The Bulgarian Humic Substances
Society was established on December 2nd, 1997. It is registered
in the court on the 8 of May 1998 as a non profit organization
(NGO), re-registered in the court on the 25 June 2002, 14 January
2009 and - 3 December 2012 after elections for New board of the
society and the changes in the organization’s statutes. The last
changes were registered in the Inscribed Agency on the 21 of
The initial number of members was 25 but in the two following years
they increased up to 61. These scientists and researchers belong to
the following scientific organizations and state institutions: N.
Poushkarov Institute of Soil Science, and Agrotechnology and Plant
Protection, Sofia; Institute of Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy,
Sofia; University of Forestry, Sofia; Institute of Forestry, BAS,
Sofia; High Agricultural Institute, Plovdiv; Dobroudga Agricultural
Institute, Gen. Toshevo, Sofia University; Forage Crop Institute,
Pleven; Institute of Organic Chemistry, BAS, Ministry of
Agriculture. Most of the bulgarian members belongs to the ISSAPP N.
Poushkarov, Sofia. The Board of Directors of the Society elected
periodically at the National Meetings. The Society was officially
registered in Court on May 8th, 1998.
The Bulgarian Humic Substances
Society enrolls scientists and specialists who are interested in
humic substances of various nature and provenance, such as soil,
coal, peat, sediments and organic wastes, and are involved with
topics related to soil genesis, agriculture, horticulture,
floriculture, ecology, geology, geography, medicine and industry.
Many studies concern:
a) characteristics of HS from soils,
coal and sediments; b) composition of humus including its
implications in soil classification; c) organic carbon reserves in
Bulgarian soils; d) theoretical studies on the initial humus
formation in anthropogenic and artificial soils; e) development of
products, methods and technologies to maintain and increase soil
humus content; f) utilization of organic wastes and impact on
natural HS; g) organic farming; h) management of initial humus
formation using mineral and organo-mineral amendments; i) HS
complexes with heavy metals and radionuclides in soils and
sediments; j) development and utilization of organic and organo-mineral
media for plant growth; k) development of bulgarian and
international projects aiming to maintain and to increase soil
humus, to utilize organic wastes, and to perform land reclamation;
l) monitoring the humus state in bulgarian soils.
The main goal of the Bulgarian Humic Substances Society (BHSS)
is to organize, support and to stimulate scientific investigations
on humic substances, and to promote their practical application.
Forum for presentation of results and achievements in this direction
are at national and abroad scientific meetings.
Bulgarian Humic substances Society organized three conferences:
The first Conference of the Bulgarian chapter
of IHSS was held in Borovetz, Sofia region, 11-12 May, 2000. It
is remarkable that main organizers of the Conference were
particularly the women of the chapter, very enthusiastic scientists,
who were able to prepare and mail invitations, circular letters and
meeting programs, to publish the Proceeding book and distribute them
to all attendees, and to hold the meeting in Borovetz without any
private or public financial support except registration and
membership fees. The Conference was jointly organized by the
Bulgarian chapter of the IHSS and the Bulgarian Tillage Society.
Participants were approximately 70, 40 of which were members of the
Bulgarian Humic Substances Society.
The papers of the first National Conference could be grouped in the
following several themes: Characteristics of HS from coal, water and
sediments; Bulgarian contribution to HS research; HS in soil
classification and land evaluation; Development and utilization of
organic and organo-mineral media for plant growing; Changes in C, N
and HS after different tillage systems, long-term fertilization and
application of sewage sludges; HS formation during decomposition
processes of plant residues and humification processes of low
molecular weight organic compounds; OM in the initial process of
soil formation in reclaimed lands. The deep and thorough discussion
dealt with a number of interesting items. Recommendations were
directed to the improvement of HS investigations and their
agricultural and environmental applications, to the promotion of
future activities and to the creation of multidisciplinary teams and
research topics, especially in conjunction with international
partners. As many as 52 papers (34 of our members), mostly in
English, were presented at the Conference. Given the great interest
and the large participation to the first national conference, the
Bulgarian chapter of the IHSS has agreed to organize its national
conference every two years. Future scientific programs will show a
wider range of topics and possibly an international participation is
The proceeding book was handed in to the President of the IHSS at
the meeting of national co-ordinators during the 10th International
Meeting of IHSS, 24-28 July, Toulouse, France.
The second conference was held 2003 as national with
international participation. Over than 50 scientists from the
institutes belonging to Bulgarian Academy of Scienses, Agricultural
Academy, Universities, Ministries and private firms, as well as 12
scientists from the Belgium, Netherlands, Russia and Macedonia took
part at the conference. The Conference was sponsored by Agricultural
Academy, ISSAPP „N. Poushkarov”, Ministry of Environment and Waters,
Maritsa-iztok JSCo. Papers (53) were published in English in a
special edition of Journal of Ecological Science “Ecology and
The importance of the second Conference of organic matter was
highly assessed from the world scientific society and humic experts
of European Union. During the Conference was emphasized that
irrational human activities would cause drastically declining of
humus and provoke a permanent decreasing of soil fertility. The
situation in Bulgaria concerning the soil organic matter content and
quality is anxiously. Annually the stubbles are burning. This
destroys soil organic matter and causes forest fires. Group of
scientists from our chapter developed an application for a project
and applied it to the Ministry of Environment and Waters in
Bulgaria. They are interested in, but unfortunately from
that time up to now it was not financed.
Several members of Bulgarian chapter apply a project titled
“Defining the Possible SLM Options Based on the Organic Carbon
Reserves in the Bulgarian Soils” to the UNDP in August 2007. The end
of the year was developed maps for organic carbon stocks in the
Bulgarian soils for 0-25 cm, 0-50 and 0-100 cm.
The third national conference “Humus Substances -
Innovation in Science and Practice” was organized by Bulgarian
Humus Substances Society, Bulgarian chapter of IHSS in collaboration
with Institute of Soil Science, Agrotechnology and Plant Protection
“N. Poushkarov”, Agricultural Academy, Dobroudja Agricultural
Institute, Research Organization and Manufacture of Bioproducts (ROMB),
State Enterprise “Radioactive Waste”. The conference took place in
Sofia with international participation. 75 scientists took part in
The main topics of the Conference were:
1. Characteristics and properties of humus substances
2. Humus state and soil fertility
3. Composting and composts utilization
4. Industrial humus substances – properties, technology and
The opening session, oral presentations and poster session took
place in the ISSAPP “N. Poushkarov”, from September 12-14, 2011.
Scientific excursion was organized for the first time (September
14-16, 2011). The round table session titled “Humus Substances and
their Role in the Organic Farming” and an exhibition of humus
products took place in Dobroudja Agricultural Institute, General
Toshevo. Participants were invited to visit the experimental fields
of the institute.
The total number of papers presented was 59 (4 from Slovac
Republic, Greece and Spain). 21 were oral presentations, and the
remaining contribution were as posters.
The way of scientific excursion passed through the ancient capital
of Bulgaria Veliko Tarnovo, an important administrative, economic,
educational and cultural centre of Northern Bulgaria.
The modern agricultural technical facilities and the tillage system was
performed in the “Aleksievi brothers” firm, situated closed to the
Dobroudja Agricultural Institute.
Participants visited “ROMB” company service (Silistra city). The
company produces humic and microbiological products from coal which
could be used in medicine, food industry, cosmetics and perfumery.
The Regional Solid Waste Landfill, Silistra was visited as well.
The waste landfill was put into service on September 7th 2006. It
was funded by the ISPA programme, which fully corresponds to the EU
environmental requirements concerning waste management,
environmental protection and human health.
The reserve “Srebarna”, one of the most interesting wetlands
in Europe with an exceptional variety of plant and animal species,
was visited. Since 1983, Srebarna is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage
list. The flora is represented by 67 species of plants, some of
which are rare in Europe. Microclimate, flora, fauna and other
conditions of “Srebarna” lake allow settlement of over 100 bird
species, including the Dalmatian pelican, the only colony in the
country and the largest in the Balkans.
The third Conference of Humic Substances is appreciated both
by the international scientific community and by experts on humus
investigations from the European Union. However the basic research
of organic matter present in the country is not systematic. Public
bodies responsible for science policy are committed to supporting
this kind of research. As a result, it does not provide the
necessary support for modern laboratory equipment, without which
most of these studies are impossible. With the agronomic research
direction in Bulgarian soils are significant, however, remain a
number of important unresolved issues. Research and practice showed
that the most favourable conditions for humification of plant
residues are available in minimum tillage system. The effect of
these processing systems can be significantly increased if they are
combined with intensive recycling of crop residues. In environmental
terms soil humus can be viewed as a highly dynamic open system that
is in thermodynamic equilibrium with the environment. Water erosion
is a major factor in the distribution of soil organic carbon stocks
and therefore is primarily involved in the cycle of organic C,
atmospheric CO2 and global warming. Studies in our country about the
role of soil organic matter as a factor blocking effects of
contaminants in soil, most were constrained by a lack of resources
and adequate equipment. At this conference were presented several
studies concerning this topic.
The conference considers:
1. Studies on the effects of humus substances on the productive
potential of the soil to be regarded as one of the key requirements
for improving agricultural technology;
2. Bulgarian Humic Substances Society to initiate the development of
a national research program to be harmonized with EU requirements
and reflect national interest;
3. To establish lasting and effective cooperation within the
European program of BAS institutes, universities and EU member
4. Organic matter contents to be presented as organic carbon in
g/kg, as implemented in many European countries.
There are many cases in our country of merciless destruction of
organic matter from the criminal burning of stubble and cause forest
fires. In matters of irrational human activities that can lead to a
sharp decrease of humus in the soil and cause permanent and
irreversible decline in soil fertility, it was broadcast on NTV with
the President of the Society.