Conclusions

Based on our findings, the following recommendations should be implemented.

1. Better integrate eco- and water (including the neglected ground water) policy in agrarian regions; develop policies to enforce long-term eco-measures.

17 There are still 333 abandoned storehouses in 324 locations for 2,050 t pesticides (EEA).

2. Apply integral approach of soil, water and biodiversity management in planning, funding, management, monitoring, controlling and assessment at all levels with involving all stakeholders in decision-making process. Eco-system services, life-cycle, water accounts, and other modern approaches need to be incorporated into program management.

3. Improve coordination and efficiency of actions between various public and private agents involved in water and eco-management.

4. Better define, regulate, and further privatize (collectivize) property, user, management, trading, discharge rights and assets related to water resources, ecosystem services, and diverse emissions and wastes.

5. Employ a greater range of instruments including appropriate pricing, quotas, public funding and insurance, taxing, and interlinking to improve water use efficiency and risk sharing, prevent over-intensification and the negative effect on water resources, and support farms adaptation to changing environment.

6. Ensure adequate water and eco-data collection, monitoring, and independent assessment including agricultural benefits and effects; waters quality; total costs; water-foot prints; effects of climate change; existing and likely risks etc. Assure mechanisms for timely disclosure and effective communication to decision-makers, stakeholders and public at large.

7. Better adapt CAP instruments to specific Bulgarian conditions supporting farm modernization and adaptation, and irrigation, drainage and flood protection innovations; relaxing EU criteria for semi-market and young farmers; directing funds to prospective (Farm modernization and adaptation, Young farmers) and unsupported (Organic livestock) measures; and better implementing planed environmental measures.

8. Employ hybrid (public-private, public-collective) modes given coordination, incentives, and control advantages. Public organization and enforcement of most eco-standards is very difficult (especially in huge informal sectors and remote areas). Public support to voluntary initiatives of professional, community and non-governmental organizations (informing, training, assisting, funding, risk-sharing), and assistance in cooperation at eco-system, watershed, trans-regional and trans-border levels will be more efficient. Effective (real) participation of farmers and stakeholders in priority setting, management, and assessment of public programs and regulations at all levels is to be institutionalized.

9. Improve eco- and water education and training of farmers, administrators, and public modernizing Agricultural Education and Advisory Service which are to reach all agents through effective methods of education, advice and information suited to their specific needs; set up a system for continued training and sharing of experiences; include eco and water management and climate change issues; cooperate closely with other academic institutions and private organizations.

10. Improve the overall institutional environment and public governance perfecting property rights protection and laws and contracts enforcement, combating mismanagement and corruption in public sector, removing restrictions for market, private and collective initiatives.

11. Give more support to understanding agricultural water use and effects,18 and multidisciplinary research on various aspects, factors and effects of eco- and water governance. Currently, efforts ofEcologists, Technologists, Climatologists, Economists, Layers, Behavioral Scientists are rarely united; most studies focus on individual aspect of sustainability or formal modes; normative (ideal or model in other countries) rather comparative (between feasible alternatives) approach is employed; and significant social (third-party, recovery, transaction etc.) costs ignored.

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