Bulgaria’s Environment Minister: Man who demolished dune at campsite may be ordered to put it back

A man who ordered the demolition of a dune that was obstructing his view of the sea at Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast Smokiniya campsite may be instructed to put it back, which would be a first for the country, Environment Minister Neno Dimov said.

The destruction of the dune in Smokiniya was one of a number of incidents at Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast in January, with others involving construction projects at the coastline, that made major headlines in Bulgarian media and caused outrage on social networks.

Prosecutors have laid charges against caravan owner Ivan Nonchev (46), who ordered the destruction of the dune, and against Manol Pazvatov (24), who accepted a 1000 leva (about 500 euro) fee to bulldoze the dune.

Under Bulgarian law, deliberate destruction of a natural landmark carries penalties of a fine from 2000 to 10 000 leva and a possible one to three years in prison.

Dimov said that an order to restore the dune would be the most severe administrative punishment that could be imposed on Nonchev.

The regional environment inspectorate in Bourgas is awaiting the outcome of prosecutorial proceedings before assessing what administrative sanction to impose.

Dimov said that the dune may have been built up over “decades, centuries, even millennia”. It could not recover merely in “10, 100 or even 1000 days”.

“Anyway, it will not be absolutely authentic, but you have to set the example that when you destroy something you have no right to, you have to restore it,” he said.

(Photo, from January 2019, from the Facebook page of Vaso Gurov)



The Sofia Globe staff

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