The Unesco World Heritage Centre is contemplating including the Pirin National Park in itslist of endangered landmarks and have it under its umbrella of protection. This will be discussed on June 24 during a special world heritage discussion forum, Dnevnik daily has reported.
Pirin National Park was included in the World Heritage list of Unesco in 1983, but the organisation had expressed its concerns repeatedly after the construction of the Bansko ski resort centre was initiated. Currently, two more ski zones are earmarked for construction, Dobrinishte and Kulinoto, which will result in yet more deforestation and animal displacement, in spite of the fact that such developments are forbidden by the State law for national park protection, active until 2013.
Extending over an area of 27 400 ha, at an altitude of 1,008–2,914 m, the Pirin mountains national park, in south west Bulgaria, has a limestone alpine landscape, with lakes, waterfalls, caves and pine forests. The rugged mountains, where about 70 glacial lakes can be found, are home to hundreds of endemic and rare species, many of which are representative of the Balkan Pleistocene flora. The mountains also have diverse and unique landscapes of great aesthetic value.
Until now, Unesco has conducted two surveillance operations in the park to investigate if the mountain is being maintained in accordance with Bulgarian and international law. If the site is indeed included in the endangered list of protection, this would be a clear statement to the Bulgarian authorities that they have been seen to fail to protect the mountain.
The Sreburna Reservation is another national park which is already under the direct protection of Unesco.