Reference Regions

Reference Regions » Stara Planina (Bulgaria)
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Stara Planina (Bulgaria)

Description of the Reference Region

The Western Stara Planina region, in Bulgaria, is characterised by traditionally low input and extensive agriculture. Together with the low population density and mountain relief, the majority of farmland is considered as High Nature Value (HNV).

Over many years, traditional farming practices in the region have created and maintained biodiversity and a diverse range of semi-natural habitats for valuable plant and animal species, some included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria and protected by international conventions.

Selected Value Chain

The selected value chain is public goods from High Nature Value Farming. The concept of “HNV farming” was developed in the early 1990s from a growing recognition that the conservation of biodiversity in Europe depends on the continuation of low-intensity farming systems across large areas of countryside.

The HNV farmland in the Western Stara Planina ranges from alpine grasslands at high altitude to semi-natural meadows and pastures at medium altitude and mosaics of low intensive arable plots and orchards at lower altitude.

There are multiple levels (farm, community, regional, national) of policy intervention, which could be aligned to provide more coherent and consistent support for HNV farming in the forthcoming post-2020 programming period.

Multi-Actor Platform (MAP) members

The Multi-Actor Platform will comprise a diversity of stakeholders: public authorities and policy makers, researchers (University of National and World Economy, Sofia), producers (traditional local farmers – mainly small-scale semi-subsistence pastoralism and innovative local farmers), agricultural business and non-agricultural business, advisors, NGOs, civil society and local action groups.

Publications & events

Policy Brief: Public Goods from High Nature Value farmland

Practice Abstract (1st set): Overcoming the challenges of public policy-making for maintaining the supply of public goods in Bulgaria

Practice Abstract (2nd set): Advocating the use of a result-based payment scheme (RBPS) for maintaining the supply of public goods from High Nature Value (HNV) farmland in Bulgaria

Final Policy Brief: Public Goods from High Nature Value farmland


Mark Redman
Highclere Consulting