Association of Parks in Bulgaria (APB)
Association of Parks in Bulgaria is established in 2003. Its mission is to work for the development and protection of a system of protected areas in the country, for the preservation of the biological diversity in Bulgaria, and for popularization of sustainable development through balancing ecological, social and economic interests. In the last years, APB has trained over 240 employees, has engaged with managing of the protected areas and the Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria, and has introduced new mechanisms for generating income in protected areas and in Natura 2000 sites. APB’s team works and identifies cases of conflict in protected areas and Natura 2000 zones. APB has also contributed to the improvement of nature protection law. APB is an active member of the coalition of non-governmental organizations For the Nature in Bulgaria and of the Federation of European Parks EUROPARC for many years now.
Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation (BBF)
Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation is a non-governmental organization, established in 1997. BBF’s mission is long-term protection of nature and biodiversity through engaging of various stakeholders. BBF works in several directions on national level, among which are protection and development of national ecological network, protection of protected species, improvement of nature protection legislation, establishment of modern biosphere parks, educational activities for children and students. In this project BBF builds on its experience from twelve years of organizing of a course in Protection of Biodiversity at the Biological Faculty of Sofia University. The head office of the organization is in the city of Sofia, but the organization has also four branches in the regions where it has focused for a long-term work for protection of biodiversity and for support of local communities for sustainable management of natural resources. BBF is a member of the coalition of non-governmental organizations For the Nature in Bulgaria, IUCN, CEEweb, Bulgarian Donor’s Forum, BAAT, and others.
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (AUTH - Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis)
Thessaloniki University is established in 1925 and boasts the highest number of students in Greece and in the Balkans. Around 65,000 students are enrolled in bachelor programmes, 4500 – in master’s programmes, and 4000 more - in doctoral programmes. The education is conducted in Greek, but also in English, French, German, and Italian. The university has 11 faculties and 41 higher education schools. Partners in the project are the School of Biology and the School of Forestry and Natural Environment of the University, specialised in management of biodiversity, sustainable development and others.
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS - Ceska Zemedelska Univerzita v Praze)
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague is founded in 1906 with a decree by Franz Joseph, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary then. Initially the university is in agrarian sciences, but gradually develops its profile, and in 2007 is renamed to Life Sciences University. Today over 18,000 students are enrolled in it, with 10% foreign students. The university has four faculties and one institute. The Forestry Faculty is partner in the project. It teaches 16 bachelor, master’s and doctoral programmes in Czech and in the English language, like economics and administration of forests, management of forests and waters, protection of forests, and others.