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Slovenia - Main Details

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity


The Karst areas (carbonate rocks) cover over 40 % of Slovenia. Approximately 10% of ferns and higher plants and 56% of vertebrates are endangered, including 64% of the 81 species of indigenous freshwater fish. The most threatened habitat types are wetlands in general, coastal and marine habitats, standing and running waters, subterranean habitats and dry and humid grasslands. At least nine breeds of indigenous domestic animals have been given the status of an endangered population. In-situ conservation, performed by leaving an area to natural processes, is restricted to small areas in Slovenia, with most biodiversity conservation goals achieved through sustainable land use, such as low-intensity farming in Kozjansko Park. Besides agriculture, forestry is the principal land use activity affecting biodiversity and is of enormous economic importance.

Number and Extent of Protected Areas

Slovenia has established 47 National, Regional and Landscape Parks as well as Nature Reserves and Natural Monuments, which together account for 11.41% (Oct. 2006) of its total land area. Slovenia also has three marine protected areas, one World Heritage Site (Škocjanske jame), two MAB areas (Karst, the Julian Alps) and three Ramsar sites (Sečoveljske soline, Škocjanske jame, Cerkniško jezero z okolico).

Percentage of Forest Cover

Forests in Slovenia cover 1, 213,424 ha and other wooded land 44,000 ha. This accounts for 59.8% of the country’s surface area

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

One of the main measures taken for the conservation of biodiversity in Slovenia is the sustainable use of resources. This is addressed through a variety of initiatives, including agri-environmental measures within the Rural Development Plan 2007-13, which aims to popularize farming practices that protect human health, ensure sustainable use of natural resources and preserve the biodiversity and characteristic features of the Slovenian landscapes. There is also the Action Plan for development of organic farming in Slovenia by 2015 that was adopted in 2006 and the National Forestry Programme which is being renewed.

In addition to the Nature Conservation Act, regulations on the protection of endangered wild flora and fauna were amended in 2004 in order to transpose the Birds and Habitats Directives in Slovenia’s legal system. According to these Directives, species found in Slovenia, including all native bird species, have to be maintained in the favorable conservation status. Because the country has many caves in karst areas, a Cave Protection Act was also adopted in 2004. The protection of autochthonous inland water fish species is addressed in management procedures and a five-year action plan is in preparation. Specific programmes on repopulation of certain threatened fish species are being prepared. Special measures have been taken to protect mountain species due to collection pressures on butterflies and beetles, all of which are now protected above the tree line.

All commercial activities including export, import, sale, offer for sale etc. are prohibited for nationally protected species as well as for European or internationally protected species. In the past two years, Slovenia has built up a rather strict spatial land use planning policy, which contributes to decreased degradation of natural habitats and has specific measures for the protection of biodiversity. Municipal spatial development strategies are also being prepared. A legal system of Environmental Impact Assessments is fully in place and is being well implemented. Since 2004, an additional system of impact assessments was put in place for protected areas and Natura 2000 sites.

Initiatives in Protected Areas

In April 2004, 35.5 % of the territory was proposed to be included in the Natura 2000 ecological network. Based on this proposal, an additional 5 % of the Slovenian territory is to be protected by 2008 and 10 % by 2014. The under-representation of aquatic and marine ecosystems in protected areas was addressed through the creation of the Strunjanske Soline Landscape Park and the proposal to include a number of marine and inland water ecosystems in the Natura 2000 network.

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

Smallholder farmers are involved through programmes of organic farming co-existence and through Natura 2000 public awareness programmes, but these activities are not directly related to GURTS. There are also programmes supporting traditional farming in protected areas.

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  • United Nations Environment Programme