The knowledge on the air pollution status in the cross border area of Burgas – Kirklareli is important for protection of human health, for preservation of natural ecosystems, for sustainable agricultural and tourism activities, as well as for the conservation of the cultural/historical monuments, especially under the conditions of climate change. In principal, the Burgas- Kirklareli region is poorly covered with air quality monitoring stations, placed as a rule in bigger towns or industrial areas, and thus non representative for the rural regions, national parks or protected areas. Current air pollution assessments are, however, based on this limited and sparse information. Moreover, important indicators for agriculture and forests, as acidity and chemical composition of precipitation, ozone and heavy metals concentrations, are not measured.
       This project aims at collection of new information, crucial for air pollution estimates for this remote and predominantly rural cross- border area. The new information will be provided by application of advanced numerical models for the transport of air pollutants and through analysis of the chemical composition of deposition samples at selected sites.

Project Objectives

       The overall goal of the project is to raise public awareness on air pollution status and its effect on the ecological, cultural and historical heritage, as well as on the agricultural lands in the Burgas-Kirklareli region, based on sound scientific ground. Additional objective is to establish collaboration contacts as a first step towards future more comprehensive joint studies on air pollution and its adverse effects in the region.
       The specific objectives are related to collection of new information on air pollution and its dissemination and are as follows:
       1. To investigate the anthropogenic air pollution in the cross border region based on appropriate numerical modeling;
       2. To assess the chemical composition of precipitation (main anions and cations, concentrations of heavy metals, acidity and electrical conductivity) based on field experiments in specific 2 locations in the Bourgas District and 2 locations in Kırklareli Province;
       3. To identify, analyze and assess common and/or cross-border air pollution issues in the region;
       4. To disseminate project results to interested authorities at local level with relation to sustainable agriculture, tourism and economy in the region;
       5. To rise public awareness in the region towards environmental protection, cultural heritage and general quality of life.

Expected results:

       1. Joint assessment of air pollution status and main anthropogenic emissions in Burgas and Kirklareli Regions;
       2. Harmonisation of sampling procedures for dry, wet and combined deposition;
       3. Characterisation of the chemical composition of precipitation (main anions and cations, heavy metals), pH- and electrical conductivity;
       4. Maps of ground level concentrations of main air pollutants for typical meteorological situations in the cross border region;
       5. Establishment of contacts and strengthening contacts between research groups at both sides on environmental issues;
       6. Better collaboration between local authorities, scientists and stakeholders in the cross-border region of Burgas and Kirklareli;
       7. Improved public awareness on air pollution issues and possible impacts on humans, agriculture, ecosystems and cultural heritage.