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Bulgarie-Sofia © AFP photo Dimitar Dilkoff

Bulgaria has a land area of 110,910 km² and a 470 km stretch of the northern border following the Danube River. The country is located in one of Europe’s most earthquake-prone zones. Over 30% of the national territory is under forest cover. Bulgaria has the second-largest number of hot springs in Europe next to Iceland. It also boasts one of the continent’s largest gold deposits at Chelopech, near Sofia.


The acquisition of a gold deposit by Canada-based Dundee Precious Metals sparked vivid protests; the Minister of the Environment has since refused permission to use cyanide-based technology for extraction of the metal.

Pollution: smog in Sofia can be contributed among other things to Kremikovtzi metallurgy operations in the Sofia basin.

Natura 2000: Bulgaria faced EU sanctions for excluding wetlands and several mountainous areas from the Natura 2000 network to encourage tourist ventures. At last word, these areas (34% of Bulgaria’s national territory) had been integrated back into the network. The decision was applauded by the coalition of 18 environmental organisations (one of which is the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme) known as “Let Nature Remain in Bulgaria”.

Nuclear energy: since the European Commission imposed the closure of reactors 3 and 4 at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant on safety grounds, Bulgaria no longer exports electricity. To cope with the resulting power crisis in the Balkans, construction plans are underway for a new nuclear power plant in Belene, an island of the Danube.


Environmental groups are behind a new law on underground resources. Some notable ones are the Balkan Ecological Association and Federation Intereco-21 (Federatzia Intereko).

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