The natural landscape of Bulgaria is diverse, consisting of lowlands, plains, foothills and plateaus, river valleys and mountains of varying elevations. Three national parks have been established in the country: Pirin National Park (a UNESCO natural heritage site), Rila National Park, and the Central Balkans National Park. There are also 11 nature reserves.
Bulgarians have developed their culture and enriched it over the millennia, and they preserve it and continue to develop it to the present day. Rose picking is just one of the many Bulgarian traditions that are kept and cherished by locals. The Rose is the symbol of Bulgaria.
- Urban areas are particularly affected by air pollution mostly due to energy production from coal-based power plants, outdated factories, metallurgy works and automobile traffic, especially due to a rapid increase in motor vehicles using leaded fuel.
- Pesticide use in the agriculture, as well as the inability to filter effluents into rivers, leading to concentrations of untreated sewage, heavy metals and detergents have resulted in extensive water pollution. Bulgaria's rivers and the Black Sea are seriously affected by industrial and chemical pollutants. However, nearly 100% of the population has access to safe drinking water.
- Soil pollution is also present due to contamination from industrial by-products and the heavy metals that are produced by the metallurgical plants.
- Severe deforestation, mostly caused by illegal logging and forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain is another significant problem. Almost 25% of Bulgaria's forests have been damaged by airborne pollutants.
- In addition, Bulgaria remains the only EU member which does not recycle municipal waste, although an electronic waste recycling plant was put in operation in June 2010. The situation has improved in recent years, and several government-funded programs have been initiated in order to reduce pollution levels.
- The 4 reactors of Bulgaria’s only nuclear plant, the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, were declared unsafe in the early 1990s, but the first reactor closure occurred only in 2003.
- Climate change is likely to affect Bulgaria in a number of ways. Over the last years there have been unprecedented floods, while average summer temperatures have risen considerably. There is evidence of a trend towards desertification and pressure on water resources, especially in southern regions of the country, along with signs of gradual northward migration of various plant and animal species. Bulgarian scientists anticipate the spread of desertification, with the climate in Bulgaria becoming sub-tropical by the period from 2050 to 2080. A number of traditionally cultivated crops are expected to become unviable and expectations include the growth and spread of pest and disease species hitherto unseen in Bulgaria and resilient to the new climatic conditions.
- National Programme for Waste Management for 2009-2013 period
- National Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation (adopted in 2009, updated in 2010)
- National strategy for developing and managing the water sector by 2015
- National strategic plan for the stage by stage reduction of biodegradable waste for disposal. (2010 - 2020)
- Project for National Strategy for waste management of construction and demolition for the period 2020 (under preparation)
- Energy Strategy on Bulgaria until 2020
- National Long Term Programme for Encouraging the Use of Biomass 2008-2020
- National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency 2008-2010
- National Action Plan for Renewable Energy (2010)
- National Development Plan for organic farming in Bulgaria for 2007-2013
- National Programme for Fisheries and Aquaculture 2009-2013
- Programme for priorities in the Development of Bulgarian Agriculture for 2009-2013
- National Programme for the Support of Sustainable Development of Fisheries 2008-2013
- National Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of Lands and Combating of Desertification 2007-2013
- National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Forest Sector In Bulgaria 2006-2015
At 3 % of GDP, revenues from environmental taxes are the fifth highest in the EU (2.6 %). This is due to high revenue from energy taxation, which — at 2.7 % of GDP — is the second highest in the EU (1.9 %). This again reflects the strong reliance of the country on revenues from indirect taxes and the high share of excise duties in total taxation, almost 50 % of which comes only from excise duties on fuel. Consequently, the country ranks also second in revenues from energy taxes levied on transport fuel – 2.6 % of GDP in 2009, while transport taxes excluding fuel are of somewhat lesser importance amounting to only 0.3 % of GDP.