Environmental Performance Review: Bulgaria

Third Review

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The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Environmental Performance Review Programme assesses progress made by individual countries in reconciling their economic and social development with environmental protection, as well as in meeting international commitments on environment and sustainable development. The Environmental Performance Review Programme assists countries to improve their environmental policies by making concrete recommendations for better policy design and implementation. Environmental Performance Reviews help to integrate environmental policies into sector-specific policies such as those in agriculture, energy, transport and health. Through the peer review process, the reviews promote dialogue among Governments about the effectiveness of environmental policies as well as the exchange of practical experience in implementing sustainable development and green economy initiatives. They also promote greater Government accountability to the public. The present publication contains the third Environmental Performance Review of Bulgaria. It takes stock of progress made by the country in the management of its environment since 2007. The publication also covers issues of specific importance to the country related to legal and policy frameworks, the financing of environmental policies, greening the economy, and integrating environmental concerns into selected sectors, in particular air protection, water management, waste management, biodiversity, forests and protected areas, climate change and energy. Suggestions for strengthening efforts towards a comprehensive and systemic response to sustainable development challenges are also provide. The publication is aimed at officials and experts working for public authorities responsible for environmental policy, representatives of civil society, the business community, academia and the media.



Introduction: Environmental conditions and pressures

Bulgaria’s population has shown a steady declining trend. The country’s total population of 7.20 million in 2014 was 5.76 per cent lower than in 2007, at the beginning of the review period, when the total population was 7.64 million. The life expectancy of the male and female populations increased between 2007 and 2013, by 1.8 and 1.7 years, to 71.02 and 78.01 years, respectively. During the same period the total fertility rate increased by 4.22 per cent, from 1.42 to 1.48, while the infant mortality rate decreased from 9.2 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 6.6 in 2015 – a significant 28.3 per cent decrease. The decrease of the population was caused by negative natural increase and net migration.


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