Project Pilot Scheme for Agri-environmental Payments

Taking into account the specificity of the agricultural practices in Coastal Dobrudzha, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) launched a pilot agri-environmental program (PAEP) for the region of Shabla and Durankulak, that in two years will test agricultural practices related to better conservation of the wintering population of the globally threatened Red-breasted Goose. The PAEP is carried out within the LIFE+ project "Safe Ground for Redbreasts", LIFE09 NAT/BG/000230, and is aimed at:

  • Providing sufficient quantity and quality of food for the Red-breasted Goose in the period in which the species is wintering in Bulgaria (October to February);
  • Prevention / reduction of disturbance of the Red-breasted Goose during the winter period;
  • Improving the quality and quantity of water in the lakes of Shabla and Durankulak;

The PAEP provides grants in the form of compensatory agri- environmental payments. The activities to be tested are to be carried out over two years – seasons 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, on the territory of Shabla Municipality.

The next application period is the autumn of 2014. Please check our webpage for the exact deadline.

National Scheme for Agri-environment

In March 2012 BSPB achieved a great success together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Foods. New agri-environment activities were added under measure 214 of Axis 2 of the Rural Development Programme. Measure 214 provides payments to compensate farmers whose lands fall in the habitats of the globally endangered Imperial Eagle, Egyptian Vulture and Red-breasted Goose, and who commit to maintaining the habitats of these species.


Briefly, the innovations in applying for measure 214 "Agri-environmental payments" are as follows:

  • Applicants commit to implementing the relevant agri-environmental activities for a period of five years. They must apply with their own or rented land. Payments relate to lands within the two types of habitats - habitats of the Egyptian vulture and Imperial eagle and habitats of wintering geese. Farmers can check whether their land falls in any of these habitats in the municipal agricultural offices.
  • To maintain the habitats of wintering geese, at least 50% of the land plot must be planted with winter cereals and rodenticides should not be used from October 15 to March 15. The payment obtained is 167 euros per hectare. These payments for agri-environmental activities can accumulate to direct payments and payments for disadvantaged areas.

The requirements for the application and implementation of the new agri-environment activities under measure 214, "Agri-environmental payments", are simplified compared to previous ones and those in Romania, for example.

If you are a farmer with land in habitats for Imperial Eagle, Egyptian Vulture and Red-breasted Goose area and would like to apply to the pilot scheme, please contact: daniel.mitev@bspb.org
The next application period is January - March 2014.