Finished projects

Supporting a Sustainable Future for People and Nature in Osogovo Mountain

Project Partners
EuroNatur Foundation, Germany (Lead partner), Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and Macedonian Ecological Society MES, Macedonia
German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU), Frankfurt Zoological Society FZS and own contribution by the project partners 

Project duration
December 2015 - March 2018
Total Value:
The total amount of budget is 208 321 EUR (60% DBU grant and 40% contribution of FZS and the project partners)
BBF’s total budget amounts to 84 992 EUR (82 992 EUR grant and 2000 EUR own contribution)
BBF team: Martina Koleva - Project Coordinator, Peter Todorov - Project Assistant, Snejana Ivanova - Project Accountant
Project goals
The main goal of the project is to secure the conservation of the outstanding biological diversity of Osogovo while applying good practices for regional sustainable development in joint efforts with the local population. An important instrument is the implementation of environmental friendly uses of natural resources and biodiversity.

The project aims to:
  • Support sustainable forest management in Osogovo
  • Improve knowledge about large carnivores in Osogovo as a foundation for decision-making processes
  • Analyze and demonstrate potential of Osogovo for nature-based tourism
Project activities
Support sustainable forest management in Osogovo

1. Assessment of High Nature Value Forests (HNVF) and formulation of management recommendations
  • Meetings with relevant stakeholders to gain support, initiate assessment process and coordinate and exchange during the process;
  • Identification of HNVF and management recommendations (including maps and GIS data);
  • Public hearings with relevant authorities to present the results from the assessment process and stimulate the implementation of recommendations.
2. Capacity building of the forestry sector
  • One transboundary workshop to gain support from foresters;
  • One training per forest unit addressed to field workers;
  • One transboundary workshop at the end of the process to exchange experiences
3. Promotion of sustainable forest management in spatial planning
  • Participation in public hearings on municipality level
Improve knowledge about large carnivores in Osogovo as a foundation for decision-making processes

1. Development of a joint transboundary monitoring scheme for large carnivores (lynx, bear, wolf) and deer species
  • Expert analysis of existing information (monitoring data & habitat suitability models) and identification of data gaps in Macedonia and Bulgaria;
  • Elaboration of a joint monitoring scheme based on phototrap and transect methodologies as well as indirect proofs applicable in both sides of Osogovo including a transboundary workshop with experts from Bulgaria and Macedonia.
2. Establishment of a transboundary monitoring network with local stakeholders from different sectors like forestry, hunting, farming, nature conservation
  • Develop strategy for monitoring network (including analysis of possible participants, how to involve them, and meetings to raise interest);
  • Trainings for stakeholders on how to monitor mammals/large carnivores (direct and indirect proofs);
  • Facilitate exchange and cooperation between participants of network;
  • Two transboundary workshops for active participants of the monitoring to present results and aggregation of collected data.
3. Implementation of the monitoring scheme of the mammals/ large carnivores in Osogovo
  • Preparation of equipment;
  • Implementation of the monitoring scheme (with support of stakeholders).
4. Analysis of the collected monitoring data and development of recommendations for the future of Osogovo
  • Processing and analyzing of collected data;
  • Development of recommendations with regards to forest management, nature-based tourism, future research needs, and other current issues
Analyze and demonstrate potential of Osogovo for nature-based tourism

1. Assessment of potential of Osogovo for nature-based tourism
  • Expert analysis of potential of Osogovo for nature-based tourism covering the following topics:
- Vision and framework for nature-based tourism offers in Osogovo;
- Assessment of present species, existing trails, services, facilities and infrastructure, transport, stakeholders and partners, current tourism structure;
- Analysis of target group, demand, and market opportunities;
- Development of possible tourism offers and a concept for marketing (including detailed description of what is needed to be successful, potential conflicts and risks).
  • Presentation of results to specific stakeholders from the region during transboundary forum.
2. Development of one best practice example as model per country
  • Identification of partners/ tourism offers to be elaborated;
  • Facilitation of transboundary exchange of partners;
  • Development of tourism offer and building of necessary capacity (e.g. train guide for track identification);
  • Promote offer (e.g. tour to Osogovo);
  • Organisation of public national forum to present results.