03.09.2015

Duration: 27.08.2015 – 30.11.2016

The project will contribute to the overall objectives of the Programme for concise inventory of ecosystem services in the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy of the EU. The main task of the project is to describe and evaluate the grasslands in Bulgaria or, more popularly all pastures, meadows and other grasslands, which by preliminary estimates represent about 30% of the country.

The project aims to ensure an opportunity to explore various issues related to the availability of grassland ecosystems, combined with the long-term preservation of their potential. The project will contribute original information about the grasslands outside the Natura 2000 Network, about their distribution, biophysical parameters and capacity for commercial use. The collected and processed information will be fed into the National Information System on Biodiversity to establish a reliable source for monitoring changes and implement adequate conservation measures.

An important part of the project is related to raising public awareness about the benefits of ecosystem services and their importance for the economy of the country. It will be organized seminars on the main users of open grasslands – farmers and representatives of medium and small hotel and tourism business. Cooperative work with the institutions responsible for the protection of Bulgarian nature will introduce them in detail to the methodology applied for Ecosystem Assessment, which will allow systematic monitoring of their status in the future.

Project website

Fig.1 Example of grassland ecosystem types

FEMA: Fresh water ecosystem services mapping and assessment in Bulgaria, Contr. Д-33-87/27.08.2015

Duration: 27.08.2015 – 30.11.2016

The specific goal of the project is assessment of the freshwater ecosystems in Bulgaria, following the national methodology for assessment and elaboration of maps, which comply with the technical specifications of the National Information Network for Biodiversity in freshwater basins, which fall outside of the Natura 2000 Network and/or other protected territories.

The general goal of the project is to improve the integration of biodiversity into sectoral policies and, more specifically, in water resource management, including an assessment of the societal benefits, which freshwater ecosystems generate.

Using available information of various sources numerous GIS layers will be elaborated with specific values of the freshwater ecosystems of rivers and lakes. The results obtained will serve to integrate the freshwater ecosystems’ values into the Second River Basin Management Plans, Regional Development Plans and to support the national Biodiversity Information System with data/assessments.

The main target group of the project comprises of representatives of the central and local authorities, scientists and researchers, non-governmental organizations, business organizations, students and direct beneficiaries, such as fishers, farmers and tourist organization.

The main project activities are collection of data about freshwater ecosystems, mapping and assessment of services relating to freshwater ecosystems, formulation of scientific conclusions and dissemination of the project results and publicity.

Project website

Fig.2 Example of standing waters, water courses, and water bodies

ReSAC solve and develop high-tech tasks in the field of geo-informatics, integrating the methods of remote sensing and geographic information systems. The results are widely used in decision-making process of land management and land use, environmental management, inventory of soil, forestlands and water resources, urban planning, infrastructure, assessment of natural and anthropogenic environmental risks, citizen awareness, etc.

In both projects ReSAC is responsible for digitization and georeferencing of all data, visual interpretation, modeling and creation of GIS databases to create a modern digital map of the different ecosystem types in Bulgaria – freshwater and grassland ecosystems. ReSAC also responsible for development and maintenance of projects website and WEB GIS portal, and conducting of training courses on GIS applications and Web-based GIS for the experts-biologists.

For more information:
Remote Sensing Application Center – ReSAC
61, Tzar Assen Str., fl. 2, 1463, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Tel: +35929800731 / Fax: +35929818216.