Adaptation to climate change in urban areas – What we have done and what is coming up

The National Conference on topic “Implementation of innovative measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the municipalities in Bulgaria” will be opened by the Minister of Environment and Water Ms. Rositsa Karamfilova on 1 November 2022, 10:30 a.m. in Astra Hotel in Sofia.

Since one and a half year, eight municipalities in Bulgaria in partnership with the National Trust Eco Fund, the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities and the Western Norway Research Institute have been working on the analysis of their policies in the field of climate change adaptation in urban areas and have already come up with solutions for implementation of pilot measures.

These are first measures in implementation of the National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas. The threats and the risks for each of the eight settlements have been considered and a selection of measures, whose implementation will start, has been made. The municipalities (in alphabetical order) are: Burgas, Kardzhali, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sliven, Sofia, Stara Zagora and Varna. They have been selected as project partners, based on ranking of the most risk-prone places according to the report on the urban environment, prepared during the drafting of the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

Having made progress regarding the identification of appropriate concrete measures to overcome the heat island effect or the effect of the urban floods after heavy rains, or to protect against the activated landslides, the joint expert team of the eight municipalities is aiming at discussing the possibilities to improve the legislation and the educational programs.

This is namely the objective of the conference – to present to a wide range of stakeholders the philosophy and the practical implementation of the project as of the present moment, as well as to start the discussion on basic topics, related to the policies and the legislation in the climate change adaptation field.

Participants in the event will be representatives of: the Program Operator, the Norwegian project partners, ministries and agencies, municipal administrations, the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, the professional community of the architects, constructors, landscape architects, chief architects of municipalities, higher educational institutions, secondary schools, non-governmental organizations implementing climate-related activities.

The Conference will be held within the framework of project “Implementation of innovative measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the municipalities in Bulgaria”, financed under the Environment Protection and Climate Change Program of the European Economic Area.

The National Trust Eco Fund was created with the Environmental Protection Act in 1995 through the first debt-for-environment swap with the Swiss Confederation. Ever since that time it has financed hundreds of projects in all sectors of the environment throughout Bulgaria, using funds from international and national donors.