Key messages
The health of forests has been relatively stable in the last years and is comparable to other Central European countries. Based on the new findings, the annual fluctuation of estimates is a consequence of the changing weather conditions between individual years.
Naturalness of forests in Slovenia is an indicator showing the degree to which the current forest composition differs from the natural forest composition. Owing to the mountainous landscape of Slovenia and the difficult karstic terrain, many forests are difficult to access, which is why human activity in the Slovenian forests was less fatal than in most Central European countries. As a consequence, forests are relatively well-preserved, particularly with regard to the variety of natural tree species composition and (vertically as well as horizontally) the structure of stands. The changing of the naturalness of forests is a natural process which can also be partially affected by people and diverted into the desired direction. This is, like the majority of natural processes, a long-term process, and therefore difficult to observe in a short period of time. That is why the data that we have shown are not adequate to make conclusions regarding the direction of this indicator’s development. We can assume, however, that in the following decades, systematic natural forest management shall have a positive impact on the naturalness of forests in Slovenia.
Throughout the history, growing stock has been one of the main indicators of the condition of forests. Together with the increment, fellings, forest area and the allowable cut, it forms a basic group of indicators used in monitoring the development of forests. These indicators serve as a basis for estimating the amount of biomass and carbon in a specific forest. The information about how these indicators have been changing through time is of vital importance.
In the last decades, the growing stock per hectare and the increment have been on a constant rise. According to the 2008 reports of the Slovenia Forest Service, the annual growing stock volume was 269 m3/ha, and the increment was 6.64 m3/ha. In the last 60 years, they increased by approximately 110%. The quantity of fellings depends not only on natural resources but also on socio-economic factors, which is why it has been changing through decades. According to the Slovenia Forest Service report, the quantity of fellings in 2007 was 3,427,372 m3.
Forest area is relatively easy to measure. It is one of the basic indicators used in monitoring the development of forests.
In the last centuries, the forest area has been increasing. Our data reach back to 1875 when forests covered only 36% of the territory. According to the report of the Slovenia Forest Service, the forest area in 2007 was 1,185,145 ha. Nowadays, 58.5% of the Slovenian territory is covered in forests.
The distribution and changes of forest surfaces are also monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food within the framework of the project Tracking and Monitoring the Use of Agricultural Land.
The legal basis is described in detail in the Agriculture Act (Articles 101 and 107). The Slovenia Forest Service participates by checking the forest border. According to this data, the forest area in 2005 took up 1,213,423.85 ha, which was almost 60% of the entire Slovenian territory.

Depending on the area of forest represent a negligible percentage of deforestation. The average of the last ten years is approximately 360 ha. Until 2008, most deforestation is a result of construction of infrastructure facilities. In 2008, the unprecedented increase in deforestation for agricultural purposes occured, which in 2009 accounted for 85% of all deforested areas and in 2015 this figure was still 73%. Until now, most of the deforestation is carried out with the consent of the competent institutions. In 2009 the proportion of deforestation, which is carried out without consent moved up to third, but this figure in the next few years again declined.