Protecting the Karadere wild area in Bulgaria

Apr 14, 2023Bulgaria, Climate Action, Inspiring initiative

Photo: bluecinema on CanvaPro

ACCTING aims to understand the impact of Green Deal policies on vulnerable groups, prevent inequalities, and produce knowledge and innovations to advance behavioural change at individual and collective levels for an inclusive and equal European Green Deal. This bottom-up initiative was collected by Martin Felix Gajdusek within ACCTING’s mapping of inspiring practice cases, within the Climate Action Research Line. Read our report on all 693 mapped initiatives.


Karadere, Bulgaria


Karadere is a wild area in Bulgaria with no infrastructure. The site is valuable for its invertebrate fauna and plants.

The area has witnessed a significant development due to a series of illegal procedures aiming to change the General Development Plan – the forests have been replaced with agricultural lands. Besides, Karadere have become popular among tourists; The beach and the surrounding forests are heavily crowded, and the site’s natural capacity is running out.


A civil reaction to save Karadere

After the decision of the government to grant an investor the status of a priority investment project for the development of Karadere, activists organised mass protests throughout the country and more than 5,800 people signed up for the preservation of the area in less than a month. Leaders of this movement relied on social media to attract more participants and further promote the case; they created a Facebook group that gathered a community of 10 000 dedicated followers advocating to solve the issue.

Several activities were held to increase the number of volunteers to protect the area and fight against the violations. Among these:

  • Arranging meetings with locals affected by the issue
  • Organising clean-ups at the beginning and the end of the Karadere season to preserve the area.
  • Building compost toilets together with Ideas for Change
  • Displaying informative boards about Karadere, responsible camping rules and a map of the toilet facilities
  • Protesting in Sofia and other places in Bulgaria
  • Facilitating ecological assessments of the area
  • Providing legal counselling and advice.

Find out more here.

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