The Nature Conservation Coalition “For Nature to Stay in Bulgaria” waited this morning in front of the Parliament for Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Valeri Simeonov with a rail labeled “WC” and the chanted “We do not want WC”. They insisted on handing it to him personally or through an intermediary because of Simeonov’s statement that he would jump the rail from the Burgas bridge if the court overturned the government’s decision to expand the Pirin construction site without an ecological evaluation. The judgment became fact a year ago.
The protest of the environmentalists today was about the idea to abolish the restrictions in the Water Act of 2010. The Act forbid new hydroelectric power plants in recreational waters of the river, for protection of economically valuable fishes species in national protected areas and areas of the European Natura 2000 network. Valeri Simeonov proposes the legalization of 44 hydroelectric power stations built after 2010 in violation of the Water Act, as well as permitting the construction of new water catchments, for which there are permits issued before 2010.
The excessive burden on Natura 2000 sites through hydropower is already being piloted by the European Commission against Bulgaria. These plants have a proven negative effect on water supplies as well as fish populations in rivers.
ThePublic Environmental Center for Sustainable Development (PECSD), as part of the Coalition For Nature to Stay in Bulgaria, has joined the protesters’ demands.
Translator: Valentina Vagge