On 12 and 13 October 2022, the Lagoon of Life project hosted hybrid LIFE platform meeting on Innovative Approaches in Coastal Wetlands Management at the International Congress Centre in Burgas, Bulgaria. The meeting was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the LIFE Programme.

Ten LIFE projects and five other European projects from Italy, Spain, Greece, Montenegro, and Bulgaria presented cross-sectoral cooperation and involvement of stakeholders, integrated management and restoration techniques, and nature-based solutions as a relatively new tool of the socio-economic aspect of coastal wetlands. There was a focus on the use of wetlands as an indicator of climate change and the restoration of seagrass beds as a tool for protecting coastal habitats in Italy, Spain and Greece. The carbon storage potential of coastal wetlands and methods for its calculation has been presented as an important element of the increasingly popular carbon economy.

In a poster session seven posters from France, Bulgaria and the USA presented case studies from two Life projects in salt-pans in Normandy and Atanasovsko lake such as: the people of the marshes, competition between Greater Flamingos and local waterbirds, transplantation of the seagrass and convivial spatial organization for coastal wetlands.

In a field visit the participants saw the “last Mohicans” who collect salt by hand in Atanasovsko lake, the restoration of the three earthen dykes, which will improve the water circulation and will provide new nesting opportunities for birds, cleaning of internal channels as a tool to reduce the effects of fragmentation and eutrophication. All these activities are implementing in the frame of Lagoon of Life project (LIFE17 NAT/BG/000558) by the various partners the NGOs – Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation and Bulgarian Society for the protection of Birds/BirdLife Bulgaria, as well as the business company The Black Sea Salinas Ltd.

Burgas with its Atanasovsko Lake is a natural centre for such a meeting – the rich biodiversity, the preserved tradition of salt extraction, and the successful cooperation with key stakeholders are an ideal scene to attract European experience and to place Atanasovsko lake better on the conservation and scientific scene in coastal management. The platform meeting helps us build on and further develop our efforts to preserve this unique for the Black Sea ecosystem and to promote its importance for the society.” –  share the organizers from the LIFE project “The Lagoon of Life”.

Find out more for the meeting in https://lagoon.biodiversity.bg/life-platform-meeting-was-held-in-burgas-3-303