Last update:Feb 14, 2018

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy
  • Being developed
Action plans
  • Adopted/Completed and submitted for adoption/Being developed
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments - National (screening NAS) - Sectoral & Other (territorial)
  • Completed
Research programs - National Programmes - Key research initiatives (added value)
  • Currently being undertaken
Climate Services / Met Office - Observation - Climate projections and services
  • Established/Being developed
Web Portal(s) / Adaptation platform(s)
  • NA
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies
  • NA
Training and education resources
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted

National Adaptation Strategy

The Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) is the central body coordinating the adaptation policy-making process.

As a Party of the Kyoto Protocol and in accordance with Article 10 paragraph b, Bulgaria is committed to develop a National Adaptation Strategy, which as a major action plan against the climate change impacts has the objective to meet the existing and growing vulnerability of the country to the consequences of climate change. The commitment to draw up a National Adaptation Strategy also arises from the Climate Change Mitigation Act.

The existence of a National Adaptation Strategy is related to the utilization of the European Union funds (EU) in the current programming period (2014-2020). Ex-ante conditionality in the Multi-annual Financial Framework is the existence of national or regional risk assessments with a view to disaster management, taking into account adaptation to climate change.

In order to reduce the country's vulnerability to the effects of climate change and improve the capacity to adapt of the natural, social and economic systems to the inevitable negative impacts of climate change, the MOEW initiated a process towards development of a National Adaptation Strategy (NAS).

The NAS will be a package of strategic documents, a set of a risk and vulnerability assessment, a number of other documents with sectoral measures and economic analysis. The MOEW as a body coordinating the development of the NAS is guided by EU adaptation strategy.

Taking into account that developing of such strategic document is subject to substantial expertise and significant data collection, it was adopted a stepwise approach.

As a first step was prepared a Framework document "National climate change risk and vulnerability assessment for the sectors of the Bulgarian economy". The document was finalized in early June 2014.

The Framework document should serve as a basis for the further development of a national adaptation strategy. Therefore all the collected and evaluated information will give grounds for the development of specific measures which should present the overall appearance of the strategic actions that reduce the vulnerability of the country from the effects of climate change. The competent authorities will be involved in the development of measures for each sector, as well as NGOs and the scientific community.

Further actions were taken for finishing the development of the NAS as the MOEW signed a reimbursable advisory service agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The objectives of the Agreement are to support the MOEW in: accessing options to address climate risks across the economy; formulating a Climate Change National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan for the Republic of Bulgaria, which shall cover the period up to 2030; and strengthening capacity for implementation and cross-sector on climate change adaptation.

Moreover, steps were taken towards securing funding for the development of the NAS under Operational Programme "Good governance" 2014-2020.

The Strategy should comprise the period up to 2030.

Another very important part to be integrated in the NAS is insurance. The MOEW already has developed an analytical document "Financial disaster risk management and insurance options for climate change adaptation in Bulgaria". The document was prepared with the financial and technical support of the World Bank and its purpose is to analyze the role and importance of the insurance business for the prevention of risks that occur as a result of climate change and for the development of adaptation measures.

The Third National Action Plan on Climate Change 2013 - 2020 defines a small number of adaptation measures in the agriculture and forestry sectors.

In the special part of the Framework document "National climate change risk and vulnerability assessment for the sectors of the Bulgarian economy", each sector is assessed by a system of indicators regarding vulnerability to future climate change in the time frame 2016-2035.

Index of vulnerability of systems to climate change (2016-2035) (T temperature, P-precipitation, Ex – extreme events, U-vulnerability)
















Water sector





Water management





Urban environment















Construction and Infrastructure





Ecosystems and biodiversity  





Human health










Source: Framework document "National climate change risk and vulnerability assessment for the sectors of the Bulgarian economy" – general part

The analysis noted that all sectors in Bulgarian economy are vulnerable to expected climate change but in different rate.

The least resistant sectors – water sector, agriculture, tourism are the most important with regards to adaptation actions in the Bulgarian Republic in the future.

In regard of already developed adaptation measures the Executive Forest Agency has already presented a "Program of measures to adapt forests in the Republic of Bulgaria and mitigate the negative impact of climate change on them". The forestry sector is the only one in which a specific programme of measures for adapting Bulgarian forests to climate change was developed and approved.

The document was officially adopted by Ministry of Agriculture and Floods on 03.05.2011 and will be also integrated into the NAS.

At the sectoral level, there are a number of documents relevant to adaptation policy.

  • In 2014 was adopted National Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, where is analyzed the current situation with regards to specific risks including earthquakes, floods, landslides, forest fires, storms, snowfall and extreme temperatures (pdf, bg)
  • National Programme for Disaster Protection 2014 – 2018, as well as national and regional  risk assessments in a national and regional plans for disaster protection (pdf, bg)
  • National Forest Strategy 2013 – 2020 which includes measures for strengthen the resilience of forest ecosystems to climate change (pdf, bg)
  • Common Strategy for Management and Development of Hydro-melioration (Irrigation and Drainage) and Protection Against Harmful Effects of Water
    The objective of the Strategy is to develop a functioning and viable Hydro-melioration Sector in Bulgaria, which enables more sustainable and productive use of water and irrigated land. The strategy envisages sector Hydro-melioration to manage the infrastructure for the provision of irrigation and drainage services and to oversee the infrastructure for flood protection and river corrections that protects agricultural land from harmful effects of water. A well-performing irrigation and drainage sub-sector offers significant opportunities for promoting the competitiveness of agriculture as it improves productivity and also reduces the loss of income for farmers in years with unfavorable climatic conditions (pdf, bg)
  • Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change for Sofia Municipality (under development)
    The objectives and the scope of the Strategy will be to define and analyze the vulnerability and the potential risks of climate change for Sofia Municipality. As a result of those analysis in the Strategy will be identified the working framework of the municipality in terms of adaptation to climate change by 2020. The strategy sets out concrete measures for adaptation and converting a long-term strategy into action and achievable results.
    It is expected the Strategy to be adopted until the end of 2016.  

The Operational Programme "Environment 2014-2020," provided separate priority axis 4 - "Prevention and Flood Risk Management", which is directly linked to climate change. Among the activities envisaged for funding are the creation of the National Center for water management in real time, as well as studies related to Second Plans for Flood Risks Management for the period 2022-2027. Measures envisaged under Priority Axis 4 of the program is aimed at providing resistance to disasters, prevention of risk to human health and the environment and mitigate the consequences of floods.

The implementation of some of the measures of the priority axis 3 "Natura 2000 and biodiversity" will also contribute to adaptation to climate change.

A Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA FM) was signed between Bulgaria and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The priority sectors of EEA FM are:

  • Environmental management and protection
  • Climate change and renewable energy sources
  • Civil society
  • Human and social development
  • Protection of the cultural heritage, and
  • Academic research covering one or  more priority sectors

Through the Memorandum of understanding for the Implementation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 (ratified, OJ 95/2011), the Ministry of Environment and water is appointed Programme operator for two of the programme areas.

Through the programme BG03 “Biodiversity and ecosystems“ were approved and are in process of implementation or already implemented projects in connection with increasing the awareness of and education in biodiversity and ecosystem services, including awareness of and education in the linkage between biodiversity and climate change, and economic valuation of ecosystems and even improved integration of biodiversity considerations in sectoral policies and legislation.

The Flood Risk Management Plans are developed for each basin water management for the period 2016-2021 and they were provided for public consultations.

The draft of the Flood Risk Management Plans examines all aspects of risk management, focusing on prevention, protection, preparedness, including flood forecasts, early warning systems and account characteristics of the basin water management for a period of six years. In the Plans are included programs of specific measures or combination of measures to resolve the identified problems and achieve the objectives for each designated 116 areas with considerable potential risk of flooding in the country. The responsible authorities, the deadline for implementation of the measures and sources of funding are specified in the Plans.

Some activities related to climate adaptation have taken place in several municipalities but not as part of a systematic process. For instance:

  • the Shabla municipality in Bulgaria has developed a project for coastal areas “Protecting the coast from erosion using hard rock measures” (webpage, en)
  • Sofia Municipality is planning to improve its public transport sector through the implementation of the Sofia Integrated Urban Transport Project. The proposed Project comprises of several project components covering essential areas of the City’s urban transport system. It is expected the project to have significant environmental and social impacts and benefits such as improvement of air quality by reducing emissions and energy consumption, Improvement of operational speed and travel conditions, etc. (webpage, en)
  • Burgas Municipality implemented a project “Integrated Urban Transport of Burgas”. One of the main objectives of that project was improving the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ( Currently the municipality implements a project Burgas Integrated Urban Transport Project - Preparation for Introduction of Sustainable Transport Measures. The main objective of the project is the construction of a sustainable transport system for the city of Burgas, that will reduce dependence on private car use in favor of clean, non-motorized forms and means of transport in the urban environment (webpage, en)

a. Observations

Climate change is monitored by the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology at Bulgarian Academy of Science (NIMH-BAS). The Institute has several weather stations included within the Regional Basic Synoptic Network and Regional Basis Climatological Network in RA VI (Europe) - about 40 synoptic and more than 90 climatic stations across the country. There are no Global Surface Network and Global UpperAir Network stations in Bulgaria. There is only one Global Atmosphere Watch station in the country (Rojen).

National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology is the chief executive of research and operational activities in Meteorology, Agrometeorology and Hydrology in Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) is the leading scientific institution in the country with long-established and well-deserved international recognition. It carries out research and development activities on climate change, examining fluctuations, adaptation of the individual sectors, etc.

National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography at BAS provides operational, monitoring and expert information, analyses and assessments in the field of seismology, earthquake engineering, geography, current Earth's crust movements, physics of atmosphere and ionosphere and environmental magnetism.

b. Projections

Much of the current knowledge regarding the observation of extreme climate events and their impacts derives from IPCC reports or from EU-funded projects (e.g. CLAVIER project funded by FP6).

Scenarios and projections for the coming decades derive from the CLAVIER and CECILIA projects mentioned above or from the HadCM3 model.

c. Impacts & vulnerability assessment

In early June 2014 was finalized a Framework document "National climate change risk and vulnerability assessment for the sectors of the Bulgarian economy".

A team of scientists assessed the risk of climate change related natural disasters which are most typical for Bulgaria on the basis of climate models and scenarios, presented in the Fourth and Fifth Report of IPCC. The analysis is for the period until 2035.

The Framework document covers the following sectors:

  • agriculture
  • forestry
  • water
  • urban environment
  • energy
  • transport
  • construction and infrastructure
  • ecosystems and biodiversity
  • human health
  • tourism

A separate chapter on cross-border cooperation on issues related to the impacts of climate change is included in the document.

The analysis indicates that the vulnerability of the country in terms of hydro-climatic risk is moderate in the current state, but there are real preconditions to increase after 2035, and this could happen sooner due to the projected impacts of climate change in our region, as well as adverse demographic processes which are expected to deepen in the future. An insufficient capacity in the sectors of Bulgarian economy to adapt to climate change is another prerequisite for the increased vulnerability of the country. It should be emphasize, however, that the analysis shows positive trends in terms of building the necessary adaptation capacity.

The Framework document should serve as a basis for the further development of a National Adaptation Strategy.

d. Research

National policy in the field of research is conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with the other ministries, institutions and organizations.

a. Governance

The MOEW, and within it the Climate Change Policy Directorate, is responsible for carrying out assessment and planning and preparing a National Adaptation Strategy.

Horizontal coordination mechanisms exist within the governance system, with division of responsibilities. The 2014 Law on Climate Change Mitigation clarifies the responsibilities of different institutions with regards to climate change, including adaptation. Horizontal coordination currently is focused on the preparation of the National Adaptation Strategy. 

Institutions with responsibilities for integration of climate change (both mitigation and adaptation) include: the Ministry of Agriculture and Food; the Ministry of Transport, IT and Communications; the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Interior; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Education and Science; the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy; and the Environment Executive Agency. Moreover, some adaptation measures have been taken at the national level by the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy, and the Ministry of Regional Development. Relevant ministries are in charge of climate change adaptation in their respective sectors.

Article 3, paragraph 4 of Climate Change Mitigation Law governs the establishment of the National Expert Council on Climate Change as an advisory body to assist the Minister of Environment and Water in the elaboration of positions, statements and taking initiatives to fully implement the state policy on mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It consists of representatives of the governmental sector, National Association of Municipalities in Republic of Bulgaria, Regional governmental authorities, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, environmental NGOs and business.

To ensure efficiency and coordination between competent institutions the MOEW established a National Coordination Council on Climate Change (comprising representatives of government ministries and agencies, at Deputy-Minister level), with a view of raising awareness on climate change risks and adaptation options, strengthening consensus on climate action and fostering climate networks for successful implementation of resilience (and mitigation) measures (including such networks as the Expert Council and Coordination Council), as well as enhancing capacity to integrate adaptation considerations in policies, programs, and investments.

b. Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training

Publications in connection with the climate change (including adaptation) could be found on the website of the MOEW. On the website are published the most important documents; there also could be found green advises, different campaigns, competitions.

In the process of preparation of the NAS, a number of initiatives were conducted to raise awareness and public participation in its development.

  • In March 2012 MOEW, jointly with the World Bank, organized introductory workshop on "Preparation of a national adaptation strategy."
  • In June 2013 there was another workshop, which topic was "The role of insurance and financial instruments to manage the risk of climate change in Bulgaria."
  • In April 2014 was organized and conducted one more workshop. The subject of the Workshop was "Interaction between science and policy in the field of adaptation to climate change".

Since 2014 Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" started training on master program "Climate Change and Water Management". The program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified specialists for analysis and assessment of climate change and integrated water resources management. 

In 2013 under the IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Bulgaria – Serbia was realized the project "Click"-Climate change- Kick-off" (pdf, en). The project aims to raise public awareness of the impact of climate change and how to adapt by developing the capacity of NGOs to participate actively in the preparation and implementation of measures and policies for adaptation.

In 2015 was implemented the Project “My Climate”. This project was realized by the National Trust EcoFund with the support of the German Ministry of Environment, Water, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and it aims improving the public awareness in relation to climate change issues. The project focuses its activities on educational institutions – schools and kindergartens. Interactive educational activities were organized in several Bulgarian schools and kindergartens. These activities mark the beginning of a similar future initiatives (webpage, en).

Climate Change Policy Directorate (Ministry of Environment and Water of Republic of Bulgaria)

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