62nd CIC General Assembly
23-25 April
Pravets, Bulgaria
Healthy wildlife – healthy people

Dear hunters,

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Welcome to Bulgaria! We are awaiting you with warm hospitality, and I am sure you will have the opportunity to learn about our hunting traditions and achievements in hunting and wildlife conservation.

Bulgaria is a country rich in nature and biodiversity. In our forests we still have bears, wolves, jackals, wild cats, red deer and fallow deer, mouflons, roe deer, wild goats, boars, and many other small European mammals. You will also find many big European raptors: bearded eagle, golden eagle, Egyptian vulture, griffon vulture, hawks, falcons, owls, owlets, and many other birds.

It is a great honor for me to welcome the CIC members on behalf of 130 000 Bulgarian hunters for the 62nd General Assembly in Pravets.

I would also like to thank the CIC Council for selecting Bulgaria to be the host of such an important event.

We are honored and perceive it as recognition of our efforts in wildlife and nature conservation.

Bulgaria is a country of ancient hunting traditions, shown by multiple frescos found in the discovered vaults, votive tablets, ornaments and other artifacts.

Hunting has been an activity easily accessed for all Bulgarian citizens for centuries. Hunters themselves, organized by the Union of Hunters and Anglers in Bulgaria, and the general attitude towards hunting in the Bulgarian society contribute to this situation

I would like to emphasize that the extraordinary prestige of our 117-year-old National Hunting Organization is a result of our consistent acts and efforts concerning wildlife conservation and reproduction in Bulgaria, which is increasing in recognition and approval by our society.

Dear partners, we are living under conditions of a continuously changing world. Problems in nature are increasing and are not isolated from these dynamics. Therefore, the role of the CIC is so extremely important, as a recognized world authority for wildlife and nature conservation, as a desired partner of the most important international organizations and countries all over the world.

I am absolutely sure that all discussions that are to be held, and all decisions that are to be adopted by the 62nd General Assembly of the CIC shall be very favorable for our common future, enabling us to give our children and grandchildren a world of pure and healthy nature.

I wish you successful work and pleasant days in Bulgaria, my mother country!

Ivan Petkov, Head of Bulgarian Delegation of C.I.C. and Chairman of the Union of Hunters and Anglers in Bulgaria.

DEAR MR. LOZÉ,

DEAR DELEGATES AND GUESTS OF THE 62ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR GAME AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION,

Wildlife conservation plays essential role in the efforts for biodiversity preservation and improvement of the natural environment at global scale. The ambition of humanity to forward the current natural wealth to the future generations is reflected in a number of international conventions and agreements. The EU legislation is very strict in this regard and determines the leading position of EU in environmental protection. Bulgaria is a country with an extraordinary beautiful nature. It has centuries-old traditions related to the wildlife conservation and hunting. As part of the European family we have the great responsibility to preserve and enrich the incredible diversity of flora and fauna that nature has granted us. That is why it is great honor for us to be the host country of this high international forum, which highly contributes to sustainable use and management of wildlife.

Organized hunting in Bulgaria has 130 years of history and Bulgarian hunting trophies are present at international hunting exhibitions ever since 1930. Our country is inhabited by 42 game species, of which 16 mammals and 26 birds. Among them are: red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, wild boar, mouflon, wild goat, capercaille, pheasants, gray partridges, rock partridges and passages of migratory birds - quail, geese and snipe. Bulgarian hunting trophies are appreciated over the years with 2850 gold, 1635 silver and 1087 bronze medals. Bulgaria has submitted 4 world records of red deer, the present one being unsurpassed for 24 years now - 1990 (Nitra) with 273,60 CIC points. The world record for wild cat estimated to 82,99 CIC points is also Bulgarian. The Bulgarian national record for wild boar (158,20 CIC points) was also a world record for 24 years (until 2004).

Every year Bulgaria welcomes many hunting fans and nature lovers from Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and other countries. They hunt mainly red deer, fallow deer, mouflons and wild boars and most of the shot trophies receive different medals. This proves the high professionalism of Bulgarian hunting experts who intensively manage around 600 000 ha hunting territories and apply the principles of selective hunting.

Hunting exists ever since the dawn of human civilization and its specificity builds an atmosphere of cooperation, friendship and trust between people. For centuries, the organization of joint hunting has been used as a successful diplomatic means for resolving conflicts and convergence of positions.

In economic terms, the development of hunting activities affects also other sectors - manufacturing of specialized equipment, clothing, weapons, ammunition, off-road vehicles, fuel, feed. This creates prerequisites for improving the employment and for some specific activities new job positions are opened in remote mountainous areas with high rate of unemployment.

That is why the Ministry of Agriculture and Food is honored to accept the organization of 62nd General Assembly of the International Council for game and wildlife conservation as opportunity to present the role of Bulgaria as important factor in the development of game management and hunting tourism and to serve as a forum for strengthening the contacts in these activities and in the field of sustainable management of wildlife and biodiversity conservation.

I wish you successful work and a pleasant stay in our beautiful country.

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD

DESISLAVA TANEVA