Fresh water ecosystem services mapping and assessment in Bulgaria (FEMA)

Project facts

Project promoter:
Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists,
Civil servants/Public administration staff
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 490,673
The project is carried out in:


The project is aiming at assessment and mapping of ecosystem goods and services provided by the freshwater ecosystems as situated outside the NATURA’2000 Network. The project implementation should be closely connected/dependent on the outputs of parallel project BG03 pre-defined project 2 'Methodological support for ecosystem service assessment and biophysical valuation' which is expected to provide with national methodical guidance to be utilize by the project and the same of the project BG03 pre-defined project1 'Improving the Bulgarian Biodiversity Information System' to comply with the technical requirements defined within. Using available information of various sources numerous GIS layers will be elaborated with specific values of the freshwater ecosystems of rivers and lakes. The results obtained will serve to integrate the freshwater ecosystems’ values into the Second River Basin Management Plans, Regional Development Plans and to support the national Biodiversity Information System with data/assessments.

Summary of project results

The project is a result of the pan-European initiated the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) of the United Nations and the studies on the economic significance (value) of global biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. The 2010 European Biodiversity Strategy requires Member States to map and assess the state of ecosystems and their services on their national territory by 2020, assess their economic value and integrate these assessments into the European Union's accountability and reporting systems. However, a significant part of the recommended by CICES indicators for assessing ecosystem services were not entirely relevant to the aquatic ecosystems. This required a precise analysis and narrowed the framework of the possible ecosystem service indicators from freshwater and marine ecosystems to one set of indicators. The main objective of the FEMA project was to map in GIS format and to assess the state (conditions) and basic functions (services) that the freshwater and marine ecosystems outside the NATURA 2000 National Ecological Network provide to the people and society in our country. The scope of the project has been specified: from almost 60 000 km of rivers that flow in the country (including Danube River) in the project were analyzed about 47 000 km of rivers or 32 000 river stretches (river segments) from the 1st to the 7th river order. Assessment indicators were selected, as well as detailed protocols of indicators for the state of river ecosystems (33 indicators in total) and lake ecosystems (53 indicators), and for freshwater ecosystems, data on other 36 indicators for ecosystem services has been collected and analyzed, as for the Black Sea ecosystems, a total of 12 state indicators and 32 service indicators were selected, similar to those indicated in national and international legislation. Full implementation of the projected targets and objectives was achieved thanks to excellent coordination with the Program Operator, coordination of the activities between the partners and 6 expert meetings. The main target groups are the structures and experts of the Ministry of Environment and Water - the Executive Environmental Agency, the Basin Directorates, the Regional Laboratories, the Water Management Directorate, the National Nature Protection Service, as well as other state agencies and structures, which are involved in water supply and water consumption in the country, municipal authorities, water supply and sewerage companies and other.

Summary of bilateral results