The Third Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee of the project BIO2CARE was held on 16 and 17 April 2019. The project has been financed by the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme INTERREG V-A Greece – Bulgaria 2014 – 2020. The meeting was hosted by the Bulgarian partners of the Project: The Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters – Blagoevgrad, the Rila National Park Directorate, the Southwest University of Neofit Rilski and the Pirin Torusim Forum.
Its goal was to report the project progress up to this end, as well as the results achieved and problems encountered; to set steps necessary for the next project period. An overview was made of the implementation of the project Communication Plan foe achieving better publicity and visualization. Participants discussed the finalization of a whole phase of scientific research in the two project territories – National Parks of Rila (Bulgaria) and of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (Greece) – related to the application of a new Methodology for calculating carrying capacity, ecological footprint, carbon footprint and water footprint.
The activities connected to the provision of access of people with disabilities to the two protected areas are progressing as planned, as well as the creation of an Eco-Labelling Scheme for local businesses. Preparations have started for the series of trainings envisaged towards the project end in order to present and share project results.
The guests representing the Greek partners of the project – Democritus University of Thrace, Nestos Municipality, the The Goulandris Natural History Museum / Greek Biotope Wetland Centre, the National Confederation of Disabled People, Bruch of Northern Greece – were shown the newly built Visitor Center of Rila National Park in Blagoevgrad and the first Visitor Center at Panichishte Resort Area