Bulgaria enlists four biosphere reserves corresponding to the criteria set by UNESCO.
The Ministry of environment and waters has submitted the nominations at the UNESCO MAB Secretariat. The nominations are for the biosphere reserves from the new generation respectively – biosphere reserve “Srebarna”, “Chervenata stena”, “Uzunbudjak” and the national park “Central Balkan”. Within the borders of the new biosphere reserves 7 from the old type biosphere reserves, enlisted in the biosphere network in 1977, are being incorporated.The Ministry of environment and waters has supported the Bulgarian national “Man and Biosphere”committee in its endeavours to select and nominate biosphere reserves from new generation. Through a project, financed by the Enterprise for the management of activities, directed to the protection of the environment and carried out by the “Biodiversity” Bulgarian Foundation, the potential of the already existing biosphere reserves to meet the criteria and the requirements of the new generation of biosphere reserves has been examined. With the co-operation of the regional sections of the Ministry of environment and waters, and also throughout the projects and programmes, carried out by NGOs, the nomination dossiers of the biosphere reserves , which nomination has been supported through the decisions of the Municipality councils and the local communities have been prepared and submitted. Bulgaria has been informed that the Consultative Council of the Programme Man and Biosphere has considered the Bulgarian nominations and has recommended their approval at the 29th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the MAB Programme (MAB – ICC), in June 2017. The recommendation is that the Bulgarian biosphere reserves from old generation, for which there is no expressed consent on behalf of the municipalities’ councils to be adapted to reserves from new generation, to adhere the procedure of administrative delisting.The Ministry of environment and waters has declared its unchanged position, that it continues to methodically support the process of developing the network of biosphere reserves (parks) on the territory of Bulgaria.The UNESCO Programme “Man and Biosphere” starts its work in 1976.Its primary goal is to establish a world biosphere network , in which samples of natural ecosystems untouched from human activities to be preserved. Bulgaria joins the MAB Programme in 1977, by enlisting within the network 16 strict reserves. Thus Bulgaria turns into one of the countries with the most representative network of biosphere reserves in Europe.
In 1995 the Seville strategy and the framework for the biosphere reserves have been adopted. According to the concept of the Seville strategy the biosphere reserves ought to stimulate the sustainable development of the local communities. Because of that there must be zones not only under strict protection, but also “buffer” zones, and “transition” zones, where the sustainable practices application is being encouraged, which as a result is supposed to guarantee economic development of the respective regions and the nature protection.