GIS for Natura 2000 among the Top 25 GIS Projects in Europe

The GIS for Natura 2000 of the Ministry of Environment and Water won a prestigious international award for special achievements in GIS.

Sofia, 18th of July, 2014 – The unified information system of protected areas of ecological network “Natura 2000”, received one of the highest international awards in the area of Geographical information systems. The project was awarded in category “Special Achievement in the field of Geographic Information Systems” in the category “GIS projects outside the United States” at the Esri User Conference 2014 in San Diego, California.

Esri User Conference is the biggest event in the world of geographic information systems. This year Esri, Inc., celebrated more than 170 organizations in the framework of the special awards ceremony, including project Natura 2000, which found a place among the top 25 GIS projects on the Old continent. The nomination and award were presented by the President of Esri, Inc., Jack Dangermond in front of audience of more than 16 000 people, representatives of governments, central and local power, NGOs and academic society, from all economic sectors worldwide.


“Every day, people and organizations are improving our world and driving change through geospatial technology,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond. “We are humbled by their passion and deeply appreciative of their tireless work. It’s an honor for us to recognize their efforts and it’s something that I personally look forward to every year.”


Ministry of Environment and Waters, together with the selected Consortium “Natura-GIS”, with a leading member ESRI Bulgaria, designed and implemented the unified information system of protected areas of ecological network “Natura 2000”. The system is built on Esri ArcGIS platform and supports preservation, planning and management in the framework of the ecological network. For the successful implementation of the project were processed, validated, verified and integrated terabytes of data, which were subsequently charged in a total of 988 layers in the geodatabase system. In addition, for the purposes of applying the EU INSPIRE Directive a specific geographic database was built with harmonized data, published via special Geoportal.

The system includes public application, providing public access to current information for the spatial scale, location and functional status of protected areas. This ensures transparency in the conduct of administrative procedures. The public part of the application is available at: