Природен парк Рилски манастир Directorate of Rila Monastery Nature Park
Ecological Association " Planetum " - Strumica


Park "Rila Monastery" is one of the 11 natural parks in Bulgaria's Executive Agency for Forestry.

The territory of the park covers forests, mountain meadows, alpine landscapes, high peaks and spectacular scenery as well as over 28 high mountain lakes in the heart of the Rila Mountains, making it a preferred destination for tourists. Here you can visit the tailor, botanical and eco tours and acquainted not only with rich biodiversity but also its rich cultural - historical heritage of Bulgaria.

                Here is the most important monument of Bulgarian culture-Rila Monastery. Founded in the early tenth century by the hermit Ivan of s.Skrino called later St. John of Rila monastery today is the most desirable place for worship and prayer. The complex was built through several generations of prominent Bulgarian builders, painters and master carvers. In 1983 UNESCO declared the monastery a cultural monument of world importance.

               Park "Rila Monastery" is characterized by features which distinguish it from all other protected areas in the country, so it is the second most visited protected area in Bulgaria.

The unique diversity of the park is at 1400 species of vascular plants, of which 49 species are included in the Red Book of Bulgaria, 202 species of vertebrates including 122 species of birds, 52 species of mammals and 2475 species of invertebrates. Tree diversity in the park is represented by more than 35 tree and shrub species and medicinal plants, 135.

Ecological Association "Planetum" - Strumica

The organization's mission is to protect and promote the issues problem solving environmental issues related to waste management and the development of alternative tourism in the region. In the course of its existence for thirteen years environmental association has implemented a number of projects , most of them are related to the problems of solid waste management , which are located in this region.
Most of the projects that were implemented consist of research and analysis in respect of certain types of solid waste to obtain more adequate and qualitative data and thus to identify measures for their control.
An important component of all project activities of Planetum is to inform the general public about waste , their impact on the environment and ways to prevent these negative effects, and how they should be managed wastes.
As a result of these studies and analyzes are developed and printed a number of educational brochures, which are presented for the first time in public in Macedonia.
In terms of education, conducted education and awareness campaigns have educated a significant number of national as well as educational activities are tailored according to the age structure of the campaigners .
Six years ago, the environmental association Planetum with the support of USAID and GEF PMG, has developed its own infrastructure ( warehouses, waste trucks , eco Islands containers for waste PET balling PET bottles) for practical fieldwork selection collection and processing of plastic waste .

Some of the activities of Planetum project focused on the development of alternative forms of tourism in the region of Strumica. In this direction , in partnership with organizations from Bulgaria , the organization is focused on identifying the resources and potential that exist in the region for the development of alternative forms of tourism, as well as preparing marketing strategy for the promotion of eco - tourism Mount Belles . (see www.belasitsa.COM)
It is important to mention that all activities also include capacity building of tourist workers to improve tourist services and hospitality . To achieve this goal are organized and conducted several workshops and training for sommeliers .
Furthermore, the association Planetum worked to improve the urban environment and the development of the town of Strumica . A program was developed to increase and arrangement of green areas, and a program to mark the bike lanes in the municipality and cycling as alternative transport.
In partnership with EVN Macedonia, in the last few years Planetum implementing a project to educate primary school children about energy efficiency.
As a result of the dedicated work of the employees in the organization in 2009 , the Environmental Association and honored with the Municipal Award " December 11 " for outstanding achievements in the development of the municipality.

Current projects :

- Conservation of forests - an investment in the future / USAID funded
- Energy efficiency in primary schools / financed by EVN Macedonia
- Nature for people and nature / EU funded
- Belasitza Beyond Borders - Cross-border cooperation in the Balkan Green Belt / co-financed by the German Federal Foundation for Environment Protection