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News 19 Dec 17

US Celebs Join Call to Save Bulgarian Mountain

Actor and musician Jared Leto and Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation have joined Bulgarian environmental activists on Twitter, calling for Bulgaria’s Pirin National Park to be saved from logging and construction.

Mariya Cheresheva
Jared Leto called directly on Bulgaria's Prime Minister Borissov to save Pirin. Photo: nicolas genin from Paris, France - 66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra), CC BY-SA 2.0

US singer, songwriter and director Jared Leto and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which supports initiatives for sustainable development, have called on their many followers on Twitter to join the campaign of WWF-Bulgaria to save the UNESCO-designated Pirin National Park in Bulgaria.

Over 106,000 people have already signed a global petition that urges Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, to stop a new management plan for the natural park, which, according to WWF, would allow for extensive construction and logging.

“Join us and @World_Wildlife to help save the centuries-old forests of Bulgaria’s Pirin National Park from ski zone expansion and logging,” the DiCaprio Foundation tweeted on Tuesday.


Directly tagging Borissov’s profile, Leto asked Bulgaria’s leader to “protect Pirin National Park from disastrous commercial logging + skiing infrastructure”.

The tweets have gone viral in Bulgaria, where environmental groups are actively opposing a government plan to allow construction of a second gondola cabin lift in Bansko, Bulgaria’s largest skiing resort, by the company managing the resort, Yulen.

Activists have also warned that the new management plan of the park, which is a UNESCO-designated natural heritage site, would allow for extension of the ski zone and further construction in protected areas.

The government postponed adoption of the controversial plan, set for December 13, amid street protests in Sofia.

Citizens have been given a December 22 deadline to send in their opinions about the future development of Pirin as a part of the public discussion.

However, Bulgaria’s deputy prime ministers, Krasimir Karakachanov and Valeri Simeonov, from the nationalist United Patriots coalition, have strongly backed the development plan and have urged its swift adoption on December 28.

“There will be a lift in Bansko,” Karakachanov told Darik Radio on December 16, calling the environmental protests a “racket”.


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