А new investigation into the financial schemes in the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) has come across a terrifying scheme to drain the budget through the "green terrorists" favorite of counting birds, fish, butterflies and establishing the habitats of... mosses. Documents available to the editors show how BGN 4.2 million were buried due to Agreement D-33-19 of July 8, 2022 between the Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Museum of Natural History (NPM).
The ultimate goal of the document is to delegate to the museum an atypical activity - consultation and support for the collection, analysis and interpretation of data on types of natural habitats and species for the purposes of the National System for Monitoring the State of Biological Diversity (NSMSBR) and the policy on the protection of biological variety of value.
Behind the loud name lies the observation and collection of information on the distribution of brown bear (Ursus arctos), European laluger (Spermophillus citellus), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), wild cat (Felis silvestris), birds such as three-toed woodpecker, white-backed woodpecker, large water bull, crayfish, boxwood moth, orchids/saleps and other species throughout the country.
The principle of the mechanism for carrying out scientific consultations by the BAS is that, in the case of a need for specific expertise, the executive authorities send a request to the Minister of Education and Science, who, in turn, assigns the scientific consultation based on the request approved by the contracting authority ( Ministry of Education of Borislav Sandov and Toma Belev) and BAS.
According to Art. 2 of Ministerial Decree No. 3 of January 10, 2020, the BAS provides scientific consultations on nationally assigned activities by executive authorities REGARDING A SPECIFIC POLITICAL ISSUE OR SECTOR WHERE ADDITIONAL SCIENTIFIC EXPERTISE OR SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT IS NECESSARY, EXPERIENTAL OR REQUIRED.
Scientific advice can be provided as opinion, expertise, recommendation and assessment. The question arises, however, how was the judgment made that the subject of this agreement was scientific consultation?
An important point is that a large part of the activities under the agreement concern the filling of data in the National Biodiversity Monitoring System (NSMBR), which is organized and managed by the Minister of Environment and Water on the basis of Art. 147 of the Environmental Protection Act.
That is, it is not a matter of a specific issue or of complementary scientific expertise on the part of the BAS, but of a comprehensive activity, the implementation of which is entirely the responsibility of the Minister of the Environment, in this case – Borislav Sandov.
It is a curious fact, which should already arouse the interest of the prosecutor's office, that the Executive Agency for the Environment, as a structure directly subordinate to the MoEW, was the beneficiary of a European project that has a direct relation to the collection of field data in 2022, for which Borislav Sandov and Toma Belev generously buried another 4.2 million BGN.
Soon you will get the third part of the series about scams in the Ministry of Education and Culture, to learn how BGN 310,000 was spent without a public order for the purchase of a car, boat, multimedia, etc. for bird, fish and butterfly enumerators.