Карта на действащите ВЕЦ в България

сряда, 11 април 2018 г.

Balkanka Association who are we presentation

Brief introduction
Balkanka Association is a non-profit, non-government organization, registered in Bulgaria for actions in public benefit, on 07 August 2013. We inherit our first association which is a Fisherman club founded by anglers in 2011. The main objectives of “Balkanka” are protection and conservation of river biodiversity, with a focus on conservation and restoration of indigenous Balkan trout populations in Bulgarian rivers.
We do this as organizing lots of actions on the rivers: cleaning, stocking with fish, trying to increase education of the people about the rivers and water creatures that lives there. We have a potential to do this because our members work in different spheres of life with different abilities: some of us are engineers, some of us are biologists, some of us are even hydrobiologists, some of us are managers in their companies, some of us are IT specialists, some of us are lawyers and others. We are small group of people but with lots of abilities. And more of us are anglers too that’s why we have the passion to do this.
In the beginning we started with the most popular actions – fish stocking. Nowadays we can say that during the last years we stock more than 320 000 little river trouts in Bulgarian rivers. This is happened with collaboration of our members and our friends. Because of large level of illegal fishing in Bulgaria this actions is happened comparatively secretly and a few people know which rivers are stocked. Lots of trouts are supplied with own funds but we have a great contract with the Supermarket LIDL Bulgaria that are sponsor of our stocking campaign.
Here are some pictures from the different actions during years from 2011 until now.
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In the next picture is shown how fish must be tempered for about 10 minutes to decrease the stressed when fishes are released in the water with different temperature.
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Doing this we recognized one big problem here in Bulgaria – illegal fishing. So we did actions on some rivers together with the Executive Agency of Fisheries and Aquaculture (EAFA) and busted some violators.
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But this problem is very big and we need for changes in the law to achieve a success. So we together with other fisherman clubs influenced of the state autorities to include in the law, rivers with special mode of exploitation – “Catch and released” of all individuals of indigeneous Balkan river trout. Many of these rivers has been forbidden for angling for many years but this measure for natural spawning condition and restoration of fish population is not working without any control. So we proposed other conception – control by the citizens. After that we make a campaign for promoting the new mode and put information boards along the river bank.
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Now we have more than 25 rivers in that mode. We think that this proposal was a big foot to the close – to  - nature angling without negative effect on the fish populations but we must change the local people understanding for life to achieve the main purpose. Only when the local people recognize the problem and their benefit to have rivers full with fish we will win the fight against the illegal fishing. That’s why we try another conception during last year – all actions are not secret nowadays and are related with the rivers in special mode for angling but the campaigns  happened with participation of the local people. Fish stocking has a good educational effect. We don’t rely on quantity but on quality of fish stocking and firstly of educational purpose.
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And when we talk about education we think about the youngest – the children. Last year we organized for first time a green day for the children of an beautiful region with good traditions in recreational tourism and very well looking rivers - the village of Ribaritsa, Municipality of Teteven. We have a big success with this action and we are going to organize two similar actions in 2018:
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Here one of our hydrobiologist explain to the children about the water insects that live on river bed.
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        Here is the first lesson in fishing for the children.
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In lots of our actions we clean up the river banks from the household wastes. Our river banks are fully polluted with many plastic wastes. We try to introduce in this campaign many local people and volunteers. Some pictures:
Clean up of Zlatna Panega river, 2012
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Clean up of Striama river, 2016, World fish migration day
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Clean up of Erma river, 2017, part of the campaign against the Investment plan for gold mine in the region of Municipality of  Trun
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Clean up of Biala river, 2017, World Fish Migration Day
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Clean up of Chaia river, 2017
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Clean up of Beli Vit river, Green day “Beli Vit 2017”
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After cleaning actions we pasted some information board with a call to keep clean:
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Having organized lots of actions, in time we recognized that firstly we had to fight for saving the river beds and after that to think how to protect the life in the rivers. Our rivers are fragmented, polluted, the forests are being cut down and one of the main problem is that everything is happened with permission of the Ministry of environmental. National nature conservation laws and the EU directives for nature protection didn’t matter. Many of the rules are only written in the permissions but the control is very poor and nothing positive is happened during the years.
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Here is a map which show what is planned for the rivers in the Balkan peninsula. And everything is going to be happened with the permission by the National Ministry of the environmental. Many of this project has been already in exploitation and lots of them are in protective area of EU Natura 2000 network. All of them are executed with systematic violation of Community law (the Water Framework Directive, the Habitats Directive, the SEA Directive and the Flood Risk Directive) and of national strategic documents that correspond to planning, approval, construction, operation and control of hydropower plants (HPP) in Bulgaria. This is what we want to get out and with which we want to introduce the public. Because this is an enormous problem which influences all of us.
Situation in Bulgaria. No free flowing rivers if we do not fight against the evil plan.
  • About 247 HPPs are operating, not counting the plants under the big dams, most of which are constructed more than 40 years ago;
  • Another nearly 250 HPPs investment plans are at a different stage of progress and have already received Water permits for use of a surface water body from the River Basin Directorates. Some of these are under construction, but most are in a stage of searching for finances.;
  • At least 400 additional locations are planned and subject of interest.
The main problem – under the water catchments there is no life.
HPP Siroko, Cherni Vit River, Natura 2000 site Centralen Balkan – Bufer BG0001493
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HPP Hristo Peev, Yantra River, Natura 2000 area Yantra River BG0000610
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HPP Sveta Petka, Kriva river,  Rila mountain
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HPP Davidkovo 2,  Davidkovska river, Natura 2000 area Rodopi – Sredni BG0001031
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Just under the National park “Rilla”, as known as “The Water mountain”. The bed of the river of Levi Iskar is fully dry because of the water catchments. The fisherman told that last year there were lots of fishes in this place but now … the life has gone.
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Every year about 5-10 rivers stop flowing. It’s a massive destruction of our nature!!!
What we have done ?!
Firstly we began to collect the information, visit the water catchments and take some pictures. All information we store in an web-platform print screen of which is shown on the next page. Every time when we have new pictures we write down a report to the National state authorities which are responsible with water environment. During the years we participated in lots of TV programs, meetings with the institutions, organized citizen protests. But in time we understand that our Institutions are inability to control the compliance of the permission that they have issued. So year after year, report after report, we are witnesses how the rivers are gotten dry and killed.
http://dams.reki.bg/ - Our web platform, where we upload and expose all information that refers to commissioning, design, construction and operation of HPPs in Bulgaria.


All these forced us to inform the EU Commission that the Bulgarian state authorities are breaching EU law. We have written seven consequent complaint and some weeks ago we wrote complaint number eight which is Appendix 7 to the main complaint and sent it to the EU Commision on 30.03.2018.
The problem is enormous. Everybody have to know that HPP is not green energy and according last publications it has very large negative influence above the nature - more that somebody can imagine. The artificial lakes fully change the habitat, artificial lakes are large sources of bad gases for the air. Fragmentation of the rivers increase the corrosion of river beds, stop the natural transfer of sediments and organic material; fishes and other water creatures can't pass through the barage and reach their spawning places. The water body can't be used for recreative purposes, fishing, kayaking. In many cases we talk about fully dry river beds. Wild animals can not take care of their little ones because they need for water for drinking, in some cases they need water for catch their food and if there is no water they will go somewhere else if it is possible or in many cases they will just die too. In derivation type of HPP we have dry river bed in some cases 10km and more.
To pay attention of all this problem we organized lots of protest action relied with different cases:
Protest against the construction of New HPP on river of Zlatna Panega, Rumiantzevo village, 03.2016 and 12.2017:
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Protest against the investment plan for gold mine in the Municipality of Trun, 03.2017
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Protest in front of our Ministry of environmental against HPP construction in Bulgaria, International days for actions on rivers, 14.03.2018
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Protest against the illegal fishing in Bulgaria, Stara Zagora, 05.2017, together with the Central Fish Protective Association
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We can talk about lots of other activities but protection of fish habitats is the main purpose nowadays. Massive destruction by HPP construction can not be neglected.
Finally let's boast ourselves. Because of all of our activities we are proud to inform you that we gain the special award of the public in the National competition for campaign in biodiversity conservation and environmentalism for 2017 which Bulgarian Foundation Biodiversity organises every year.


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