Conservation of Globally Significant Biodiversity in the Landscape of Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains

Project Summary

GOAL: Globally significant biodiversity is protected by conserving the biological and cultural mosaic of habitats, species and land uses that comprise the Eastern and Western Rhodope landscapes. IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVE 1: Landscape-scale conservation is effectively operationalized in Eastern and Western Rhodope Landscape Nature Parks. (GEF Financed & Co-financed).IMMEDIATE OBJECTIVE 2: Stakeholders integrate biodiversity into resource management and economic development policy and practice. (GEF Financed & Co-financed).The objective of this project is the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in the Rhodope Mountains of southern Bulgaria. The successful completion of the project will result in stakeholders devising innovative and adaptive practices to mitigate and prevent threats to biological diversity in two new landscape-scale Nature Parks by applying new partnerships, conservation tools, information, and sustainable livelihoods to conserve biological diversity. The Rhodope is an ancient, European cultural landscape where productive uses of forestry and agriculture predominate and protected areas are small and scattered. The application of landscape-scale conservation practices and perspective to the productive landscape as a whole and protected areas’ within it, constitutes the project’s strategic approach to securing the sustainable long-term conservation of biodiversity in these mountains. Bulgarian and international partner co-financing provides the crucial foundation for GEF’s incremental investment by enhancing the sustainability of the existing economic development baseline. GEF funding is requested to support the establishment of two new landscape-scale Nature Parks in the Rhodope, to construct a diversity information baseline by conducting field surveys, to forge new partnerships among local and international stakeholders and to strengthen the capacity of civil society institutions, to catalyze the development of public-private partnerships for habitat management and conservation, and to pilot diversity-friendly tourism and agricultural development practices.

Project Details

GEF Project ID
Project Type
Full-size Project
Focal Areas
Funding Source
GEF Trust Fund
Implementing Agencies
United Nations Development Programme
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
GEF Period:
GEF - 3
Approval Fiscal Year:


Project Preparation Grant Amount
264,000 USD
GEF Project Grant
3,545,460 USD
Co-financing Total
14,888,246 USD
GEF Agency Fees
382,000 USD
Total Cost 18,697,706.00 USD

Project Timeline

Received by GEF
09 Apr 2001
Preparation Grant Approved
24 Sep 2001
Concept Approved
01 May 2003
Project Approved for Implementation
01 Mar 2004
Project closed
31 May 2009