The Association of Parks in Bulgaria (APB) was founded on January 28th, 2003, in Sofia as an non-profit, non-governmental organisation. Currently it comprises four collective members (one association and three directorates of nature parks in Bulgaria) and 15 individual members (citizens who actively support biodiversity conservation and advocacy for sustainable development). The APB’s goal is to support the development and preservation of the system of protected territories in the country, conservation of Bulgaria’s biodiversity and promotion of sustainable development by balancing ecological, social and economic interests. The APB is part of the coalition of nongovernmental organisations “Let Nature Remain in Bulgaria” and is active as an initiator of advocacy campaigns for nature conservation within the coalition, as well as independently.
The APB works with local communities, conservation and other NGOs, local and central authorities, the media and businesses in order to support the sustainable management of Bulgaria’s natural resources.
The APB’s main spheres of activity are:
1. Research, conservation and development of Bulgarian parks and the system of protected territories;
2. Development of parks and other protected territories in Bulgaria;
3. Facilitating the generation of funds in parks and surrounding areas;
4. Communicating the purpose and goals of the system of protected territories in Bulgaria to the public;
5. Encouraging and and achieving effective partnerships among all organisations and institutions engaged in conservation of protected territories and biodiversity;
6. Facilitating the sustainable development of protected territories in Bulgaria for the common good of current and future generations;
7. Building ecological culture;
8. Facilitating the implementation of national and international legal frameworks and successful practices for the management of protected territories, biological and topographical diversity.
The APB’s membership is comprised of a permanent team of volunteers, who initiate and execute its activities. They are mainly experts in ecological, biological and forestry education, experienced in working at governmental institutions responsible for nature parks in Bulgaria. The APB’s team of permanent partners comprises three members: experts in the APB’s spheres of activity, as well as persons competent in the areas necessary to its activities — project management, archive digitalisation, public relations and management of online content.