Dear ladies and gentlemen,
I congratulate you on the occasion of the opening of the SEE Conference "Save the Planet", which again this year will present the best practices in waste management and recycling. Focusing on innovations in this field, the event will display the latest technologies and knowledge exchange in the public and private sector and consider waste as a resource.
I would like to thank the organizers for their invitation to the Ministry of Environment and Water to take part in the seventh edition of the Conference. This is an opportunity for us to present the novelties and key aspects of the Bulgarian legislation on waste management trends and the achieved results regarding recycling and utilization.
In my message to you, I would like to emphasize on some important points. The Package "Circular economy", that was presented on 2 December 2015 by the European Commission, outlines the transition from the linear to circular economy and where products and materials are kept in high value use for as long as possible. In this way sustainable development will be encouraged, the EU's global competitiveness will be increased and new jobs will be created. The circular economy is focused on creating innovative business models and on moving to sustainability in production and consumption.
The Action Plan envisages comprehensive EU commitments in relation to the eco-design, the development of strategic approaches for plastics and chemicals, initiatives for financing innovative projects. EU Research and Innovation Programme "Horizon 2020" includes targeted actions in the field of food waste, construction, critical raw materials, industrial and mining waste, consumption and public procurement, fertilizers and water reuse.
The EC aims concern a binding landfill target to reduce landfill to maximum of 10% of all waste by 2030 and for recycling 65% of municipal waste by 2030.
In recent years the country increased the quantities of recycled and recovered waste and invest in building of a comprehensive infrastructure to ensure the achievement of the legislative objectives.
Minister of Environment & Water
I am very glad that the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works is among the institutions that institutionally support the SEE Forum on Energy Efficiency (EE) and Smart Cities as EE is among the priorities of the Ministry and the Bulgarian Government.
Your contribution as an organizer of the specialized event is extremely important because the topic is a key one for our society and economy. When you started the Forum on Energy Efficiency 12 years ago, the energy efficiency topic was unknown and inapplicable for Bulgaria. Today even the children know about it. Measures for saving energy and environment protection are deeply underlined in construction sector and in all spheres of economy as well. Thanks to organizations like yours, the hard work of the Government and the solidarity of the European Union, today we are not only talking about energy efficiency, but develop large-scale programs for hundreds of millions.
Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works has developed and launched the National Program for Energy Efficiency of Residential Buildings, which is financed by the national budget with 1 billion Leva. Under the program till now more than 2100 residential buildings nationwide have applied for remediation. That means energy efficiency for thousands of Bulgarian households. But the program will not only achieve this. It will carry out also a number of objectives - lower heating costs, renovated buildings/apartments, hundreds of new jobs and environment protection.
We have the assurance of the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance that in 2017 there will be will be allocated more 1 billion leva to continue the renovation work of the apartment buildings in all municipalities. Through the funds from the Operational Program "Regional Development" 2007-2013, we succeeded to renovate other 156 housings in the country. We have also implemented energy efficiency measures in schools, kindergartens, social and public buildings. We continue with the same enthusiasm with the new Operational Program "Regions for Growth" 2014-2020, according to we will be able to renovate schools, public buildings, social housing citizens and buildings-cultural heritage.
Energy efficiency is the future! If we want to live in a clean, beautiful and safe environment, we need to think globally and to take such large-scale endeavors.
Keep on with the same enthusiasm to support the introduction of innovative technologies, the development of the sustainable development sector and energy efficiency in the country!
I wish you good luck!
Minister of Regional Development and Public Works of the Republic of Bulgaria
Welcome Message from Mr. Bozhidar Lukarski, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria
Increasing of energy efficiency and building of smart cities, based on implemented innovations, are determining factors for achieving sustainable development and accelerated economic growth. They directly concern not only the substantial improvement of the conditions and environment in which we are living, but also affects the building of a more competitive national economy.
Under the conditions of limited resources, including energy, it is necessary to create intelligent productions, which can multiply the effectiveness of the inputs. This is a necessary condition for ensuring the creation of added value in our economy and to achieve raising of our standards in a long-term period.
The presentation of the latest trends and best practices in the field of energy efficiency and smart cities is an important step in this process. I hope the forum will play out its important role as a platform for sharing ideas on the potential to change the vision of the Bulgarian city and the manner in which Bulgarian companies do business.
I believe the attendees will also contribute to this!
Welcome Message from Ms Ulrike Straka, Commercial Counsellor, Advantage Austria Sofia
Austria - leading country in Europe in the field of technologies for environmental protection In the late 70s Austrians started to trouble about the environment cleanness: it was about acid rain, forest extinction and about the contaminated water, too. The tourist industry also recognized the danger, coming from environmental pollution.
That was the impetus for the technologies development that serve for the environment protection and sustainable industrial development. There were created methods for waste disposal and utilization, for obtaining energy from renewable natural sources as well as wastewater treatment and flue gas. The adopted laws meant increased costs of production and higher costs for taxpayers. These technologies have become an export hit.
Today Austria is a leader in Europe and all over the world through its technologies for environmental protection. Austrian companies, participants in this year’s exhibition "Save the Planet", are already known in Bulgaria.
They offer equipment from sorting of waste to its utilization and technologies for production of heat and electricity from biomass and wood waste. At the forthcoming ‘Save the Planet’ they will present their latest enhancements and would like to attract more new customers.
Nowadays Bulgaria is facing the important task to keep its nature. The country receives assistance through the EU operational programs. Austrian companies with their know-how are a reliable partner for this cooperation.
Welcome Message from Ambassador Traian Chebeleu
Deputy Secretary General
Permanent International Secretariat
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization
On behalf of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, I am welcoming you warmly at the 2016 edition of the South Eastern Europe ECO Forum and Exhibitions.
We are glad to be associated since several years as supportive organization to this important annual event, which offers an excellent framework for getting acquainted with the latest technological developments related to the energy efficiency and renewable energy, smart cities and waste management and recycling, for identifying new investment opportunities and for facilitating contacts with leading market players in these sectors.
One of the priorities of our Organization is to support the efforts of our 12 Member States for ensuring sustainable energy, including the elaboration of a BSEC Green Energy Strategy with the view to promoting renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and environmentally friendly technologies.
We are in the process of establishing the BSEC Green Energy Network, which we believe will be an important tool for exchanging information and for sharing know-how and good practices among our Member States, which had set for themselves the task of taking gradual steps to materialize the vision of transforming the BSEC Region into a model for clean energy by the year 2050.
The efforts we are undertaking in this direction have a distinct importance in the light of the new international agreement on the climate, adopted at the COP21 which took place in Paris in December 2015, a crucial conference enabling all countries to combat climate change effectively and boost the transition towards resilient, low-carbon economies, whilst promoting fair and sustainable development.
I am confident that ECO Forum will be of a great help for the States in South East Europe and Back Sea regions in the same direction.
With these thoughts, I wish the participants useful networking and fruitful exchanges during the Conference.