Natural Characteristics of Slovenia
Status of Biodiversity at Species Level
Status of Biodiversity at Ecosystem Level
Scrub & Grassland Ecosystems
Agricultural Ecosystems & Cultural Landscape
Genetic Resources, Important for Agriculture
Threats To & Loss of Biodiversity
Legislation & Policy
Organisation of Nature Conservation
The Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
Co-operation & Partnership
Useful Addresses & Links
Compiled by: Peter Skoberne
Natural Characteristics of Slovenia
Republic of Slovenia covers 20,256 sq. km with a population of 2,020,00 inhabitants (1992), the population density is about 100/sq. km. Slovenija is situated in the southeastern part of the Alps and on the most nothern part of the Balkan Penninsula, bordering Italy in the west, Austria in the north, Hungary in the east and Croatia in the south.
Slovenia encompasses four biogeographical systems - Mediterranean, Pannonian, Alpine and Dinaric (Map 1). A significant biological and landscape diversity (Table 1) within a relatively small territory is one of the main characteristics of Slovenia. It is greatly supported by different types of climate, geological structure, varied relief and great differences in altitude (from 0 - 2864 m, 600 m being the average). From west to east the climate is changing from mediterannean to continental, which is demonstrated by the annual amount of precipitation (2,000 - 3,000 mm in the Alps in the west, 700 mm in the east of the country).
It can be summarised that Slovenia has a significant value in biodiversity which is due to the following characteristics:
It has rich biological and landscape diversity on small surface area;
It shows high diversity and endemism in troglobiontic species;
It is a corridor area and an ecotone between Dinaric mountains and the Alps; the Pannonian plain and Mediterranean basin;
It covers a relatively large forest ecosystem complex with vital populations of big mammals (brown bear, lynx, wolf);
It maintains natural and semi-natural ecosystems in relatively good ecological conditions;
It covers diverse pedoclimatic characteristics.
Status of Biodiversity at Species level
Although data are still incomplete, some recent studies show that Slovenia, covering a small surface area, is extremely rich in species diversity. Currently, number of known species in Slovenia is only half of the estimated number of species expected to live in this territory (Table 2).
Endemic species are of particular conservation value. 66 taxa of endemic plants occur in Slovenia (Wraber, 1996), 22 of them are predominantly in the Slovenian territory (Mrsic, 1997), including Hladnikia pastinacifolia, Gentiana froelichii, Primula carniolica (photo), Campanula zoysii, Moehringia villosa. Hypogean taxa are extremely valuable for biodiversity and need to be conserved. For instance, more than 170 taxa leaving in interstitial and cave water systems in Slovenia show that relatively this area has the richest stygobiotic fauna in the world (Sket, 1995). Many of the species are endemic, some covering a markedly restricted range ('narrow endemics'). Proteus anguinus (photo) , for example, is a subterranean dinaric endemic species discovered in Slovenia, yet well known at the global level.
Threatened species are presented in chapter Threats To & Loss of Biodiversity.
Status of Biodiversity at Ecosystem level
Forests cover almost 1.1 million hectares or about 54 % of the territory of Slovenia (Map 2), which makes Slovenia the third most forested country in Europe (after Finland and Sweden).
Originally, mixed forests prevailed and some 70 tree species are indigenous to the Slovenian territory (Brus & Kraigher, 1996). Our forests also increased in the area they cover, from 47 per cent in 1961 to 54 per cent in 1990. While high coverage with forests in 1960s was a result of forestry practices, its increase in surface area since then has mainly been due to the spreading of forests in marginal agricultural land and traditionally sustainable forest management. As a result, 85 per cent of the forests regenerate naturally supporting conservation of native populations of tree species and enhancing genetic diversity. Moreover, in the last 50 years biomass increased for 100 cubic metres per hectare (Golob, per. comm.). Species composition in 87 per cent of the Slovenian forests is close to the potential distribution. Nine per cent of all forests has a significantly modified species composition and 4 per cent of all forests are completely modified by humans (Smolej et al., 1997).
The highly diverse ecological conditions have supported a high biodiversity at the ecosystem, species and gene levels. Common beech is the most naturally widespread tree species in Slovenia. It presents 29 per cent of the current growing stock in the country. Out of the seven native oaks, three species are on the boundary of their distribution and thus occurring in few numbers.
Most forests are utilised in more or less sustainable way, however, there are some smaller areas with virgin character (as for instance since 1892 protected forest in Rajhenavski Rog (photo).
Scrub and grassland ecosystem
Scrublands and grasslands represent a very diverse group of ecosystems in Slovenia. Scrublands prevail as the intermediate phase of the succession development. Scrublands which are a permanent phase include for example dwarf pine and green alder stands as well as willow tree stands on gravels along rivers. Natural grasslands are not very common (temporarily flooded grasslands and alpine grasslands) in Slovenia, however, from biodiversity viewpoint dry, extensively cultivated grasslands mostly on shallow carbonate bedrock are very interesting. The area of these grasslands is decreasing due to abandoning of agriculture on one hand and its intensification on the other. Only trends have been identified so far, while numerical data are not available. Wetland grasslands and reed stands are located partly in water and partly in wetland areas, therefore they are highly endangered due to melioration activities - nevertheless, they are a very important ecosystem for numerous endangered plant and animal species.
Mountain ecosystems are relatively well preserved and significant in terms of nature conservation but the number of visitors is increasing as well as the number of disturbing activities (increased air traffic, unregulated mountain biking, overcrowded mountain tracks and huts), especially in areas near to Triglav (photo), the highest mountain of Julian Alps.
Due to prevailing carbonate bedrock (53 %), appropriate climate and amount of precipitation, karst phenomena are developed in Slovenia. Trieste-Komen karst region attracted attention of researchers early in history since it was located close to important railway route. Therefore, they described karst phenomena and named some of them according to Slovene expressions (classical Kras = Karst).
Caves (photo) are a very specific and vulnerable ecosystem. Especially in water caves relatively large number of animal species live, many of which are endemic because of their isolation.
Since ancient times caves have been valued for their beauty and mysteriousness, however, they are also very convenient for dumping waste. Even today, people tend to forget about the vulnerability of karst caves as well as karst as a whole. Over 7000 caves have been registered in the cadastre of caves (Map 3). On Kanin alpine karst plateau's there are areas with over 80 caves per square kilometre.
The number of caves with recorded dumped waste or other damage raises concern; 694 caves - which is more then 10 % of all registered caves - are included in this category.
Although all kinds of waste are usually dumped into caves and especially pitfalls which in many places still serve as village dumpsites, household waste prevails. Pitfalls in the vicinity of villages and roads are the most threatened. Following incomplete survey results 694 caves are polluted or devastated (Map 4).
Inland waters: rivers and lakes - waters and water ecosystems are considered very vulnerable, diverse, and at the same time highly endangered. They are endangered due to deterioration of water quality and changes in water regimes (dams, small hydro power plants, inadequate construction and melioration schemes, etc.).
Wetlands: bogs, peat bogs (photo), fens, swamps, swamp meadows, floodplain meadows, etc. are included in this category. The group of these ecosystems is endangered mostly due to changes in hydrology, related in most cases to urbanisation, agricultural production or construction of infrastructure.
Coast and sea: from the biological diversity viewpoint the most interesting part of Slovene littoral are salt habitats (Secovlje and Strunjan salt pans, Skocjan zatok), flysh cliffs (photo) and isolated limestone promontories (the cliff in the Dragonja valley). In recent years, the pressure on land in Slovene coastal area is increasing, therefore all more or less preserved areas are highly endangered (tourism, nautical tourism, etc.).
Agricultural ecosystems and cultural landscape
At present, 36 per cent of Slovenian territory is agricultural land, of which 70 per cent belongs to the upland and mountain farms. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food classified most of this land as "less favoured areas" not being suitable for intensive agricultural production (1992), however, it still needs to be considered important for maintenance of biodiversity. According to the structure of land use in 1996, arable land represented less than 30 per cent, orchards and vineyards almost 7 per cent, meadows over 42 per cent and pastures 21 per cent of all agricultural land (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, 1997).
Structure and biodiversity of a landscape largely depend on socio-economic conditions, one of key sectors being agriculture.
Agricultural activity largely affects landscape appearance, i.e. distribution of landscape elements and their structure. Changes in agricultural policy and introduction of market economy are reflected in abandoning marginal agricultural land and intensification the production on agricultural land of higher quality. These processes cause changes in the appearance of karst and alpine pastures.
Additional peculiarity of Slovene landscape is its fine fragmentation which gives the landscape very interesting appearance, however, it is inconvenient for modern farming. Therefore, the commasation is necessary which is also reflected in landscape.
In the past there was a great agricultural pressure on wetlands and floodplains (i.e. regulation and melioration in the Vipava and Pesnica valleys). In recent years an interest for melioration of larger areas has declined, while smaller areas remain to be endangered.
Disorder in spatial policy (illegal construction, architecturally inappropriate types of buildings) has also extremely negative impact on landscape.
Damage on trees as well as considerable changes in forest soil appear during timber cutting and logging (especially on erodible terrains) and during the construction of forest roads.
Landscape diversity is a result of natural characteristics and long history of human colonisation and various land-use in the territory of Slovenia. Its main attribute is a small mosaic structure and changing appearance on short distances. Farming adopted to the natural conditions by application of different methods and thus became the main factor in development of Slovenian countryside which contributed considerably to the changing face of the Slovenian landscape.
The main bio-regions are shown also in the diversity of Slovenian landscapes, yet the transition between the Alps and the other regions is particularly outlined as "the pre-alpine landscapes" (Marusic et all., 1995). Within these regions micro-factors build up the mosaic of small characteristics and diverse landscape structures.
Genetic Resources, Important for Agriculture
Slovenia belongs to the Mediterranean and European gene centres of cultivars. Slovenia can be considered a gene centre for certain species, for example, Brassicaceae (cabbage, turnip), Alliaceae (onion, garlic), Asteraceae (lettuce, chicory), Valerianaceae (corn lettuce) and some fruits and vines, as well as grasses, clovers, medicinal and aromatic plants. In the wild we can find relatives of crop plants such as, Mycelis muralis, Lactuca serriola and Cichorium intybus. Due to extensive grassland area in Slovenia, there are many different ecotypes of grasses and clovers.
There is also a considerable number of landraces among those crops that were introduced to Slovenia more than a century ago from the other parts of the world. Maize, beans and potatoes were introduced from America during the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Due to different ecological conditions in Slovenia farmers selected many different populations adapted to the less favourable growing conditions. For example, two populations of corn named 'Bohinjska' and 'Koroska' can be cultivated for grain in the Alpine region. Many of the autochthonous populations and old cultivars got their names after their place of origin. For example, lettuce 'Ljubljanska ledenka' (also included in the European cultivar register under the name 'Laibacher Eis'), garlic 'Ptujski turnip', 'Kranjska okrogla', buckwheat 'Siva dolenjska', to mention just a few.
Slovenia has autochthonous varieties of livestock which include four races of sheep, three breeds of horses (photo) and one breed of cattle, pig, pigeons and rabbits (Kompan et al., 1996), as well as one local bee species 'Kranjska cebela' (Kompan et al., 1999).
Between 1991 and 1997, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food also provided technical and financial support for conservation of autochthonous animal races. This programme supports in-situ conservation of domestic animals all over Slovenia (Table 3).
Additionally, Dept. of Zootechnology at the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana studies the autochthounous Slovenian breeds of cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs and horses in the framework of the European Zootechnologic Federation (FEZ) and FAO.
Threats To & Loss of Biodiversity
Economic growth based on industrial, urban and agricultural development contributed to pollution of surface and ground water, soil and air and to decrease in biological and landscape diversity. While critical loads in air and soil pollution could be restricted to industrial and urban or intensive agricultural areas (i.e. Ljubljana, Celje and Maribor basins and Pannonian plain), water pollution is more widely spread and is critical in the lower reaches of many water courses (Ministry of the Enivironment and Spatial planning, 1996). As a result, the main threats to biodiversity are:
changes in agriculture practices (technology, intensification; abandonment of less favoured areas for agriculture, use of new cultivars and hybrids, promotion of mono-culture)
introduction of agriculture practices in the wilderness areas (virgin forest area of Kocevje)
infrastructure development (motorway construction)
drainage of wetlands (land reclamation for economic development)
lack of control measures and non-compliance with legal measures
lack of public awareness
introduction of alien and invasive species to and between regions within the country
air and water pollution
The most critical direct consequences on biodiversity occur at the ecosystem, species and gene levels and include:
ecosystem and habitat fragmentation (due to development)
ecosystem degradation / deterioration and habitat loss (due to pollution)
disturbance of wildlife in natural areas (due to infrastructure development in remote mountain and forest areas)
genetic pollution and species loss
Decline in plant and animal species has been shown by application of the IUCN categories of threatened species. Slovenian flora consisting of some 3,200 known taxa of vascular plants (3266 listed according Martincic et all., 1999), 330 of which are included in the national Red Data List (Wraber & Skoberne, 1989). Of these threatened species 30 are ranked extinct (Ex), 34 endangered (E), 77 vulnerable (V), 189 rare (R) as presented in chart 1.
Of the 423 recorded vertebrate taxa of Slovenian wild fauna (Vidic, 1992) 238 are threatened (Ex-19, E-56, V-116, R-47 - chart 2). Amphibians are the most endangered group. Data on invertebrates are incomplete and available data are restricted to some groups only (Table 4 ).
In spite of the increase in surface area, the quality of forests has been jeopardised due to air pollution as well as promotion of monoculture stands of conifers. Further more, some forestry practices did affect forest ecosystems due to the way forest roads were constructed and exploitation carried out.
Agricultural development caused tremendous changes in the agricultural areas. The impacts have mainly occurred after the WW2 and are twofold:
Direct loss of biodiversity by land reclamation, particularly since 1960s agriculture development has increased and gradually, agriculture reclaimed areas in the floodplains. Water courses were straightened, canals built and riparian vegetation cleared and large areas ploughed for monocultural crops. Many habitats were lost, mainly wetlands and accordingly the wetland dependent species became endangered (Beltram, 1992). On the Slovenian Red Data Lists of plant and animal species the wetland dependent species prevail (e.g. Fritillaria meleagris, Utricularia intermedia, Pedicularis palustris, Orchis palustris, Pilularia globulifera, Hydrocotyle vulgaris). Between 1973 and 1991 over 70,000 hectares of lowlands were drained (Maticic, 1986, 1993).
Indirect loss of biodiversity by supporting intensive crop and livestock production (including increase in chemical use, mechanisation of production, specialisation of farmers into monocultural production) and thus increasing levels of water and soil pollution, in particular on the one hand, as well as causing hindrance to production of autochthonous races of plants and animals.
As a result of past and current economic development, analysis of the state of Slovenian natural and semi-natural habitats shows that the most threatened habitat types are:
wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems;
cave waters (with particular reference to hypogean fauna);
While fauna of karst ecosystems (including caves) are mainly threatened through water pollution and tourism development, wetlands are mostly altered due to intensification of agriculture in the last decades, and currently dry grasslands are under threat due to increasing interest in livestock production (uncontrolled grazing, fertilisers) on the one hand and abandonment of economically less attractive areas on the other (vegetation succession). Coastal and marine ecosystem are declining due to industrial and urban pressures, rivers and adjacent wetlands through soil and water pollution and construction works. Mountain ecosystems are threatened through tourism development and long-distance air pollution.
Many threats to biodiversity are due to sectoral policy directions of economic sectors. Forestry, agriculture and tourism are the key sectors when conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Slovenia are considered. Additionally, Slovenia is the smallest of the countries with economies in transition. To date, close to 80 per cent of forests (until 1990 62 per cent, according to the Forest Development Programme, 1995) and 89 per cent of agricultural land (in 1990, 83 per cent) are privately owned (Statistical Yearbook, 1995).
Legislation & Policy
National legislation in the field of nature conservation
As first protection acts concerning particular forests or plants are dating back to the end of 19th century, more comprehensive legislation was adopted after WWII.
First results of the changing policies from classical nature conservation approach towards more integrative appeared in the early 1990s in the Environmental Protection Act (1993), which was followed by environmental by-laws mainly on air quality standards. The Forest Act was also issued in 1993, while all other related legislation is still in preparation.
This environmental framework legislation passed in 1993, was to create a regulatory system for both, environmental protection and nature conservation. A special Nature Conservation Act , adopted in 1999 established legal basis for integration of nature conservation principles into other sectors as foresees the Nature Conservation Strategy. To make this law fully operative, about 40 by-laws have to be prepared and adopted on ministerial or governmental level.
Biodiversity related legislation and programmes
The Forest Act (1993) and Forest Development Programme of Slovenia (1995) do take into account the CBD principles. These two documents are in the process of implementation but are suppressed by the general political changes and institutional restructuring. The Forest Act supports a policy which includes nature conservation principles. In addition to prohibition of clear-cuts it also prohibits planting monoculture stands. While planning is a prerequisite for sustainable use of forest resources, indirect-use values of forest ecosystems are considered equally important as timber exploitation which is a direct-use value. Provisions are applied to private and state owned forests alike. By incorporating such provisions the law gives a good example of integration of sustainability principles into sectoral implementation legislation.
In addition to the Forest Act, which also regulates the management of forest genetic resources the Act on Plant Protection was adopted in 1994, while all regulations on seed testing, seed stands and seedlings developed since the 19960s. The Act on Seeds and Seedlings was adopted in 1973. Currently it has been revised according to the relevant Directives of the European Commission as well as including the OECD scheme. A Decree on financing and co-financing investments in forests (1994) and the Forest Development Programme for Slovenia (1996) are also relevant to biodiversity conservation and use providing some practical guidelines for the purpose (Kraigher, 1997).
Agricultural Law (1996) and the Agriculture Development Programme (1993) are both development and consumption oriented and need a considerable change in order to incorporate CBD principles and goals. Altogether, Slovenian agriculture has still to consider how to incorporate the biodiversity principles into its implementation policy.
The Slovenian Programme for Plant Gene Banks intends to promote sustainable use of germplasm through its plan of action and Slovenian agricultural strategy is considering sustainable agriculture as an inevitable part of Slovenian agriculture.
The tourism development strategy was drafted in early 1990s. The Resolution on Strategic Aims in Tourism Development (1995) stresses on the importance of biodiversity rich areas, yet it still has to include CBD principles.
International treaties and activities:
Slovenia ratified all biodiversity related international treaties:
Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention, 1972): In Slovenia, there is one World Heritage Convention site listed in 1986, the Skocjan Caves. In 1996, the surface area of 413 hectares was designated a regional park and the management authority was established.
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention, 1971): Two wetlands, Secoveljske soline (1993) and Skocjanske jame (1999) are listed as Ramsar sites.
Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention, 1976)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1973)
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS, 1979)
Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention, 1979).
In the field of nature conservation Slovenia is taking an active role in different international organisations (e.g. UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN, Council of Europe) and processes (e.g. chairing the Council of Pan-European Biodiversity and Landscape Diversity Strategy, Sophia Biodiversity Initiative).
Aproximation process to the European Union has a high priority at national level. The goal is to harmonise national legislation to the Aquis Communitaire of the European Community and to be able to implement it. In the field of nature conservation efforts are concentrated in implementation of NATURA 2000 network and controlling the wild life trade. Emerald network of the Bern Convention is one of very useful tools we are using in the process of identification of potential Areas of Community Interest, wheraes EIONET information structure is used to interlink all partners in the process.
According to the existing legislation system of the protected areas the following management categories are included:
National Park - IUCN equivalent: II or II/V
Regional Park - IUCN equivalent: V or V/II
Landscape Park - IUCN equivalent: V
Strict Nature Reserve - IUCN equivalent: I
Nature Reserve - IUCN equivalent: IV
Nature Monument - IUCN equivalent: III
About 8 per cent of the national territory is under special protection (Table 5 ). Out of all these protected areas or sites only the Triglav National Park, the Regional Park Skocjanske jame and the Regional Park Kozjansko have management authorities.
In 1995, the Slovenian parliament endorsed a programme for designation of protected areas in Slovenia which provided basis for a new concept of protected areas. Consequently, in 1996 a proposal was prepared which introduced changes to the National land-use plan. According to this proposal up to 30 per cent of the Slovenian territory will be included in different protected areas management categories. Since 1995, international donors are financing projects and preparation of management plans for the three largest protected areas to be established. Currently, the management plan for the Triglav National Park is in preparation. Parallel to these activities studies on particular issues are carried out.
Protected areas very often coincide with agriculturally less favoured areas where framers can get financial support for maintaining biodiversity and applying traditional farming methods. The support can be provided for either maintenance of certain conditions in areas rich in biodiversity or for maintenance of traditional landscape diversity. Assistance can be in different forms and financial support is usually as subventions (in PAs), incentives (sustainable - traditional use) or compensation (damage caused by wildlife). For example, in 1995, support was provided for traditional mowing in the Triglav National Park as well as for set-aside area in the Eastern part of the country in the breeding area of grey herons. In 1997, subventions were meant for maintenance of dry grasslands in the karst areas.
In 1995, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food nominated a Commission for ‘Preparation and Operation of the Programme for National Plant Genetic Resources'. Members of this commission are specialists working at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, Institute for Hop and Brewery Zalec, Forestry Institute of Slovenia and the Ministry. Its first task was to establish the National Programme and to reassess ongoing projects. The commission presented activities of the National Programme through the Directory of European Institutions Holding Crop Genetic Resources Collection (FAO/IPGRI, 1995), Country Report for the Fourth International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources (Leipzig, 1996) and Eucarpia Genetic resources section meeting in Budapest (1996). The activities were also presented to the Slovenian Ministry of the Environment which is responsible for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. The main objectives of the programme include collection, characterisation, evaluation, regeneration and conservation of autochthonous germplasm, Slovenian cultivars and endangered, vulnerable or rare native tree species.
The Slovenian Plant Gene Bank holds ex-situ accessions and conducts research on lettuce, onion, cabbage, beans, potato, buckwheat, wheat, corn, grasses, clovers, small fruits, fruit trees, grapevine, medicinal and aromatic plants and hops, mention should be made of approximately 120 apple, 40 pear and 10 walnut varieties.
Out of three botanical gardens in Slovenia used for ex-situ conservation of native plant species, the most important is the botanical garden in Ljubljana. It was established in 1810 to keep plant species indigenous to Slovenia with particular reference to endemic and threatened species. Since 1889 Index seminum has been issued including also information on seeds collected at the Alpine botanical garden Juliana (established in late 1920s and managed by the Slovenian Natural History Museum). In 1997, the collection held seeds of 795 plant species. Additionally, it plays an important role in raising public awareness as, for example, in autumn 1997 the number of visitors exceeded 2500. University in Maribor has also established a botanical garden to encourage conservation of locally threatened plants. Both botanical gardens are members of the Botanical Gardens Conservation International.
A culture collection of Microbial Genetic Resources in Slovenia in preparation.
Organisation of Nature Conservation
Slovenian Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning is responsible for nature conservation issues. Its administrative and technical advisory body is the State Nature Protection Authority consisting of three sub-sectors (nature conservation, environment, water management). Seven regional Institutes for conservation of natural and cultural heritage act as technical supervisory bodies at local level.
A special environmental board within the Slovenian Parliament is dealing with environment, nature conservation and infrastructure. In 1997, Slovenia government established the Council for Sustainable Development.
For details see Useful Addresses & Links.
At the local level, communities have responsibilities in nature conservation issues, as well.
The Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan
In 1994, the first draft of the Nature Conservation Strategy was prepared as a long term vision for activities at international, national and local levels based on European and global strategic documents. Focus of the Strategy is on organisation of nature conservation, in-situ conservation (setting a system of protected areas and management, species and habitat conservation), and integration of nature conservation principles into other policies. Its main objectives thus include:
native plant and animal species (including landraces and autochthonous livestock breeds) as well as exceptional specimens or populations;
habitat types, biocoenoses and ecosystems and related processes;
geotopes and outstanding geologic, paleontologic and geomorphologic phenomena;
all types of landscapes through sustainable development;
establishment and development of spatial ecological structure;
restoration of degraded natural features, habitats and ecosystems.
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBS&AP) are currently in preparation and are planned to be completed by the end of 2000.
Already for the preparation of the NBS&AP the scheme for implementation of the CBD has been drafted. Implementation has been organised at three levels: political (involving GOs, NGOs, private sector), operational (including individual experts, institutes and organisations) and public (organising biodiversity forum).
On the basis of PEBLDS and CBD priority areas 18 working groups have been established covering issues of different ecosystem, species and gene pools recognised as priority areas for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in Slovenia. The process is financially supported by GEF enabling activities and should be finished by the end of 2000.
On operational level all co-ordinators of working group will be included in EIONET CIRCA information system.
Co-operation & Partnership
The main sectors requiring priority integration and co-operation are agriculture, forestry and tourism. Water management is changing but implementation legislation is lagging. Additionally, transport, traffic and private sector are important sectors, particularly because their main goal has been economic development regardless the impact on biodiversity.
In forestry, there has traditionally been good co-operation between nature conservation and foresters with the exception of some management practices. There have always been discrepancies, as for example, in hunting issues, exploitation practices, management of forests for timber production. However, in Slovenia the first protected areas were virgin forests, many laws prepared in co-operation of the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MAFF) were related to forest issues.
Nevertheless, forestry developed quite sustainable and currently Slovenian forest management sets a good example for managing the European forests (Helsinki Operational Level Guidelines for Sustainable Forestry, 1997).
The Nature research institutes in Slovenia or independent scientists are currently caring out several projects on basic research related to biodiversity and are supported by the Slovenian Ministry of Science and Technology. The results of these projects can contribute to increase in knowledge on biological diversity and can be applicable for nature conservation purposes.
NGOs form an important agent in implementation of the CBD. Their main advantage is direct implementation at local level, thus assistance in rising public awareness of biodiversity. Co-operation and integration of relevant NGOs started only recently and needs to be strengthen.
The most prominent NGO is the Natural History Society of Slovenia (Prirodoslovno drustvo Slovenije - PDS), with the longest tradition of activities in the field of nature conservation and with first private foundation (Slovenski sklad za naravo - SSN). The Slovenian Ornithological Society (Drustvo za opazovanje in proucevanje pticev Slovenije - DOPPS) and the Union of Societies for Environmental Protection (Zveza drustev za varstvo okolja) should also be mentioned. The importance of the Slovenian office of the Regional Environment Centre (REC) is growing. In addition to its regular activities, REC acts as a point in Slovenia where numerous and different NGO’s come together. New NGOs are emerging and some developing into powerful organisations which influence public opinion and act as a control mechanism in decision making.
Useful Addresses & Links
Decision making level
Ministrstvo za okolje in prostor (Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning)
Tel.: +386 (0)61/1787 400
Fax: +386 (0)61/1787 422
E-mail: general rule: name.surname>@gov.si;
Minister: Dr. Pavel Gantar
State-Undersecretary (responsible for nature conservation): Mladen Berginc
International cooperation (general): Emil Ferjancic
PHARE Office: Irena Brcko
European Office: Tea Glazar
Uprava RS za varstvo narave (State Authority for Nature Conservation)
Tel.: +386 (0)61/1784 000
Fax: +386 (0)61/1784 051
E-mail: name.surname>@gov.si (e.g.: peter.skoberne>@gov.si)
Director: Albin Krapez
Head of Nature Conservation Unit: Andreja Cercek-Hocevar
Bern Convention/Emerald (Council of Europe-general): Peter Skoberne
Bird Directive: Tanja Kosar
Bonn Convention: Robert Boljesic
CBD focal point: Gordana Beltram
CBD/CHM focal point: Stane Peterlin
CITES (including EU Trade Regulation): Robert Boljesic
EIONET focal point: Anita Velkavrh
EUROPARC: Darja Jeglic
Habitat Directive & EU approximation: Peter Skoberne
IUCN focal point: Peter Skoberne
PEBLDS: Peter Skoberne
Ramsar Convention: Robert Boljesic, Gordana Beltram
Sofia Biodiversity Initiative: Peter Skoberne
World Heritage: Marko Simic
Protected Areas Authorities
Triglavski narodni park (Triglav National Park)
Tel: ++386 (0)64/741-188, 741-079
Fax: ++386 (0)64/77-408
Regijski park Kozjansko (Kozjansko Regional Park)
3256 Bistrica ob Sotli
tel: ++386 (0)63/781-355, 781-3++386 (0)6
fax: ++386 (0)63/781-255
Skocjanske jame (Skocjan Caves; The World Heritage and Ramsar Site)
Javni zavod park Skocjanske jame
Tel.: ++386 (0)67/60 090
Fax: ++386 (0)67/60 173
Bioloski institut Jovana Hadzija (The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute of Biology)
Novi trg 5
Tel.: ++386 (0)61/125 6068
Fax: ++386 (0)61/125 5253
Institut za raziskovanje krasa (The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute for Karst Research)
Titov trg 2
Tel.: ++386 (0)67/24 781; ++386 (0)67/224 571
Fax: ++386 (0)67/23 965
Institut za biologijo (Institut of Biology, Marine Research Station)
Morska bioloska postaja
Tel.: ++386 (0)66/73 073; ++386 (0)66/73 740
Fax: ++386 (0)66/746 367
Bioloski oddelek Biotehniske fakultete (Biological Dept. of the Ljubljana University)
Univerza v Ljubljani
Vecna pot 111
Tel.: ++386 (0)61/123 33 88
Fax: ++386 (0)61/273 390
Pedagoska fakulteta Univerze v Mariboru (Pedagocial Faculty of the Maribor University)
Koroska c. 160
Tel.: ++386 (0)62/229 37++386 (0)6; ++386 (0)62/225 611; ++386 (0)62/211 297
Fax: ++386 (0)62/28 180
Prirodoslovni muzej Slovenije (The Natural History Museum)
Tel.: ++386 (0)61/126 40 98; ++386 (0)61/218 886; ++386 (0)61/211 036; ++386 (0)61/211 670; ++386 (0)61/1264 098
Fax: ++386 (0)61/218 846
Leading NGO's in the field of nature conservation
Prirodoslovno drustvo Slovenije/(The Natural History Society)
Novi trg 2
tel./fax: ++386 (0)61 221 914
Drustvo za opazovanje in preucevanje ptic Slovenije (DOPPS)
(Slovenian Ornithological Society; BirdLife partner)
Tel: ++386 (0)61/133-95-15
Fax: ++386 (0)62/761-000
Societas Herpetologica Slovenica
tel: (+386 61) 218-886, fax: (+386 61) 218-846,
Slovensko odonatolosko drustvo (The Slovene Dragonfly Society)
Vosnjakova 4/a, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Ornithological Association IXOBRYCHUS Koper
Gasilska 8, SI-6000 Koper
Slovensko botanicno drustvo (Slovenian Botanical Society)
REC - Local Office
tel./fax: ++386 (0)61/125-70-65
Brus, R. & Kraigher, H. 1996. Report, ALPE-JADRAN, manuscript.
Celik, T. & F. Rebeusek. 1996. Atlas ogrozenih vrst dnevnih metuljev Slovenije. Slovensko entomolosko drustvo, Ljubljana, pp. 100.
Cerne, M. et al. 1996. International Conference and Programme for Plant Genetic Resources - ICPPGR, Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, manuscript.
Kompan, D., A. Salehar & A. Holcman (eds.) 1999. Ohranjene slovenske avtohtone domace zivali. Biotehniska fakulteta, Oddelek za zootehniko, Domzale, pp. 39.
Kotarac, M. 1997. Atlas of the Dragonflies of Slovenia, with the Red Data List. Center za kartografijo favne in flore, Miklavz na Dravskem polju, pp. 205.
Marusic et al. 1995. Znacilni krajinski vzorci Slovenije, Ljubljana.
Maticic, B. 1993. Melioracija. Enciklopedija Slovenije Vol.-7. Mladinska knjiga, Ljubljana, pp. 61-64.
Maticic, B. 1987. Development of Drainage in Slovenia and Yugoslavia and its Prospects in the Future. Proceedings of the Symposium 25th International Course on Land Drainage, Twenty-Five Years of Drainage Experience, Ed. by J. Vos. Wageningen 24-28 November 1986. The Netherlands, pp. 164-173.
Ministrstvo za kmetijstvo, gozdarstvo in prehrano. 1992. Strategija razvoja slovenskega kmetijstva. Ljubljana, pp. 88.
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. 1997. Slovene Agriculture, Forestry and Food Industry in Figures. Ljubljana, pp. 81.
Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, State Authority for Nature Conservation. 1999. Convention on Biological Diversity - National Report of the Republic of Slovenia, pp. 71.
Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Nature Protection Authority. 1999. Environment in Slovenia 1996. pp 314.
Mrsic, N., 1997. Biotska raznovrstnost v Sloveniji. (Biological Diversity in Slovenia) - Ministrstvo za okolje in prostor, Uprava RS za varstvo narave, Ljubljana, 129 pp.
Sket, B. 1995. Biotic Diversity of Hypogean Habitats in Slovenia and Its Cultural Importance. In: Biodiversity, Proceedings of the International Biodiversity Seminar ECCO XIV. Meeting, held in Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia, June 30 - July 4, 1995, pp. 59-74.
Sket, B., 1997. Enciklopedija Slovenije, Vol.-11 Mladinska knjiga, Ljubljana.
Trpin, D. & B.Vres, 1995. Register flore Slovenije - praprotnice in cvetnice. Zbirka ZRC, Vol.7 ZRC_SAZU, Ljubljana, pp. 143.
Vidic, J., Ed. 1992. Rdeci seznam ogrozenih zivalskih vrst v Sloveniji. Varstvo narave 17(1992), Ljubljana, pp. 224.
Wraber, T. 1996. Rastlinstvo. In: Enciklopedija Slovenije, Vol.-10, Mladinska knjiga, Ljubljana, p. 87.
Wraber, T. & P. Skoberne. 1989. Rdeci seznam ogrozenih praprotnic in cvetnic SR Slovenije. Varstvo narave, 14-15, Ljubljana, pp. 429.