The project “Promoting a Sustainable Herbal Harvest in Bulgaria” is being realized by Foundation Information and Nature Conservation as a coordinating beneficiary, The Bulgarian National Radio and EcoLogic Consultancy SPLtd. as associated beneficiaries and co-funded by the European Commission’s financial instrument for the environment – Life+.
This is the first Bulgarian project to be co-funded under the “Information and communication” component of the Life+ program of the European Commission. The project is being executed in the period of October 2013 – March 2016.
The area of execution for part of the project activities is the Plovdiv Province (population 750 000) in Bulgaria, while the media campaign targets the whole country.
The goals are:

  • Promotion of sustainable herb use in Bulgaria.
  • Building the attitudes and skills necessary to conserve the rich medicinal and aromatic plant (MAP) resources of our country through the development of environmentally friendly economic initiatives

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The project activities are geared toward: local communities living in close proximity to the habitats of MAPs, experts from local authorities, the regional government and bodies of the Ministry of Environment and Water and of Agriculture and Food, NGOs, educational and scientific institutions, journalists from regional and national media and the general public.
A radio campaign will be carried out as part of the project. It will include over 200 broadcasts on the “Horizont” (Horizon), “Plovdiv” and “Stara Zagora” radio stations of the Bulgarian National Radio. This will ensure that the message that Bulgaria is one of the richest countries in MAP on Earth and is among the top exporters of MAP in the world, which means that their processing can provide livelihood for local communities and economic growth opportunities for the country as a whole will reach the general public.
The following activities will be carried out as part of the project:

  • Training of municipal ecology experts, regional government employees and forestry unit employees, all of who issue permits for the collection of MAP,
  • Training of herb buyers and processing facility managers and other entrepreneurs, who are responsible for training herb collectors
  • Creation and dissemination of educational materials – brochures and posters for the collectors, a handbook for the journalists working on the MAP topic,
  • Organisation of a mobile information and consulting center for farmers, entrepreneurs, collectors and all those interested in sustainable collection, cultivation and processing of MAP
  • Production and national broadcasting of a film about sustainable MAP use and the benefits it can bring to the project region and our country,
  • Execution of a Herb Fair in Plovdiv, with the participation of business organizations in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, which use MAPs as raw materials,
  • Creation of a database with information and photographs about MAP – valuable species and the useful compounds found within them, collection and processing rules, cultivation and value adding methods, ethnobotany – the herb use traditions and customs of our people, etc.

The Last Steering Committee Meeting

The last Steering Committee meeting took place on the 17 of March 2016 in the village of Trud nearby Plovdiv. The results of the Project were presented. Members of SC shared their satisfaction with the achievements of project results and deliverables.Participants discussed how they can be utilized best in the future.
The last SC meeting attended most members of the Council – representatives of RIEW Plovdiv; NPD “Central Balkan”; Office Plovdiv of NAAS; municipal administrations; South Central Forest Enterprise; Laboratory Biologically Active Substances of IOCh BAS; Bulgarian Association of herbs and mushrooms collectors; Regional radio stations “Plovdiv” and “Stara Zagora” of BNR; experts.