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Natura 2000 Regime In Bulgaria Less Restrictive Than Other Protective Measures

The regime for the carrying out of investment projects in Natura 2000 protected areas was much less restrictive than the measures valid for national parks and preserves, head of the parliamentary environment and water affairs committee Georgi Bozhinov said.

Bozhinov and Parliament speaker Georgi Pirinski met on January 23 representatives of environmental organisations demanding maximum inclusion in the European environmental network.

All national parks would become part of Natura 2000, said Bozhinov.

Investors had no reason to protest against the introduction of the network, said Bozhinov. Protests in Bansko and Razlog were 'mere speculation' and aimed to guarantee the carrying out of some investment projects that would not be approved otherwise, said he.

Next week representatives of ecological organisations, municipalities and environmental experts would meet to discuss the introduction of the network in Bulgaria, Bulgarian news agency BTA reported.

Bulgaria would play more important role in Europe and internationally if it introduced Natura 2000, said Bozhinov. The network would help the country preserve its natural heritage and attract more tourists, he said.