Assessment and mapping of grassland ecosystems condition and their services in Bulgaria (IBER-GRASS)

Project facts

Project promoter:
Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Project Number:
Target groups
Civil servants/Public administration staff,
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 267,283
The project is carried out in:


The partnership will deliver results that contribute towards EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 goals, promoting efforts for more effective use of nature resources and avoidance of net losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The EEA Grants aim to improve integration of biodiversity considerations in sectoral policies and legislation. Our project is focused on grassland ecosystems. Inventory and mapping will cover 100% territories outside Natura 2000. Following the national methodologies, the indicators for condition and services will be assessed. The expected outcomes involve reliable maps of the ecosystem conditions and services of the 5 grassland types with attribute tables to be input in the National Biodiversity Information System. We will ensure adequate dissemination of results and aim at reaching all relevant stakeholders involved with management or use of the ecosystem services. Thus we will work towards well informed decision making considering local stakeholder interests.

Summary of project results

This project conforms to the ideas and methodology for mapping of ecosystem status and services laid down in the MAES documents and by the global platform TEEB. The goal of the project is to describe biodiversity and to evaluate the status and ecosystem services provided by Bulgaria’s grassland ecosystems outside the Natura 2000. The project, also strives, to elaborate detailed maps of grassland ecosystem subtypes, which illustrate the status of the ecosystems by selected criteria, and the benefits and services provided by the grass ecosystems. The implementation of the project meets the need of Bulgaria to comply with the provisions of the European Biodiversity Strategy by 2020, according to which the EU member states must evaluate and map the ecosystems and their services. The goal of the project is closely linked to the implementation of the program objectives – application of an integrated approach to ecosystem data inventories by presenting an improved and publicly accessible national data collection system. An overall evaluation of 100% of the grass ecosystems of the territories outside Natura 2000 has been made for the first time in Bulgaria, on the basis of 120,000 digitized polygons. Five grass-ecosystem subtypes have been established, and they are consistent with the level 2 categories defined in EUNIS. Ten indicators with 25 parameters have been selected to evaluate the status of grass ecosystems. The evaluation of the provided ecosystem services was established through the application of 28 indicators selected and tested by the project. The project results will benefit first and foremost the MOEW and the Ex.EA. The users of the information can be local management structures and NGOs. Some project results can be used for the scientific community through publications in specialized magazines. IBER mainly worked on the development of grass ecosystem typology and on the status and service evaluation indicators. The RESAC was responsible for vectorising and interpreting of the available photographic and map materials, elaboration of the maps and structuring of the database, ensuring high quality of the vector layers. BSPB has provided an enormous amount of ornithological and herpetofauna related data. BIOSPHERE was engaged with the cultural services indicators, with the arrangements for the team meetings and stakeholder meetings. The good practices of this partnership are our grounds for seeking opportunities for new cooperation in the future.

Summary of bilateral results