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Structure and Activity

“Physical Geography” Division

This division conducts various research related to the regularities of the formation and the spatial distribution of natural conditions and resources, the differentiation of the natural territorial systems, occurrence of hazardous natural processes and phenomena and their risk assessment, the human-environmental interaction and the degree of anthropogenic load on the territory. The “Physical Geography” Division explores mainly the territory of Bulgaria and its regions.

Main scientific areas and activities:

  • Research and analysis of the current state and problems of relief, climate, waters and landscapes;
  • Climate change and human health;
  • Pollution of natural geosystems and their components (air, river and underground waters, soils and vegetation);
  • Spatial differentiation and natural potential of the landscapes in Bulgaria;
  • Integrated monitoring of model karst geosystems in Bulgaria aiming to reveal the contemporary impacts of global changes on the evolution of karst.

In the “Physical Geography” Division functions:


“Economic and Social Geography” Division

This division performs fundamental and applied research in the field of geography of the population and settlements, socio-economic geography and regional development, in accordance with national interests and priorities, and global trends; the division conducts research and performs expert activity within projects and programs of international, national and regional significance, elaborates projections of the demographic and socio-economic development of the country as a whole and its administrative-territorial units; the division prepares highly qualified experts, puts out scientific papers and promotes the research results in various ways including the media, cooperates with research, training and other organizations at both national and international level; the division is a member of international organizations and as such it participates in their activities, and provides expert support to state institutions and local governments throughout the Republic of Bulgaria.

Main scientific areas and activities:

  • Analysis of the spatial disparities in the course of demographic and socio-economic processes throughout the national territory and its relation to the European spatial structure;
  • The impact of global socio-economic changes on the production of goods and services at national, regional and local level;
  • Complex assessment of the conditions and factors for sustainable development of the socio-economic systems; spatial planning and management;
  • Socio-economic transformation and problems in the development of mountainous, rural, border and protected areas;
  • Demographic processes and their spatial manifestation;
  • Impact of the European Cohesion Policies on the regional development at various territorial levels – European, national, regional and local;
  • Research related to the concepts, development, monitoring and implementation of national, regional and municipal policies in Bulgaria;
  • The development of tourism in Bulgaria; tourism regions; analysis and assessment of sustainable tourism development resources; cultural-historical heritage.

“Geographic Information Systems” Division

The “GIS” (Geographic Information Systems) Division conducts scientific and applied research in the field of spatial differentiation, dynamics and interaction between processes and phenomena in nature and society through the application of a complex research approach with the use of modern geoinformation technologies and geospatial methods. The “GIS” Division develops spatial databases and expands the existing geographical database of Bulgaria, using GIS and innovative approaches for data processing and storage. Modern geoinformation technologies for cartographic visualization and creation of cartographic products are used, while scientific support is provided in environmental monitoring and in the process of informed decision-making in the field of regional development, planning and management.

The main scientific and research priorities of the “GIS” Division can be divided into the following main groups:

  • Development of scientific-applied and innovative activities for the creation, maintenance and use of geoinformation products related to environmental research and risk processes, as well as phenomena of natural and anthropogenic origin;
  • Exploring the regularities of the geo- and ecosystems in Bulgaria by using geoinformation technologies for the purposes of the geo- and ecosystems’ sustainable development;
  • Development of spatial models and GIS applications for assessment and mapping of ecosystem services;
  • Spatial analysis, modeling and assessment of the impact of global climate change on environmental components and the role of alternative energy sources for sustainable use.

Education and qualification

  • Development of doctoral programs and training of PhD students;
  • Teaching and publishing activities;
  • Publishing of scientific papers and popular/informative literature.