Banite – Doxato: The “Green” Corridor of the Rhodopes Ecosystem (Banite Municipality, Smolyan Region)

Banite – Doxato: The “Green” Corridor of the Rhodopes Ecosystem (Banite Municipality, Smolyan Region)

Project duration: 12 months

Project summary:

The project “Banite – Doxato: The “Green” Corridor of the Rhodopes Ecosystem” has been financed by PHARE Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Bulgaria – Greece 2004, “Promotion of Nature Protection Actions and Sustainable Development across the Border”.

The project “Banite – Doxato: The “Green” Corridor of the Rhodopes Ecosystem” has aimed at stimulation of environment protection actions and promotion of “green tourism” through use of relevant Greek experience in the transfer of Acquis related to nature. The main project activities have included elaboration of Development plan for 2008-2010, waste management, reintroduction and revitalization of birds and fishes, rehabilitation and refinement of tourist infrastructure, “forest classes” as well as large scale promotional campaign and integrated green tourism product.

 I. Nature Protection Actions

1. “Green Day” in Greece – it took place in Doxato Municipality, the main objective being acquisition of know-how in Green Tourism from the Greek experience, practices and achievements in this field.
2. Elaboration of a Development plan – it began on the Green Day in Greece, outlining the main points. The plan shall be further developed and refined in Banite Municipality and will encompass a period of three years – 2008-2010. The plan will be officially presented at the end of the project.
3. Waste management

3.1. Disposure of litters– cleaning Malka Arda river’s banks and waters, Malka Arda River walking path and Vishnevo – Galabovo – Devil’s Bridge walking path.

3.2. Raising public awareness– placement of warning signs against pollution indicating the fine for polluters along the walking paths and placement of waste sorted recycle bins.

4. Protection and reintroduction of fish and bird species as they are the most vulnerable members of the Rhodopes eco system. The concrete actions proposed under this activity include:

4.1. Reintroduction of indigenous fish species– a special section of Malka Arda River will be transformed into a habitat. The indigenous fish include: barbell, mountain trout, Culter alburnus.
4.2 Revitalization of rare bird species – it includes revitalizing the population of three protected rare birds unique to the region of Banite – black woodcutter, black stork, spotted nutcracker and two other protected species – imperial eagle and wood-grouse.

5.“Forest classes”– include training and education of 20 young professionals or non-professionals in the “green spirit” with a specifically developed two-module training programme.

II. Rehabilitation and refinement of infrastructure

1. Rehabilitation of Malka Arda River walking path with total length of about 3 km closing a circle. It will include also placement of tourist facilities.

2. Rehabilitation of Vishnevo – Galabovo – Devil’s Bridge walking path with length of 12 km. It will include also placement of tourist facilities.

3. Construction of a bicycle trail between the two mountain villages of Krastatica and Starnitsa.

III. Promotion of Green Tourism – all promotional tools will be in Bulgarian, Greek and English
1. Development of a “Green tourism” Information system with detailed data base

2. Mapping the routes of the walking pathsincluding detailed research of the routes of the walking paths and the bicycle trail as well as road description.

3. Design of CD for “Green tourism”with materials and film for the new “green tourism” product

4. Printed promotional materials– colorful leaflet, Green guide and colorful tourist map

5. Dissemination of the “Green tourism” promotional materials– dissemination of promotional leaflets and invitation for the official opening of Banite-Doxato “green” corridor.

6. Official Opening of Banite-Doxato “Green” Corridor– it includes Official conference and promotional tour along the new “Green tourism” infrastructure; signing Agreement for cooperation in the field of Nature protection of Rhodopes Ecosystem and presentation of the elaborate Development plan of Banite Municipality for the Nature protection and Green tourism for 2008-2010.

Project partners:

  • Banite Municipality, Smolyan District – Bulgaria
  • Doxato Municipality – Greece
  • Regional Tourist Association “Rhodopes” (Smolyan Region) – Bulgaria
  • Development agency of Doxato (Kavala Prefecture) – Greece