English  |  Español  |  Français

Slovakia - Main Details

Show map

Biodiversity Facts

Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

Slovakia’s geographic position, in the centre of Europe and on the boundary of the Carpathian Mountain and Pannonian lowland areas, allows for a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The biodiversity identified in the country consists of approximately 11,323 plant species (including algae), more than 28,800 animal species (including invertebrates) and over 1,000 species of protozoa. In addition, there are a wide range of land and water habitats, although their natural distribution has been significantly altered by land use changes since the onset of intensive settlement. Partial monitoring of selected plant and animal species indicate that most species suffer from a decrease in population size and area of distribution. As a result of the extensive use of natural resources, some plant and animal species are now extinct, and others have become rare or endangered. Of the total 3,124 species of higher plants, 1,135 are listed in the National Red List of Angiosperms and Gymnosperms. Endangered species comprise 45% of fish species (including lampreys), 100% of amphibian species, 100% of reptile species, 32% of bird species and 65% of mammal species. Declining status trends have been recorded, in particular, for aquatic and wetland species (e.g. fish, amphibians, reptiles) and habitats that depend on regular mowing and grazing (e.g. Spermophylus citellus, order Maculinea, and some plant species). Halophyte habitats are the most endangered, caused by the fall of groundwater level, abandonment of traditional management and secondary succession. The most favourable status is indicated for rocky habitats due to their inaccessibility, and forest habitats because of the relatively sensitive forest management on such sites.

The integrity of landscapes and natural ecosystems is considered an essential instrument for increasing Slovakia’s competitiveness in the tourism sector. The country intends to increase the share of income (GDP) derived from active tourism from 2.7% (2009 figure) to 4% in 2013.

Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

The most significant threats to biodiversity and associated trends are: (i) habitat fragmentation caused by a significant increase in the construction of transport infrastructure; (ii) reduction in the use of arable land, particularly regarding permanent grassland (meadows and pastures), resulting from a reduction in livestock farming and the unprofitability of agriculture, thereby putting biotopes of rare species of flora and fauna at risk; (iii) invasive species whose impact is increasing in intensity due to permanent changes caused by agricultural activity, forestry, rearing of farm animals, intensive construction of buildings, including transport infrastructure; (iv) acidification of soil and water; (v) climate change and the higher incidence of extreme weather events (e.g. flooding, drought, wind storms); (vi) industrial pollution in spite of a significant reduction in atmospheric industrial pollutants in recent years; (vii) mineral extraction (e.g. natural gas, magnesite, wall stone, calcite); (viii) agricultural pollution; (ix) forestry; (x) tourism (several national parks are counted among the most endangered territories as a result of activities, such as mountain tourism).

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

The strategy document for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the National Biodiversity Strategy of Slovakia (NBS), adopted by Government Resolution No. 231/1997 and endorsed by Parliamentary Resolution No. 676/1997. The NBS reflects the national ambition to achieve a comprehensive and balanced implementation of the Convention. It does not define definite priorities however sets 24 objectives for strengthening the protection of biodiversity and sustainable development of elements of biodiversity, and 126 strategic directions for achieving these objectives. Nearly all the tasks set out in the 21 strategic goals and the 82 strategic directions for the 2003-2010 period have been completed (a few tasks have not been completed due to a lack of funds or staff in the participating bodies). The NBS is implemented through action plans that apply to it for a given time period. The first Action Plan (1998–2010) was developed using material and proposals from each government department and adopted under Government Resolution No. 515/1998.

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

The share of protected areas rose from 23% in 1995 to 36% in 2009, mainly due to implementation of Natura 2000. Forest area increased by 9000 ha between 1998 and 2007 and Slovakia has one of the highest levels of forestation in Europe, even exceeding the increasing rate of timber extraction (which has risen by 63% since 1990). From 1998 to 2008, the number of national parks increased from 7 to 9 due to the conversion of two landscape protected areas to national parks; three new localities were included in 2001, 2004 and 2006 in the List of Internationally Important Wetlands under the Ramsar Convention, bringing the total number of RAMSAR sites in the country to 14; 381 sites in the Alpine and Panonnian biogeographical regions were approved by the European Commission in 2008; and 21 Special Protection Areas have been declared. Positive trends have already been recorded as a result of this policy.

Slovakia has notably implemented several activities for controlling the impact of invasive alien species, including the development of a unified methodology for the eradication of invasive plant species. A sharp decline in agricultural pollution has also been evidenced in recent years due to a reduction in land area given over to agricultural use, a fall in animal husbandry and decreased use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides.

The involvement of local and indigenous communities in CBD implementation processes is also promoted through a number of related projects (e.g. Project on Village Renewal; Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Use of the Carpathians; European Landscape Convention; National Strategy for Rural Development; National Programme for the Protection of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; National Sustainable Development Strategy).

Finally, a number of projects are being implemented focused on environmental education in primary and secondary schools. Also, several specialized educational facilities for nature and landscape protection have been created, as have information and advisory centres. Other initiatives include permanent representative expositions, regular seminars for specialists and non-specialists, seminars for foresters and farmers on the ecological management of agricultural and forest lands, and seminars on alternative pasture management with a focus on biodiversity, biotechnologies and biological safety.

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

Significant attention has been given to biodiversity mainstreaming in the strategies and programs of other government departments, supporting implementation at the sectoral level: Agriculture (National Forest Program, National Strategy for Rural Development, National Programme for the Protection of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture); Economy (Action Plan for Sustainable Development (2005-2010) and several principles of the State Tourism Policy); Education (Slovak Platform for Biodiversity); Health (National Environmental Health Action Plan); Culture (Slovak National Museum). Along with state sectoral facilities, Slovakia fully involves a number of non-governmental organizations (Daphne, REC Slovakia, Sosna, SOS/Birdlife Slovakia, CERI). Involvement of the private sector has been minimal so far, except on very specific issues (e.g. commercially provided recultivation services on sites polluted by oil substances) or in fulfilling tasks on environmental impact assessment (EIA).

In spite of this relatively developed legal and policy framework, implementation has been constrained by a lack of cooperation and coordination at all levels of activity, as well as inconsistency among different national, regional and local strategies and planning documents on issues related to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Tasks in the NBSAP are financed through the state budget, Environmental Fund, and from various EU funds and programs. However, since its 2004 accession into the EU, Slovakia has no longer qualified for GEF funding, and it “strongly feels the lack of this funding”. The country has also become a donor of financing to developing countries (Kenya, Serbia, Afghanistan).

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

Environmental monitoring is based on a monitoring system that covers the country’s entire territory, designed to assess the condition of the environment as a whole, using information on the status and trends of each of its component parts. Implementation of the environmental monitoring system and the integrated environmental information system was sanctioned by Government in 1993. In addition, subordinate monitoring systems (ČMS) have been developed in the form of ČMS centres for promoting methodology and coordination in monitoring activities. A Monitoring Coordination Council has also been constituted. The Environmental Monitoring and Information System was expanded and completed in 2004 and is regularly updated. Environmental monitoring is undertaken at three overlapping levels (national, regional and local levels) in the following areas: air quality, meteorology and climatology, water, flora and fauna, geological factors, waste, radioactivity, contaminants in food and animal feed, soil quality, forests.

Rate this page - 66 people have rated this page 
  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme