The Economic Policy and Tourism Committee chaired by Mr. Petar Kanev and the Culture and Media Committee, chaired by Ms. Polina Karastoyanova of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria hosted a meeting with Bulgarian Cartographic Association (BCA). The meeting is the highlight of a series of events that Bulgaria organized on the occasion of the International Map Year 2015–2016.

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The main topic of the meeting was the use of geospatial information in the economic and cultural development of the country. Bulgarian Cartographic Association was presented by leading Bulgarian scientists and experts who opened the discussion on six main issues and achieved agreement on several action streams.

Both Parliamentary Committees supported the idea of organizing cartographic exhibition in the National Assembly building on the occasion of the International Map Year Map Day. The exhibition will present the achievements of the Bulgarian cartography and its place at international level. It will also outline the cartography as an important pillar in the human knowledge.

Both Parliamentary Committees accepted the invitation to participate in the 6th International Conference on Cartography and GIS (ICC & GIS) that will take place in Bulgaria in June 2016. As the Conference is organized every two years, the Committees committed to facilitate the inclusion of the next event of the series in the calendar of Bulgarian EU Presidency in 2018.

The establishment of a National Committee for coordination of the GEO’s (Group of Earth Observations) objectives and implementation of the strategic plan to build a global system for Earth observation (Global Earth Observation System of Systems, GEOSS) was fully supported by the Parliamentary Committees. The idea was also embraced by scientists, experts and MPs who attended the meeting. The participants were also convinced in the need for amendments to the Law of geodesy and cartography which goal would be to improve the quality and the competitiveness of the Bulgarian cartographic products.

BCA proposed the establishment of a national fund “Bulgarian cartographic heritage”. The Committees fully supported the idea and the regulation of the fund as part of the cultural heritage of the country. With this regard, a BCA representative will be consulting the Parliamentary Committee on local names during the process development of knowledge base with geospatial information.

At the end of the meeting, BCA donated maps and atlases to the National Assembly Library. This is the second time BCA donates cartographic products to the community. The first donation was made to the Library of the United Nations in New York.

– Temenoujka Bandrova
President of the Bulgarian Cartographic Association