Funding support: Grant from Norway through the Norwegian coorporation program for economic growth and sustainable development in Bulgaria and Shabla Municipality
Number of staff: 7
Overall aims of the centre
Preserving the natural and historical heritage of Shabla municipality through raising awareness and improving the knowledge about sustainable development. We improve this knowledge by providing information and training facilities to our local community and visitors.
Description of the centre
The Green Training Centre was created during April 2011, the process began 2 years before. We are situated in a massive stone building with monumental architecture and high aesthetic value. Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the structure is known as the “Old school”.
The building and its adjacent park have been renovated and comprises of 8,1925 M squared. It has adapted to meet the needs and specific features of an educational and promotional centre for conservation and tourism activities.
The Shabla Wetlands and Durankulak lake are significant areas to numerous birds, fish and mammals. Situated on one of the largest European migratory roads in Europe, via Pontica, the area is home to bird watchers of hundred of migratory birds including the rare Red Breasted Goose. Furthermore, the Durankulak lake holds archaelogical remains that prove to be the oldest on continental Europe.
The green training centre is multifunctional and is equipped with with lecture halls, halls for exhibitions representing the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the area, and an internet room with an IT system for online monitoring of wetlands through cameras mounted in specific locations.
In addition to direct observation of the two lakes, the IT system has been designed to support and supervise the enforcement of the environmental legislation. In the adjacent park, there are specific areas modelling different types of vegetation found in the area: aquatic vegetation, beach vegetation, and a rock garden.
Main CEPA work areas
The Green Training Centre enhances the capacity building and transfers skills through the cooperation in the field of sustainable development between Shabla Municipality, Bulgaria, and other centres. The cooperation exchanges expertise, information about wise use of wetlands, temporary exhibitions, examples of good practices, educational programs for schools, organisation of common action, and other networking activities between the Shabla centre with other centres.
Top three successes
During the summer of 2011, the centre contributed to educating an informal group of volunteers participating in “Shabla’s Eco-Brigade.” The Centre raised awareness of the wetlands by displaying informational videos, involving discussions on the topic and holding a tour of our museum and park.
Networking with the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds in Shabla, The Green Training Centre participate with BSPB in the “Kite festival”. In the course of this two day event, the Green Centre was able to present art exhibitions and spread knowledge of good practices to schools, locals and visitors regarding the wetlands area.
Creating 15 different activities for children, the Green Training Centre sought to educate and organize events for the children of Shabla through a summerprogram. Such activities include excursions to surrounding areas, baseball practice, bike rides, English courses, painting etc.
Top three challenges
Similar to other organizations, our challenges include and alternative approach to intensive tourism.
Our commitment to eco-tourist promotion proves difficult when attracting tourists to our area using these methods.
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre; Building / maintaining structures
Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; Running effective administration; Health and safety; Fund-raising; Project planning.