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See Garden (Varna) grab, Bulgaria


The sea garden of Varna is the biggest and most visited park in the city. During the socialist era (1945 - 1988), the territory of the park was expanded. With the political changes in 1989 new weak laws allowed parts of the park to be sold or returned to previous owners of the land. This lead to changing of the statute of the park by transforming it into urban area. The newly proposed master plan of the city makes this urbanisation legal. Additionally some companies get permissions from the government to build tourist complexes in the sea costal area called 'Alley 1' . The citizens of Varna are strongly against this decision and a coalition including 8 organisations was established to struggle with this case of land grab. Court cases, demonstrations and public awareness campaign didnt lead to success.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:See Garden (Varna) grab, Bulgaria
State or province:Varna
Location of conflict:Varna
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Project area:11
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:2003
Company names or state enterprises:Varna from Bulgaria
Relevant government actors:State and Municipal governments
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:SOPA, PECSD, BSPB (BirthLife - Bulgaria), Green Varna, etc. and Green Party

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusUnder construction
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite the mobilisation and the legal actions the land grab of the park is ongoing and the construction of the hotel resort continues.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

LinksĀ to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites


Meta information

Contributor:Ilian Iliev
Last update08/04/2014