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Environmental Local Authorities InterBalkan Network - ELAIN

City of Sofia Mayor - Mrs. Jordanka Fandakova

Sofia Municipality is the largest municipality with its 6 299.3 km2 which constitute 5.3% of the territory of Bulgaria. The population is about 1.3 million inhabitants. Within the municipality there are 3 towns and 24 villages. As the major transport and communication center of the country, Sofia combines political, cultural and business life.

 

Sofia is the administrative center of Sofia Municipality, which is divided into 24 regions, 12 peripheral and 12 central. The peripheral areas include five mountains - Vitosha, Stara Planina, Lyulin, Plana and Lozen. The territory of most of them is included in the Environmental network Natura 2000. In the territory of the municipality there are over 270 km. rivers, six dams and numerous lakes. A big part of the valleys of the rivers and lakes are included in Natura 2000.

With its rich history, the city is one of the oldest in Europe. There are many historical and architectural monuments in the territory of the municipality, which in combination with the nature, make the municipality unique. With its image of a modern European capital with both the rich cultural heritage and modern and dynamic cultural life, the city is running for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2019.

In accordance with the thrive for the development of green and clean metropolitan environment of Sofia, Sofia Municipality has implemented a number of activities such as:

  • Afforestation of deforested land;
  • Protection and prevention of forest fires by building systems for monitoring and notification in case of danger;
  • Actions to reduce carbon emissions by introducing heating of public buildings with biomass from municipal forests;
  • Maintenance of existing and creation of new parks and green spaces in urban areas;
  • Recovery of resting areas for migratory birds and restoring habitats for endangered plant and animal species;
  • The development of ecological and cultural tourism through the restoration of numerous monuments;
  • Treatment of municipal waste by an integrated system of facilities;
  • Implementing measures to improve air quality by renovation of existing transport infrastructure, purchasing of new environmentally friendly vehicles for public transport (buses, trolleybuses and trams) meeting the European requirements, increasing the frequency of cleaning and sweeping the street network;
  • Implementing activities for cleaning, adjustment and monitoring of river beds and restoring the protective river embankments for flood protection;
  • Repairs to dams;
  • A strategic map of noise levels for Sofia Municipality has been created along with an action plan under which are fulfilled specific measures to limit the noise pollution of the urban environment;
  • For managing the population of stray dogs, the municipality has implemented a program, including veterinary treatment of stray animals, building shelters and community education campaigns encouraging their adoption.

We believe that our work in the project ELAIN will establish sustainable practices in the environmental management and will contribute to improving the quality of life of the population by providing a healthy and supportive environment and preserving the rich natural heritage.

We believe that the exchange of ideas and experience will put the existing problems and found solutions to a new environmental, social, cultural and communication level.