1/3 of Varna residents want a total ban on cars entering the Sea Garden. 57% are inclined to allow only police cars in the park and for loading commercial sites. Most of the respondents insist on a specific management solution on this issue. The study was conducted more than 20 years ago by the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development.

Today we open the dusty pages to recall year after year the 25-year history of the organization. And we understand that the current problems of the city in 1998-1999 remain the same to this day. In the same survey, 43% of respondents are dissatisfied with the condition of the Sea Garden and only 1% believe that the park is well maintained. The analysis of attitudes is performed by project

“Public participation in environmental decision-making processes”. In addition to identifying environmental problems in the city more than 20 years ago, environmentalists began monitoring municipal commissions, issuing a guide to citizens on how to deal with environmental issues, and opening an eco-hotline known as the Green Phone. It is interesting that 22 years after its establishment, on the telephone line, although rarely, Varna residents continue to call with complaints. Thus, two months ago, the same phone received a signal for another enclosure of a property in the Sea Garden, for which the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development alerted.

The good news for our city is that in 1999 the people of Varna had a high public self-awareness. For example, 78% of the people stated that the cleanliness of the city depends on themselves and only then on the garbage companies and the measures of the municipality. More than half of those surveyed 21 years ago said they wanted separate waste collection. At that time, the inhabitants of the sea capital apparently generate much less waste, judging by the fact that they dump their garbage on average once every two days. Record holders in this regard are those living in the Asparuhovo district, who empty their trash cans once a week, according to the same study by the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development. The survey then included 1,001 Varna residents from the five districts of the city.

As early as 1999, people believed that the environmental assessments of construction sites were shrouded in fog. Only 16 percent of Varna residents receive information about the public discussions on EIA (environmental impact assessment), which is done for important investment projects.

In addition to the Green Phone, the first lifeguards appeared on the beach in 1999. A campaign to prevent pollution of Varna’s beaches includes broadcasting radio and TV clips calling on holidaymakers, campaigns with volunteers to distribute information materials and cleaning unguarded beaches.

This is what one of Varna’s beaches looks like in 1999 – there are no constructions, but there is a lot of rubbish.

Photo: Archive of Ecovarna.info


Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations

The project “Improving public knowledge about the role of Civil Society Organizations” shall be implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project is to improve citizens’ awareness of the role of non-governmental organizations in society. This material is established with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The whole responsibility for the content of the document is held by the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development and under no circumstances can this material be considered to reflect the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria.