History of LTER-Bulgaria

November 2005: Bulgaria has been invited to reach the LTER network for Central and Eastern Europe LTER-CE. The Central Laboratory of General Ecology (CLGE), currently the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at Bulgarian Academy of Science (IBER-BAS) has nominated Svetla Bratanova-Doncheva, PhD – Head of Research Group “Functioning of Terrestrial Ecosystems” as the National Representative.

April 2006: The National Representative participated in the meeting of the counties from Central and Eastern Europe in Vihodna, Slovakia and there was presented the Bulgarian LTER initiative and the potential sites in Bulgaria.

April 2007: CLGE organized the National Conference “Long term ecological research in Bulgaria” with the participation of 5 institutes of BAS, 4 universities, representatives of Ministry of Environment & Water, Executive Agency of Environment, Ministry of Education & Science, State Agency of Forests, National Commission of UNESCO, National Committee of MAB-UNESCO, Bulgarian Bioplatform and NGOs. During this meeting the National LTER network has been launched and a National Coordinating Committee was elected. In the Committee representatives of institutes of the BAS, University of Forestry and Sofia University were present. Svetla Bratanova-Doncheva, Phd was elected as National Coordinator and National representative in global ILTER network.

June 2007: Bulgaria participated in the foundation of LTER-Europe in Balatonfüred, Hungary. There have been discussed the Bylaws, Joint research, Common information database management. The Executive & Scientific Committees have been elected.

February 2009: In Sofia, by the initiative of the National Coordinating Committee of LTER-Bulgaria and with the support of AlterNet and LTER-Europe the First Meeting of South-Eastern European countries was organized with the participation of representatives from Albania, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Turkey and Serbia. The aim of this Meeting was to strengthen the cooperation between South-Eastern European countries in ecosystem studies, to promote exchange of data and finally to initiate development of a South-Eastern LTER network

On February 2009 at the meeting of National Coordinating Committee it was decided that Bulgaria shall present an Application for formal admission to ILTER.

August 2009: At the ILTER Annual Co-Ordinating Committee meeting in Australia, the National LTER-Bulgaria network was accepted as official member of ILTER.

Thus, the Bulgarian LTER network starts its activity with a total of 7 sites developing long-term ecosystem research, a National Coordinating Committee and a group of Site Coordinators.

The development of the LTER – Bulgaria Network and the formal Admission to the ILTER are strongly supported with official letters of support by:

  1. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  2. Ministry of Environment & Water
  3. Bulgarian Union of scientists
  4. Bulgarian Ecological Society

April 2018: At the National Meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, regarding the new challenges in ecosystem research, it was decided to update the Rules, Organizational Structure and Strategic Plan of the Bulgarian LTER Network. The integration with other networks by including relevant new sites was decided.