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The geology and specific microclimatic conditions in the country account for the rich diversity of species, natural habitats and ecosystems, a large part of which are of conservation concern. The main threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functions identified in the Bulgarian National Biodiversity Conservation Plans , as well as at the EU level, are habitat loss, introduction of invasive alien species, climate change, overexploitation of natural resources and pollution.

Due to the lack of coordination, effective legislation and control, the national authorities have not been able to address the threats to biodiversity in a more holistic and integrated manner. There is therefore a need for Bulgaria to raise awareness and apply a more analytical and methodological way for assessing the ecosystems and their services, defining the main negative factors and mitigating their impact. The programme will address this through participative education on biodiversity, a more integrated information system and proper mapping and assessment of the ecosystem.

What will the Programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

Ecosystem Services: From Biodiversity to Society, Part 2

The overall aims of the programme are to address the degradation of ecosystem services, enhance the knowledge of their economic contribution and contribute to halting the loss of biodiversity in Bulgaria. The programme will result in a more integrated approach to collecting information on the ecosystem, an upgraded national data collection system, increased awareness on the importance of community based monitoring and increased understanding of the complexity of the biodiversity sector among local stakeholders and policymakers.

Finally, the programme will contribute to Bulgaria being able to fulfill the requirements set in the EU Biodiversity strategy The main target groups are institutions competent for defining and implementing policies in the area of biodiversity, research bodies and individual researchers, and NGOs.

How will it be achieved? The Norwegian Environment Agency is involved in the implementation of the programme. This will further strengthen the co-operation between the Norwegian Environment Agency and relevant Bulgarian entities, including the Ministry of Environment.


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Biodiversity: The Values of Ecosystem Services Pt. 2

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Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity - Fourth National Climate Assessment

Carney, B. Chaplin-Kramer, A. Claussen, B. Fisher, R. Naidoo, N. Sanders and the Gund Institute community for comments. We are grateful for support from the Lintilhac Foundation and from the Gund and Parker families. All authors discussed results and implications and edited the manuscript at all stages. Correspondence to Taylor H. Thus, from a human rights perspective, one might conclude that the right to a healthy environment must inevitably extend to the protection of biodiversity as it is the basis to which all human well-being is linked. The UN Special Rapporteur made it perfectly clear: Biodiversity is not a conflicting or negligible factor for human well-being, but a vital component of the human right to a healthy environment.

The question remains, however, how a human rights perspective can in turn specifically advance the protection of biodiversity. This somewhat seems to be the case with biodiversity and the previous attempts to protect it. Even though the man-made threats to species around the world have been well-known for decades, they have not gathered enough attention to prompt adequate responses from states. Even though the CBD enjoys practically universal ratification, it could not persuade states to fulfil a single one of their obligations.

In light of these worrying developments, it simply seems genius to make biodiversity a human rights issue. An anthropocentric approach to biodiversity that puts human interests at the heart of the issue shows in fact great potential to bring about real change. Most importantly, one might add, a human rights-based approach promotes the rule of law as it helps to identify rights holders and corresponding duty-bearers and to strengthen legal capacities.

Moreover, if a state is not willing to fulfil its human rights obligations with regard to the protection of biodiversity, individuals may bring a case to the international human rights supervisory bodies, thus putting additional pressure on the state to comply with its duties under international biodiversity law. His argument loses a great deal of its persuasiveness when it comes to the protection of species whose purpose for mankind is not immediately obvious or quantifiable. Knox himself illustrates this weakness, albeit probably unintentionally, with the example of the Bramble Cay melomys para.

The melomys were the only mammals endemic to the Great Barrier Reef, before they became extinct in The implications of losses like this for human well-being, Knox admits, may be less concrete than others. At this point, the assumption of an intrinsic connection of human rights and biodiversity becomes arguably far-fetched as the only potential legal interest at stake would be the emotional state of people. After all, there is no human right against the feeling of loss.

In order to anyhow emphasize the dependence of human rights upon biodiversity, Knox takes recourse to the concept of the common concern of humankind para. However, that an issue might raise the common concern of humankind does not necessarily imply a potential infringement on human rights. Although the respect for human rights has been recognized as a common concern of humankind, not every common concern of humankind is a human rights issue.