Gea Chelonia Foundation: Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria: width=



Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria





Gea Chelonia Foundation: Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria

Project title "Building local capacity for biodiversity conservation in Eminska Mountain"

The overall aim of the project is to contribute towards the prevention of biodiversity loss in Eminska Mountain through building up local capacity for its protection and management. The activities were mostly connected with motivating and involving local residents in ecological practices and understanding the economical benefits of biodiversity protection, thus creating conditions for ecotourism; broad promotion - via the Internet and directly - through regional tour agencies; fostering a positive attitude for nature conservation among local youth through nature conservation education; establishing partnerships with representatives from local communities, businesses, tour agencies, NGO's, nature conservation agencies, regional media and all other interested bodies.

Between 21-30.08.2009 a GCF team traveled through the Eminska Mountain region and collected data, pictures and descriptions of all natural, historical, architectural, cultural, and ethnographic sites, and carried out lots of meetings with local residents who added interesting and unique unpublished information. The owners of family hotels, restaurants and taverns, off-road and equestrian services, historians, priests, librarians, writers, wood carvers, a folk song and dance ensembles, and many others were among people to participate in our initiative for creating a regional ecotourism network. Our partnership is founded on a shared vision for the future popularization of Eminska Mountain and attracting nature-loving tourists with a positive attitude towards natural resources.

The lighthouse of Cape Emine The church "St. Nikola" in Emona village
Dyulino village View form the Gea Chelonia Foundation's Tortoise Centre, Banya village
Wood carver from Kosharitsa village Irakli Protected Area


We presented all  information gathered so far to the public and established partnerships with regional tour agencies in order to attract as many Bulgarian as foreign tourists. All that we have seen and heard concerning beautiful Eminska Mountain will published in a special internet website which will be augmented further with the addition of new information.



The project is financed by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

within the framework of the “EkoObshtnost” Foundation's Program “Place to live 2009"