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BULGARIAN HUMIC SUBSTANCES SOCIETY

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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 organizations statutes. The last changes were registered in the Inscribed Agency on the 21 of December 2012.
   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 expected.
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 Future.
   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 Conference.
   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 utilization.
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 UNESCOs 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 states.
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.

 

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ISS "N. POUSHKAROV", 7, Shousse Bankya Str., 1080 Sofia, Bulgaria; Tel: +359 2  824 87 44; -mail: bhss_2009@abv.bg