GeoMarine Ltd. met Ministry of Environment and Water – Natura 2000 Sites Department and Biodiversity (BG) [19.02.2020]

To ensure the compliance also with Bulgarian EIA specific requirements and the preparation of the environmental reports, Halcrow Romania SRL/ Jacobs is assisted by the Bulgarian sub-consultant GeoMarine Ltd.- highly experienced in EIA procedures in Republic of Bulgaria.

On 19th February 2020 GeoMarine met Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) – Natura 2000 Sites Department and Biodiversity’s representatives.

Topics of discussion:

  1. New data and reporting by MoEW according art. 17 of Habitats Directive and art.12 of Birds Directive.
    1. Potential implications for the project, including for the approval of AA Report.
    2. Actions to be taken.
  2. Lack of Orders for designation and Management Plans for Natura 2000 Sites (N2K Sites) issued by MoEW.
    1. Potential implications for the project, including funding of the project by European Comission.
    2. Actions to be taken.

Some notes from the meeting are presented below:

Because we wanted to ensure a continuous coordination between the Romanian and Bulgarian environmental authorities and avoid any potential delays in the permitting process, GeoMarine presented to MoEW the new requirement of the European Commission – the need of Site Specific Conservation Objectives (SSCO), Management Plans and Designation Orders for the N2K Sites, based on the recently Romanian experience for another transportation project funded by the EC.

MoEW was aware of the issue with the hampering financing of projects by EC because of the lack of Designation Orders and Management Plans for the N2K Sites in Republic of Bulgaria.

MoEW was in process of developing new types of Designation Orders with provision of more details and specific objectives. 3 draft Orders for Rila, Rila Buffer and Kraymorska Dobrudzha N2K Sites (not relevant for FAST Danube projects) are available on the web site of the Ministry. If the EC agree on the content of the Designation Orders and MoEW approch, then Designation Orders will be issued for N2K Sites from the project area.

In order to ensure a close cooperation with the MoEW, FAST Danube is willing to make available any existing data obtained from the project, to feed the specific measures and objectives decision making for the more specific orders.