STUDY ON THE OPINION OF STAKEHOLDERS ON FORESTRY ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
Keywords:water, forest,, ecosystem services, water protection function
The ecosystem services provided by forest areas have a direct and indirect impact on the quality of life of people and also increase the well-being of society. The regulatory and water protection function of forests is institutionalized in the European and Bulgarian legislation.
In the context of the current crisis in the water sector in Bulgaria there is a need to identify the stakeholder groups involved in the management, protection, control and use of the water ecosystem service. Under the crisis of water management in Bulgaria we understand the reduction of the volume of water resources and difficulties in supplying clean water to the population. Their opinion on the ecosystem of the forest and its water protection function in particular was examined by conducting a survey. The current paper identifies the different stakeholder groups and presents an analysis of the results obtained by means of a questionnaire sent to stakeholders. The results obtained are used as a basis for forming institutional links and managing conflicts in the process of generating, protecting and managing water from its source to the user. The study proved that society makes sense of the connection between the forest and the provision of clean water. Through the study, we succeeded in identifying a major problem related to the incomplete and outdated information on the maintenance of ecosystem services and improvement of the quality of the goods generated from them which is due to the poor communication between institutions coupled with the lack of awareness by the direct responsibilities of various departments and positions. The electronic platform created for the project on the one hand will support the process of information security of the technical mapping of water sources and water protection forests, as well as provide an opportunity for communication with various stakeholders. This will enable a higher information security.
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