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New Thracian Gold Annual Meeting

On 23 November, the annual meeting of the focus groups of New Thracian Gold took place in the village of Stambolovo. The achievements in the outgoing year and plans in 2013 were in the focus of the discussions.

Frank Zanderink, team leader of NTG project opened the meeting. Deputy Mayor of Stambolovo Marem Cheribashla welcomed the participants and expressed special gratitude of the municipal government that Stambolovo is chosen to host the meeting. Stambolovo – together with Kardzhali, Ivaylovgrad, Krumovgrad and Madzharovo - is one of five target municipalities where the project has been working actively since 2009.

Magnus Sylvén from Rewilding Europe presented the program for the protection and expansion of wildlife in Europe. He informed that after his visit to the Eastern Rhodopes in spring 2013, a mission of experts is expected followed by the decision whether the region will be included in the program.

The coordinators of New Thracian Gold Hristo Hristov (wilderness and biodiversity), Michaela Kircheva (eco-tourism), Vladislav Popov (organic farming) and Iva Tontcheva (PR and Communications) presented the results of the project in 2012.


What are the plans for 2013?


-  Publishing Crossbill guidebook on the Eastern Rhodopes for nature lovers (in English)

- Tourism marketing jointly with ECEAT (European Center for Ecological and Agricultural Tourism), addressing West-European tour operators

 - Publishing a tourist map for the Long distance hiking and biking route in the Rhodopes, promotion of the trail

-  Participation in international and national tourist exhibition (Holiday&SPA Expo, Green Days, Beglika, Uzana Fest, etc.)

-  New hides and photo tourism

-  Opening of three new guest houses


Organic farming

-  Most of the farmers will obtain their organic certificates

-  Official opening of a processing facility for organic sesame and tahini in the village of Kondovo, Ivaylovgrad Municipality

-  Presentation of the NTG producers at the international agriculture exhibition BioAgra in Plovdiv, May Festival in Kardzhali and Culinary Festival in Ivaylovgrad

-  Traditional Organic Einkon Bread Festival in the village of Rabovo in July

-  Continuing  NTG Program for Study of the agro-biodiversity in NTG organic farms in the Eastern Rhodopes


Wilderness and Biodiversity

- Finalization of the projects for the natural grazing of Rhodopi Shorthorn cattle in the Natura 2000 sites in Madzharovo and Krumovgrad

- Release in the nature of the herd of Karakachan horses in Natura 2000 site Byala Reka

- Uniting the Tarpan harem and the Tarpan male club

- Continuing the activities on the reintroduction of wild herbivores – European Bizon, Red Deer, Fallow Deer

- Stimulating the commitment of the young people from the area to the biodiversity and environmental


In 2013, NTG is going to organize the third edition of the competition for the best photo and most interesting travel story „Eastern Rhodopes – taste the wild nature“.

Barbara Steurer from the Austrian Council for Agricultural Engineering and Rural Development and Sonja Karoglan from the Croatian organisation Ecologica spoke about the experience of Austria and Croatia in the Agro-biodiversity giving several examples about the positive effect of the organic farming on the biodiversity. The presentations of the two foreign experts were listened with a great interest by the farmers and also by the B&B entrepreneurs from the NTG network.

In the afternoon, the meeting continued with three split workshops (tourism, organic farming and wilderness) on specific issues of the three project components. The core of the discussion was on the 2013 activities and on NTG future after the subsidy of the Netherlands Postcode Lottery will stop in 2014.

See here photos from the event

Click to see the presentations on Ecotourism, Organic farming and Biodiversity.


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