Every breath and every breath of inspiration was her – Nature! Nature was life to the body and soul. It was everything for us. That’s why we take protecting her very personally… So personally that for 25 years now, every day, each and every one of us has done something to protect her. So we rightfully say to ourselves: 




#ICreateTheWorld …. the way I want it to be! 

After 45 projects, 15 partnerships, over 150 volunteers, campaigners and coordinators of missions and initiatives, we boldly claim that the world was moved by what we do. Do something today: SUPPORT US! 


On December 15, 1995, the founding meeting was held and it was decided to establish the Association “Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development”. Decisions on the registration of non-profit associations at that time were made after an open court session during which the founding members were summoned.


The first office of the organisation was in the so-called barracks of the Technical University of Varna, where the Student Environmental Society was housed. Some of its members became founders of the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development. In 1996 came the good news of the first project put forward by the organization, called “Sustainable Varna”. It was funded by the Democratic Committee of the US Embassy.


Thus, the Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development went public. The “Sustainable Varna” project book was published and received recognition from several public institutions. The deputy mayor at the time,  Kostadin Kashlov, stated that this book should be on every desk in the municipality.


Active creative work continues in the name of environmental awareness and sustainable development. Varna became the first city in the country with environmental advertising – a street billboard provokes citizens to think about reducing their waste. The first ecological film festival “Ecovision” was organized in the Palace of Culture and Sports. The association initiated its first volunteer action of reforestation in spaces between apartment buildings in Varna – something much needed but increasingly difficult to achieve these days.


“Beach Rescuers” – the most attractive project of the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development in 1999 – begins. The campaign to prevent pollution on the beaches of Varna included broadcasting radio and TV spots, actions with volunteers for distribution of information materials and cleaning of unprotected beaches. The first issue of the newspaper “Green Telephone” was published, which continues to be published today as “Leaf by Leaf”.


One of the most successful campaigns that continues to this day, “Leaf by Leaf”, was launched. An environmental education campaign was launched, working with teachers and pupils from Varna’s schools. The activities of the environmental video centre were also promoted.


The year 2001 was the first for many memorable environmental campaigns in Varna. After a timid start, the “Leaf by Leaf” paper collection campaign gained momentum and continues to this day. A strong start for the work of the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development with educational institutions. In person, British Ambassador H.E. Richard Stagg delivers an educational lecture on environmental issues as part of the organisation’s project. For the first time, we declare an open stance against NPPs and demonstrably eat hundreds of power plants (out of biscuits). The first issue of the LIST newspaper was published, and continues to be published to this day.


In 2002, one of the key campaigns of the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development in the field of energy conservation takes place. It was called “Let’s Bet” but gained popularity as “Let’s Go to Bass!”. In one of the most successful educational demonstration campaigns, environmentalists bet the governor that they would save the environment 4% of carbon dioxide from several educational institutions in Varna in 4 months. If they lose, they’ll rickshaw the governor to work, but if they win, he’ll walk to work for a week. The aim of the demonstration campaign was to engage young people in energy saving and CO2 reduction activities in a fun way.


In 2003, the Social Action Programme for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving was launched, and raises two major environmental issues for Varna at the time, one of which was even more relevant today – the lack of sufficient green space and the lack of bike lanes. Through the Green Buildings project, the Varna public was introduced to vertical landscaping, which can offset the need for green plants in the city.


Varna residents come to learn about bicycle parking. With support from the Green Transport project, the city’s first bicycle racks are built. Bike lanes are being investigated. The association draws the attention of the local authorities to the problem of organising bike lanes in the city.


The home for children left without parental care in the village of Krivnya, Provadia municipality, is getting a new look after a series of energy-efficient renovations carried out by volunteers from the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development. The windows have been repaired, broken windows, taps and conventional bulbs have been replaced with energy-saving ones, new insulation was installed. The project was funded by 14 individuals from across the U.S. who donated $3,039 to the cause. With the funds, an energy efficiency audit of 7 orphanages in the Varna and Dobrich districts was conducted.


For the first time in Varna, the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development introduces the concept of “placemaking” – public participation in the construction of public places. Together with residents of the Mladost district, they built an outdoor pensioners’ club in the park, which is still functioning.

The organisation became part of the Civic Coalition for Sustainable Management of European Union Funds. Practical work begins on the problem of genetically modified organisms.


2007 passes under the motto “Plant a tree!”. The Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development launched a donation campaign to raise funds for reforestation of Varna’s surroundings. On the occasion of the Week of the Forest, all participants in the “Leaf by Leaf” paper collection campaign receive a card with seeds and instructions for planting climbing plants in the city. The campaign is a continuation of the vertical landscaping project “Green Buildings” launched in 2003.


Beginning of practical work with alternative energy sources and against monopolization of the energy sector. A solar panel was experimentally installed on a family house, the aim being to test the procedure for households to generate electricity to meet their personal needs and sell the remainder to the electricity distribution companies. Experimental production of domestic biodiesel has also started. Then the regional edition of “24 hours” ran a lead headline “Electricity and oil – home production” describing the initiative.


The Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development conducts a broad awareness campaign on genetically modified products among farmers and consumers. A number of tests of agricultural products for the possible presence of GMOs in seeds for sowing have been organised. A travelling exhibition has been produced. Information days and discussion meetings have been organised in Varna, Dobrich, Shumen, Targovishte, Silistra, Razgrad and Sofia. Representatives of the organisation held a meeting with members of the parliamentary committee preparing amendments to the GMO Act.


In 2010. In 2010, the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development joined the Living Places network – an informal association of people and places in Bulgaria with the aim of promoting life in the countryside and close to nature. Within the framework of the network, the association has started the construction of a summer centre in the village of Ezerets, Shabla Municipality. The first eco-camp “Ezerets” is held. The tradition continues every summer for 10 years.


The Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, together with three other organizations, filed a lawsuit to stop a decision by the Bulgarian government to allow shale gas exploration and extraction using the environmentally and human health hazardous fracking technology. Informal groups of citizens are meeting at the association’s office to prepare protests against shale gas. As a result of the rapid citizen action, the government adopted a moratorium on shale gas extraction in the country through fracking.


Varna residents protest against the planned overbuilding of the sea capital. The Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development is one of the civil organizations that are appealing against the procedure of approval of the new General Spatial Plan of Varna, voted at a session of the Municipal Council in July 2012. At the end of the year, the group of protesting organisations started preparations for a local referendum on the Sea Garden, which was stalled by a series of procedural snags on the part of the local government. The protests escalated in early 2013 when Plamen Goranov set himself on fire in front of the Varna Municipality building.


A 10-metre transporter with the inscription “Incinerators kill” was lowered from the chimney of the incinerator for hospital waste of Varna District Hospital. It marked the beginning of a broad public campaign against waste incineration, which the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development continues to this day. The issue of the highly toxic ash that remains after the incineration of the waste, which accounts for about 30% of its original quantity, has been raised.


Active work with young people from Varna. Representatives of the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development enter a number of schools to provoke discussion on the topic of environmental protection and the sustainable future of Europe. The Young Ideas for Europe initiative is part of a pan-European network that enables young people aged 15 to 18 from all EU countries to actively participate in a dialogue about the future of Europe.


Civic EcoLab formed the Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development on an entirely voluntary basis. It is equipped with instruments to measure noise pollution, dust, solar and UV intensity, gamma background and GSM radiation. Without any claim to representativeness, its purpose is to fill the information gap in Varna on the state of certain environmental indicators.


We continue to build on what we have started. 148 Leaf by Leaf participants recycled 49 tons of paper and saved 834 trees from being cut down. Plastic packaging recycling is also gaining momentum, with 12 participants handing in a total of 400 kg of plastics. The eco-laboratory was equipped with a UV-radiation measuring device. The completion of the Ezerets eco-centre continues at full speed.


In 2017, we embarked on a new mission dedicated to motivating kindergarten children to drink water from reusable cups instead of disposable plastic ones. Sabina Maksimova initiated the program and still coordinates it. Now, more than 4,600 children have joined the mission and more than 12 million disposable plastic cups have been saved. Most important remains the long-term educational effect on the environmental awareness of children. The mission won the international distinction of a gold medal in the BEYONDPLASTIC AWARD-2020 competition in the category “Best Initiative in Education.”


Active monitoring of waste imports for incineration. In 2018, the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development documented more than 20 imports through Odessos Harbour, which are transported by BDZ to the cement plant in Beli Izvor, and through Varna West, which go by truck to Devnya Cement. One of the import sources is localised – Port of Hartlepool – UK.


At the end of 2019, the Green Fridays campaign “Bring a bottle, take a book” was launched. The aim is to recycle small glass and metal packaging from perfumes and cosmetics and save old books that find new readers.


The end of 2020 passes under the motto “25 years of the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development”. From the archives of the association come forgotten stories, photos and records of environmental activities over the years.
The campaign against the import of waste for incineration enters a new phase.The Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development launches an online petition to the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Environment and Water. An investigative piece on the issue has been published on the organisation’s website. A paper petition was also collected during the Citizens’ Democracy Conference. The requests were sent to the Ministry of Ecology on 28 May 2020, when Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Krassimir Zhivkov and five other people were detained in connection with an investigation into the import of waste for incineration.