Restoring ecological networks
across transport corridors in Bulgaria


About the project

Transport corridors, such as roads and railroads, have been proven to be major causes of habitat fragmentation. Transport corridors not only cause the loss of natural habitats but also affect the quality of adjacent habitats, inhibit animal movements and last but not least, increase unnatural wildlife mortality due to collisions with traffic.

In Bulgaria, no measures have yet been taken to reduce the impacts of habitat fragmentation by transport corridors. Moreover, no plans exist yet to implement measures to overcome the problems that roads and railroads cause by dissecting natural habitats. The need for such plans is high for two reasons:

  1. transport networks in Bulgaria are in the process of extension and modernization as part of the development of a Trans-European Transport Network
  2. the far advanced plans for the development of a Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN), in which, also for Bulgaria, core nature areas, corridors, stepping stones, buffer zones and restoration areas of European importance are identified.

Therefore the main objective of the project is to develop a Long-term Program for Defragmentation measures at Transport Corridors in Bulgaria in order to restore ecological networks and preserve biodiversity. This includes:

  1. To strengthen inter-institutional co-operation at the national and regional level on transport-ecology issues.
  2. To better implement transport-ecology issues in EIA statements and guidelines for the development and design of transport networks.
  3. To institutionalise the exchange of knowledge and best-practices between experts of Bulgaria and other European countries to mitigate and compensate ecological impacts of the expansion of transport networks.
  4. To raise political, administrative and public awareness for the impacts of habitat fragmentation due to transport corridors in Bulgaria.

The target group of this project consists of all stakeholders that are involved in the development of sustainable transport networks and the protection of biodiversity:

    • The Ministries involved in road and rail networks or biodiversity protection (Ministry of Environment and Water, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests)
    • The scientific community (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
    • Bulgarian NGOs that are involved in nature conservation
    • Transport designing and construction companies