New agreement on Environment Protection

Norway and Bulgaria signs new agreement on environment protection and climate change today in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. The agreement has a total budget of 15.3 million euro.

New agreement on Environment Protection
Credit: Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU

The aim of the Environment Protection and Climate Change Programme under the EEA and Norway Grants (2014-2021) is to contribute to strengthen the capacity of public authorities in Bulgaria and to improve the state of the environment in Bulgaria.

State Secretary Atle Hamar signed the Programme Agreement on Environment Protection and Climate Change on behalf of Norway.

"I am glad to sign the new agreement for the environment and climate programme for the next period. The EEA and Norway Grants represent contributions from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The overall goal is to reduce social and economic inequalities in Europe and strengthen bilateral ties", underlines State Secretary Hamar.

A representative from the National Focal Point signed on behalf of Bulgaria, and the Bulgarian Minister of Environment Neno Dimov was also present. The signing ceremony took place during the EU Ministerial meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, as part of the Bulgarian EU Presidency.

Cooperation with our European neighbours is high on political  agenda of the Norwegian government. Norway and the EU share common values and have common interests, not least when it comes to climate and environment politics.

Climate, energy, environment and low carbon emission development are among the top priority areas for the next period of grants. Approximately 30 per cent of the EEA and Norway Grants will be allocated to this area.

State Secretary Atle Hamar states: "I am happy to note that Norwegian partners have contributed to the good achievements in a number of projects. Moreover, the Norwegian Environment Agency continues as strategic partner for the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Water in the implementation of the programme".

Results achieved in Bulgaria under the EEA and Norway Grants:

In the marine area, there has been successful co-operation on integrated marine and inland water management.

Twelve projects have been carried out to strengthen management of marine and inland water resources. The projects have strengthened the capacity to monitor, analyze and predict developments to improve the environmental status for the Black Sea and inland waters. Several projects have focused on reducing toxic substances, waste and plastics to the sea.

Bulgaria is rich in biodiversity.It is important to build capacity to manage the natural resources in the best possible way. 26 projects have been carried through on monitoring of environmental status and information systems and how to map and assess ecosystem services. Productive and robust ecosystems are more resilient to climate change. This has also been an issue for co-operation in this context.

The emphasis on marine management and biodiversity will continue in this programme, which will benefit from the good work in the previous funding cycle. A stronger focus on climate change abatement and waste management, resource efficiency and circular economy is also expected.

Successful pilot projects may inspire other countries. They could be scaled up through national programmes and thus have significant impact on policy development.

For more than 20 years, the EEA Agreement has strengthened the economic and political relationship between Norway and the EU. The EEA and Norway Grants are important parts of the EEA agreement, both for Norway and for our European partners.

 

More information on EEA and Norway Grants:

https://www.regjeringen.no/en/topics/european-policy/norwaygrants/id115262/

https://eeagrants.org/

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