Reinforcing protected areas capacity through an innovative methodology for sustainability


Project Number – MIS 5014502
Priority axis 2 - A Sustainable and Climate adaptable Cross-Border area
Investment priorities 6d - Protecting and restoring biodiversity and soil and promoting ecosystem services, including through Natura 2000, and green infrastructure
Intervention fields 085. Protection and enhancement of biodiversity, nature protection and green infrastructure
Call 2nd Call for proposals under priority axes 2 & 4
Lead Beneficiary Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Production and Management Engineering
Beneficiaries Municipality of Nestos
National Confederation of Disabled People of Greece
Management body of the Nestos Delta and Lakes Vistonida - Ismarida
The Goulandris Natural History Museum / Greek Biotope Wetland Centre
Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water-Blagoevgrad
National Park "Rila"
Pirin Tourism Forum
South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Start Date Oct 20, 2017
End Date Dec 31, 2020
Budget 1.075.061,59 €
ERDF Contribution 913.802,35 €
National Contribution 161.259,24 €
As GR-BG 2014-2020 CBC admits,“The CB area exhibits … one of the highest densities of protected sites”.It admits that they are under pressure and under various threats like various illegal activities and climate change. Constantly increasing anthropogenic activities within or in the immediate vicinity of protected areas (PAs) and the inadequate level of their administration capacity are the major threats to the sustainability and the optimum management of PAs.It should be also noted that PAs hidden values should come to the light for the mutual benefit of PAs and local population. Last but not least, as CBC identifies, CB cooperation for PAs Management Bodies (PA MBs) remains at a low level,because «… most interventions through CBC GR-BG 2007-2013 were “parallel” in character and not genuinely “joint”».So CBC suggests as main identified needs the “…"cross-border coordination in mapping,assessing,valuating and monitoring ecosystems”. Such a guideline,set the ground partners to initiate building a project proposal bottom-up.

BIO2CARE project overall objective is “to reinforce PA MBs efficiency and effectiveness in an innovative and integrated approach”. This is in full compliance with CBC GR-BG 2014-20 objective, as it promotes territorial cooperation in a very concrete and well defined approach. BIO2CARE main objective is to enhance PA MBs administrative capacities on the benefit of biodiversity as of local communities. This is in full compliance with programme priority specific objective: “To enhance the effectiveness of biodiversity protection activities”.

The main outputs of BIO2CARE project are the ones that give added value to the whole endeavor. The BIO2CARE proposed decision making platform could become a valuable tool for understanding the activities and quantifying their respective impacts on biodiversity (e.g. measuring ecological footprint, carbon footprint and water footprint).The monitoring activities proposed will give a competitive advantage inmanaging bodies to enhance their capabilities of protecting the areas of interest and mitigating illegal activities. Small infrastructures like pathways accessible by disable people will make PAs more attractive to new audience never been attracted so far, while will attract new target groups for neighbouring businesses. At the same time this will be PAs contribution to social coherence. To further more support entrepreneurship on surrounding areas BIO2CARE will establish the process of awarding an eco-label, a sustainability scheme that will help local businesses to show a qualitative distinction, surpassing competitors.
Cross-border cooperation is crucial to achieve BIO2CARE objectives and results. BIO2CARE proposal has been jointly developed after an exhaustive discussion and exchange of views among partners of similar characteristics from the two countries, in order to address key challenges and common needs on the issue of biodiversity protection and sustainability assessment. 


D.2.2_BIO2CARE Promo Video

D.2.3.3_Promo material_EN / GR
D.2.4.3_Project leaflet_BG/EN_ EN/GR_ GR/EN

D.2.1.5_Abstract & presentation @ INFER2020
D.2.1.5_BIO2CARE eco-label_Article_EN
D.2.1.5_Poster & Abstract @ Ecocity Forum 2018

D.3.1_ Study collecting information & producing knowledge regarding anthropogenic activities & status of nature (incl. SWOT analysis) of the areas _EN

D.3.2_Methodological framework for assessing the environmental status of the examined area through the estimation of holistic environmental sustainability indicators_EN
D.3.2_Methodology for assessing the environmental status of the examined area through the estimation of holistic environmental sustainability indicators_EN
D.3.3_Report with results from the implementation of the methodological framework in two intervention areas_EN
D.3.4_Case study_model & comparative study on environment's benefits from circular economy (Life Cycle Approach)_EN

D.4.1_BIO2CARE Monitoring Software:
The BIO2CARE Monitoring/Decision Making software is an online cartographic application that integrates all available data for the area of interest. Based on the level of authorization, the user has the possibility to select and view data from trail cameras and sound sensors/sonars installed in the area of interest. Link:
D.4.1_High tech monitoring system in the areas of interest (faunaflora & illegal activities)_EN

D.4.3_Bio2Care Tools
- BIO2CARE Calc Tool:
The Bio2Care Calc Tool is an online application that provides the opportunity to the user to calculate the Carrying Capacity, the Ecological Footprint, the Biocapacity and the Carbon Footprint of a protected area. Link:
- Bio2care Symbiosis ToolThe Bio2care Symbiosis Tool is an online cartographic/mapping application that allows users to search for potential symbiotic activities, using as data the inputs and outputs of their own production activity, but also the production activities of other users. Link:
D.5.1_Material about the tools
D.5.1_Presentation about the tools

D.4.9.4_BIO4TOURISM application
BIO4TOURISM: official specialized internet application for eco-tourism, monitoring of biological diversity, prevention of fires, disasters and optimization of the administrative management of protected areas (Rila National Park & National PArk of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace) Link:

D.4.2_New eco-trail Kotza-Orman forest (Keramoti), National Park of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace in GR_EN -  also here
D.4.2_New eco-trail Parangalitsa Nature Reserve, Rila National Park in BG_EN - also here

D.4.4.2_Best practice examples for designing eco-friendly pathways accessible by people with disabilities_EN  / GR
D.4.5 _Development and implementation of a sustainability labelling scheme_EN
D.4.5.2_Evaluation system for accessible ecotrails _EN / GR / BG
D.4.5.2_Pathways for recreational purposes and bird watching for handicapped and disabled (GUIDEBOOK)_EN / GR / BG

D.5.5_Policy recommendations regarding protected areas and biodiversity_EN


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