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Остров Белене, България. Бивши заливни гори и влажни зони са били възстановени в българската част ... 
	© Александър Иванов

Life+ Riparian Forests

Riparian forests are as rich in biodiversity as equatorial jungles. Home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, they are extremely important for the prevention of floods and landslides, while also naturally purifying water in the river. In torrential rain, high water floods riparian forests thus delaying its destructive speed. Riparian forests retain the water and then slowly return some in the riverbeds.
 
Riparian forests (habitat type 91E0*) are forests in the lowlands and plains which develop on rich soils, flooded periodically by the river. They are one of the most vulnerable and rare habitats. Although they occur all over the country, they occupy only half a percent of the area of the forest territories in Bulgaria
 
WWF, in partnership with the Executive Forest Agency and the Regional Forest Directorates Ruse and Plovdiv, implemented a project for restoration and conservation of natural riparian forests of native species along the rivers Danube and Maritsa.
 
Over a period of four years and a half we restored 48.1 hectares (481 acres) of natural riparian forests (habitat type 91E0*).  In addition to afforestation, WWF implemented the innovative Saarland method for forest restoration. It allows identifying "trees of the future" of typical native species and removal of aggressive "competitive trees" of foreign species which impede their development by using environmentally friendly methods.
 
We restored 160 decares of riparian forests along The Maritsa River. Trees of local species such as poplar, field elm, oak, white and grey alder and narrow-leafed ash were planted.
 
In Marten-Ryahovo protected site, near Rousse we restored 321 decares. White willows and black poplars were planted.
 
A guide for restoration and management of riparian forests was developed. Its main purpose was to draw the attention of the owners and managers of these territories to their special status and specifics and to assist the professionals in their future work in managing and restoring them.
 
The project actively engaged volunteers, and in particular high school students, who helped with planting and growing trees. Young people's participation is very important because it is most appropriate to build the culture to conserve and restore natural resources and biodiversity from an early age.
 
The project was co-funded by the LIFE + instrument of the European Commission and was implemented from September 2014 to 2019.
 
	© European Commission LIFE+
LIFE+
© European Commission LIFE+
Official logo of Natura 2000 network of EC 
	© EU
Official logo of Natura 2000 network of EC
© EU
 
	© Елица Грънчарова/WWF

Partners

Executive Forestry Agency

 
	© Изпълнителна агенция по горите
© Изпълнителна агенция по горите
The Executive Forestry Agency is a legal entity funded by the State budget. It is responsible for the financing, management and control over the following activities: regeneration of forests, afforestation, anti- erosion activities, thinning; protection of biodiversity; protection of forests from pests and diseases; silvicultural activities; utilization of timber and non-timber forest resources; hunting and game protection; extension services and others.

 

Regional Forestry Directorate Plovdiv

 
	© RDG Plovdiv
© RDG Plovdiv
RFD Plovidv is the organisation which exercises control over sylvicultural activities in forest territories despite of their ownership. The Directorate has specialists closely related to forest regeneration, production in nurseries, forest protection of forest territories.

Regional Forestry Directorate Ruse

 
	© Изпълнителна агенция по горите
© Изпълнителна агенция по горите
RDFs are established in line with the Forest Act in order to provide supervision on forestry activities in forest territories. RDF Ruse has a lot of experience in supervision and implementation of afforestation, cultivation and timber production.