Gea Chelonia Foundation: Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria: width=



Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria





Gea Chelonia Foundation: Tortoise Conservation in Bulgaria

Project title “Eminska Mountain – a model for sustainable development and conservation in the region of the Black Sea Coastal area”


The project started on 01.11.2009. It covers the NGO Fund’s priority area “Protecting the environment and stimulating sustainable development.”
The overall aim of this project is the protection and management of biological diversity in Eminska Mountain through conservation activities, ecological education and encouragement of sustainable tourist practices.


Creating educational programs for tourist services at the Visitor Centre


The programs are adjusted for various categories of tourists visiting the Centre – children, students, foreign groups, scientists, specialized groups (ornithologists, herpetologists), etc.

Strategy for local ecotourism development


Preparation a long-term strategy for local ecotourism development involving the local peopleThe strategy is developed by Stoyan Yotov, Borrowed Nature Association The strategy is placed at the disposal of the Banya municipal administration. The document contains matrix for planning activities for specific purposes underlying in the 2010-2013 period strategy. It might be used by Nesebar Municipallity, which administrates the area of Eminska Mountains, and also by all officials and other structures offering ecotourism service.


Popularization of the eco-destination “Eminska Mountain”

The popularization campaign started with the project "Building local capacity for biodiversity conservation in Eminska Mountain" financed by Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Now we extend the campaign and direct it towards tourists for raising their ecological awareness and behavior. Main principle of the public awareness campaign is the protection and sustainable use of natural resources, preserving traditions and local means of livelihood, and limiting the invasion of mass tourism and mega-resort construction in the region.


Conservation measures for restoration and preservation of tortoise populations in Eminska Mountains

The main conservation activity of the project is the revitalization and maintenance of the tortoise population of Emsinska Mountain. The Foundation's team has developed a head-starting strategy for controlled incubation and release of young specimen back to the wild. So far, the results of our experiments have been very promising. This method guarantees a higher incubation success of tortoise eggs and higher hatchling survival.


Summer green school


Starting with April 2010 GCF carried out educational initiatives, to involve more local children and youth, to promote a lasting interest in nature conservation and to contribute towards ecological awareness and civil responsibility.