The initial working meeting of the project “Implementation of innovative measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the municipalities of the Republic of Bulgaria” within the Program “Environmental Protection and Climate Change” of the European Economic Area (EEA) was held on March 25 and 26. The planned activities directly contribute to Outcome 4 of the Program – Increasing the capacity of local municipalities to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
The meeting was held virtually with the participation of all project partners.
The lead partner is the National Trust EcoFund. The donor partner is the Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS) in Norway in collaboration with the West Norwegian Research Institute. The Bulgarian partners are eight municipalities: Burgas, Varna, Kardzhali, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sliven, Stara Zagora and town of Sofia.
The eight Bulgarian municipalities are involved as partners based on the analysis of the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. These are the municipalities whose major cities have already identified threats from climate change related to the phenomena of the heat island, landslides and floods. In the big cities of each of these municipalities, real phenomena and threats have already been registered.
The aim of the project is to improve the capacity of local authorities to plan and identify creative and innovative urban development solutions and to implement them in order to mitigate the impact on and adapt to climate change. Based on trainings and study trips to the donor country, the project will support local authorities to assess their strategic plans and programs, as well as the already implemented climate actions, helping them to take a new strategic step towards applying state-of-the-art knowledge and experience in the field of climate action for urban planning and development. An innovative pilot investment project is being implemented in each of the eight municipalities. These small-scale infrastructure measures will be specific and will correspond to the specific conditions of the settlement. The experience gained from the design and implementation of these projects will be used to make recommendations for improving the legislation and education in the field of urban planning and territorial development.
The Norwegian partners at all stages of the project will contribute information on the best practices and experience of the most modern technologies for small infrastructure in the cities. The partner municipalities, in turn, will be responsible for the management and implementation of the pilot investment activities. The role of the NTEF will be focused on the management of the whole project. The Fund will organize and provide expertise in the process of review and evaluation in the partner municipalities, as well as provide the necessary expertise for the identification and development of innovative investment project measures.
The duration of the project is 46 months with a total budget of up to EUR 2, 8 million..