The State Forestry Agency (EFA), Council of Ministers, Bulgaria

The State Forestry Agency (EFA) is a specialised agency of the Council of Ministers in charge of
developing and implementing the state forestry and gaming policy of Bulgaria. The Forestry Directorate of the EFA has responsibilities to organise, control and co-ordinate the activities related to creation, renovation and management of the state forests; more precisely activities related to the development, inventory, productivity assessment and change detection are main functions of the EFA. The EFA also organises and manages the creation, maintenance,  recording and use of the special maps and registers for lands and forests belonging to the forestry cadastre.

The Information Activities Directorate of the SFA provides the integration of the agency’s information systems to the systems of the other state administration divisions. The directorate organizes and controls the design and creation of the information system for the forests of the Republic of Bulgaria. In order to fulfil their functions the above mentioned directorates rely on the update of the so-called Forest Management Plans (FMPs). The FMPs are produced in GIS format in scale 1:10 000 and contain specific attributive information for the forest type, tree species, height density, as well as other environmental attributes such as elevation, soil, erosion types etc.

The FMPs also contain specific information concerning infrastructure in the forested areas as well as fire precaution infrastructure. The period of update of the FMPs is 10 years. This long period of update of the FMPs very often is an obstacle for preparation of updated annual plans, reports and statistics. Additionally many activities outlined in the FMPs cannot be monitored and later verified because of the lack of updated information for the forest cover and forest area changes. Thus there is an urgent need for an optimal cost effective instrument which would allow annual monitoring of the changes occurring in the forested area.