The project provides innovative research, a methodological link and guidance between diverse projects under programme BG03, and stakeholder involvement to implement Action 5 of EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020. A main challenge is creating a uniform national approach and resolving methodological issues that will arise in the process of mapping ecosystems and their services. The partnership will combine Bulgarian and Norwegian expertise to provide the following outputs: 1. A national methodological framework on ecosystem state and services assessment, monitoring and in situ verification, verified by fieldwork and peer review by international and national stakeholders. 2. A group process of wide stakeholder involvement and inter-institutional cooperation to support the implementation and reporting on Action 5 3. Methodological coordination and support to the ongoing projects under BG03 – open call BG03.02 and pre-defined project 1-IBBIS, ensuring comparability of results and outputs across these projects.
Summary of project results
During the programming period of the BG03 Program "Biological Diversity and Ecosystems" for the period 2009-2014, at the request of the Financial Mechanism Office (PFM) the current project has been included and subsequently developed as predefined project (PDF).The main project purpose is development of National Methodological Framework for mapping and assessment of ecosystems. It consists of: An introductory part and nine methodologies for mapping of ecosystems and ecosystem services; Ecosystem Monitoring Guide; In situ verification guide. Methodologies have been developed for 9 type of ecosistems present in Bulgaria namely: agricultural; grass; shrub; marine ecosystems; wetlands, forests and urban ecosystems. A Group of interested parties was established in order to take on board the various views and interests involved. The members of Advisory Scientific Council provided statements on the quality of documents of the results with regard to the EU requirements.The additional activities the project has applied for within BG03.SUP.01 call for proposal, namly:Adaptation of ESTIMAP model for estimation and georeferenced presentation of the pollination ecosystem service, developed by the JRCEC. The model defines the flowers availability and the nesting sustainability of pollinators using as a georeferenced base parceling of cropland. Development of biological indicators on soils condition through DNA meta-barcoding. The activity shall apply for the first time more effective and economically feasible way to research soil biology using techniques of sequencering the residual environmental DNA of samples containing DNA. This will replace the existing expensive techniques requiring expert knowledge in taxonomy. The meta-barcoding method allows rare or difficult to detect species to be determined. The activity includes field works on sample taking, analysis of samples and comparing results with information on soil productivity to define species composition of the soil biodiversity.Presenting the data of the additional activities to National Biodiversity Monitoring System, developing a map of protected areas and presenting the project at international forums.
Summary of bilateral results
The basic mapping parameters are defined as follows: A) types of ecosystems in Bulgaria - a total of 9 of EUNIS types determined at European level (B) options for sharing mapping tasks between projects. The following two options have been identified: • Mapping and assessing all ecosystems from each project within its designated territory • mapping and assessment of an ecosystem within each project covering the entire territory outside NATURA 2000 (C) Basic principles for mapping and assessing ecosystems and ecosystem services (D) An approach that would ensure compatibility with the work at European level, notably within the MAES working group of the EC; (E) An approach to ensure the comparability of the results of the individual mapping projects, despite the significant differences in the scientific and applied approach to mapping and assessment, driven by the unique characteristics of each ecosystem type, differences in the environmental parameters and abiotic factors, significant differences in the size of ecosystems and their form, need for a unified database structure for easy introduction into the future module of information system to the NSBM, etc. (F) Defining a common database to be used by mapping projects and description of how to assess the state of ecosystems and ecosystem services G) defining the peculiarities and characteristics of each ecosystem type, within the uniform structure of the first version of the methodologies Results of the feasibility study: As a result of the work during the feasibility study, the structure of the methodological framework was defined, and the first versions of the methodologies providing information for applicants under BG03.02 were developed and published on 23.12.2014 for applications until 24.02.2015.