Author: Desislava Georgieva
Published On: 17/06/2022

The topic of climate change should enter Bulgarian schools and become part of the educational process. This was proposed by Ilian Iliev, Chairman of the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development – Ecovarna, during a round table “Climate Change – Opportunities for Restoring the Environment and Biodiversity of the Black Sea and Seaside Territories”. According to Iliev, there is little talk in our schools about the issue that is increasingly affecting our quality of life.

According to scientists, due to climate warming and increasing sea water temperatures, there has already been a significant reduction and even extinction of some traditional Black Sea species at the expense of invasive ones that are more flexible to environmental changes. However, they do not have the same value for higher organisms in the food chain and lead to a reduction in biodiversity.

Fishermen say that the Black Sea mackerel has disappeared from our coast. Sand kite is also now very rare. The bonito has changed its habitat and is now caught well out to sea.

Despite the legal prohibitions, trawling on the seabed continues, alarms the president of the Sea Club “Friends of the Sea” and long-time diver Darina Ivanova. This, along with pollution, has led to the extinction of the Black Sea mussel and some bottom fish species, Ivanova said.

With specially designed games for educational purposes, the Sea Club conducts environmental lessons. “We have a very hard time getting into schools. We need to overcome a number of obstacles to reach the students,” said Darina Ivanova.

Climate change is important because it leads not only to a reduction in biodiversity, but also to the destruction of forests. Because of climate warming, the population of bark beetles, which eat away at the bark of trees, has increased significantly in recent years. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Toma Belev, who participated in the event remotely. If we do not change our way of thinking, we will continue to live in an environment we do not like, Belev was adamant.

According to the institutions, the quality of coastal waters is improving. However, according to fishermen and ecologists, waste in the sea is increasing as a result of our low environmental awareness and weak control by the state. “It doesn’t matter where we dump our waste, 80% of it ends up at sea,” said Darina Ivanova.

According to Georgi Gavazov, an entrepreneur in the field of fishing and fish processing, Bulgarian legislation currently does not encourage cleaning the sea of waste. On the contrary, if you take waste out of the sea with your boat and dump it in a container on the shore, you can be charged. In contrast, commercial ships that dump their waste in the open sea and dock without garbage from their trip ashore are not controlled, Gavazov believes.

The discussion on climate change is organized by Radio Varna under the “Our Europe” project of the Bulgarian National Radio, which is implemented with the support of the European Parliament Bureau in Bulgaria and within the framework of the initiative “Conference on the Future of Europe”.

The aim of the meeting – discussion is to encourage citizens of the European Union to actively participate with ideas to be discussed in the Conference on the Future of Europe.