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BELASITSA NATURE PARK – A REFUGE FOR BIODIVERSITY AND NATURE LOVERS

07/15/2013

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH CAMP
BELASITSA NATURE PARK – A REFUGE FOR BIODIVERSITY AND NATURE LOVERS
24-29 September 2013 

It’s time for mountain adventures!
We would like to announce the first International Youth Camp in the frame of the project “Belasitsa Beyond Borders – Transboundary Cooperation along the Balkan Green Belt”.
The camp will gather young people from Bulgaria, Greece and FYR Macedonia on the territory of the newest Nature Park in Bulgaria – Belasitsa Nature Park.

Event information
The camp is focused on the active involvement of youth in nature conservation and sustainable development activities. It will be a chance to learn more about nature protection, management of protected areas, as well as sustainable tourism as a tool for economic development. The participants will get to know the work of the park administration, the beautiful nature of Belasitsa Mountain and experience the lifestyle of the locals – all this in an amazing environment.

The camp will include four major components:
1) Lectures on biodiversity, nature conservation and sustainable tourism.
2) Field trips to some of the most notable nature sites in the region.
3) Practical conservation activities aiming at supporting the work of Belasitsa Nature Park Directorate – marking tourism trails, renovating tourist infrastructure, monitoring of rare and endangered animal and plant species and etc.
4) Sweet Chestnut Festival – the participants will take place in the annual Sweet Chestnut Festival. The event which represents the unique nature of the mountain and the culture of the local people will take place on 28th September.

Terms and conditions of participation:
· All participants must be between 18 and 30 years of age;
· All participants must come from Bulgaria, Greece or FYR Macedonia;
· Practical involvement in nature conservation actions and/or tourism development activities will be an advantage.
· Work language – English.
· Accommodation – provided by the organizers. Shared rooms in guest houses and/or tents in a village at the foot of Belasitsa Nature Park.
· Food – provided by the organizers.
· Necessary equipment – comfortable walking boots, waterproof jacket and trousers, warm clothes, personal belongings. Note: Please note that you have to take your own tent and sleeping bag if you register for overnight in a tent.
· Participation fee – 30 euro per person (accommodation in guest houses) or 20 euro (overnight in tents).
· Travel costs – the participants cover their own travel cost to the venue, the organizers will be responsible for the local travel in the area.
· Maximum number of participants – 15 people. Five per each country – Bulgaria, Greece and FYR Macedonia.
· The camp starts at 11:00 am on 24 September 2103 and finishes at 14:00 pm on 29 September 2103.

Venue: Belasitsa Nature Park
Belasitsa Mountain is divided among three countries – Bulgaria, Greece and FYR of Macedonia. Here at Tumba Peak (1880 m a.s.l.), the three borders come together.
The main mountain ridge is narrow and covered with pastures and sub-Alpine shrubs. The slopes are steep and forested, cut through by deep gorges, swift flowing rivers and small but beautiful waterfalls. The highest point of the mountain is Radomir Peak with altitude of 2029 m a.s.l.
For the protection of the unique nature of the mountain, the newest Bulgarian Nature Park was established in 2007 – Belasitsa Nature Park. The protected area covers a territory of 11 732,43 ha and is home of century old beach and chestnut forests, as well as a number of protected rare and endangered plant and animal species. Here the visitor can observe the rare and gorgeous Albanian lily, the European yew – a survivor from the ice age, the mysterious White-backed woodpecker and many others.
Apart from biodiversity protection, the park aims at the development of nature friendly sustainable tourism. The protected area is criss-crossed by a network of hiking trails which offer access to the unique nature of the mountain.

For registration & more information
Vladimir Milushev (Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, Bulgaria)
e-mail: vladimir.milushev@biodiversity.bg
mobile: +359 898 70 09 61

Registration form could be found here

The present International Youth Camp is organized in the frame of the project “Belasitsa Beyond Borders – Transboundary Cooperation along the Balkan Green Belt” which is jointly implemented by the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation – Branch Belasitsa (Bulgaria), EuroNatur (Germany), Belasitsa Nature Park Directorate at the Еxecutive Forest Agency (Bulgaria), Management Authority of Lake Kerkini (Greece) and Environmental Association Planetum – Strumica (FYR Macedonia).
The project is co-financed by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU) – 50% and the project partners – 50%.