The Bulgarian photographs on display were the result of a competition organized by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB). The aim of the event, which was part of BSPB’s initiatives dedicated to the International Year of Biodiversity, was to draw attention to the unique diversity of birds and their conservation.
Ambassador Elizabeth Y. F. Chu of the Taipei Representative Office in Greece, welcomed dignitaries, guests and members of the public. In attendance were members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Taipei Representative Office in Greece, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, the Taiwan Trade Center, Sofia; Simon Liao, Grace Wu and Jo Ann MacKenzie of the International Taiwan Birding Association, and others.
The winners of the competition were:
— First prize: awarded to Ivaylo Zafirov, for the photograph “Wings”;
— Second prize: awarded to Hristo Peshev, for the photograph “Harmony in Blue and White”;
— Third prize: awarded to Borislav Borisov, for the photograph “Black and White”.
The first prize was a visit to Taiwan to attend the International Taipei Birdwatching Fair, held in Guandu Nature Park on November 13 and 14.
The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, founded in 1988, is a national biodiversity conservation organization and the main authority on information and conservation of birds in Bulgaria. It is the first national non-governmental nature conservation organization in recent Bulgarian history. The main goal of the BSPB is the conservation of species, sites and habitats important for birds, other wildlife and the well-being of people. BSPB participates directly in the process of creating modern Bulgarian legislation, in the development of the protected areas system and in the creation of the Bulgarian part of the Pan-European Ecological Network NATURA 2000, working with municipalities and regional governments. It is the only NGO officially authorized to manage a protected area (Poda Protected Site near Bourgas).
While in Bulgaria, the ITBA representatives visited the Aldomirovtsi and Dragoman Marshes, the Sakar Hills, the BirdLife Bulgaria Vulture Conservation Center at Madzharovo in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains, a vulture ‘restaurant’ (a feeding station), the Ropotamo Nature Reserve, the Poda Marsh Protected Site, and the freshwater lakes at Bourgas with the assistance of Svetoslav Spasov, Project Manager, LIFE+Save the Raptors, Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds / BirdLife Bulgaria. Before the Taiwan team left Bulgaria, Dr. Petar Iankov, President of the Council, BSPB, presented copies of the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Bulgaria, 2007, to Simon Liao, Chairman, International Taiwan Birding Association and Jo Ann MacKenzie, Executive Secretary, ITBA.