[NV01]
Nature areas under protection
Assessments published: [ 2009 2008 ]
The indicator shows the surface area of nature protected areas in Slovenia and their share in the total surface area of the country. Nature protected areas include conservation areas – Natura 2000 sites and areas that fulfil the conditions for Natura 2000 sites, as well as protected areas - that is parks, nature reserves and natural monuments.

The indicator shows the surface area of the protected areas; it does not, however, provide direct information as regards to achieving a favourable state of wild plant and animal species, their habitats as well as habitat types in these areas.

Protected areas partially overlap with Natura 2000 protection sites. They encompass a smaller surface area than the Natura 2000 sites; they are, however, organised to a higher level with elaborated management plans and appointed managers.

Image NV1-1: Share of protected areas relative to the overall Slovenian surface area 1992 – 2008 and share of all nature protected areas in 2009

Source: Register of protected areas, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, 2009.


Image NV1-2: Ratio of Natura 2000 sites, areas which fulfil the conditions for Natura 2000 sites, areas where all categories overlap and unprotected areas in Slovenia in 2009

Source: Register of protected areas, Register of Natura 2000 areas, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, 2009.


In terms of protected areas, the Resolution on the National Programme of Environmental Protection Plan, 2005–2012 (OG of the RS, No. 2/06), aims for their share to be increased by 5%, while in terms of Natura 2000, the goal is the adoption of an operational programme which was, in fact, adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in October 2007 (Natura 2000 Site Management Programme 2007–2013). As far as realising protection goals is concerned, the programme envisages certain protection measures that are essential for the preservation of a favourable state of animal and plant species as well as habitat types.

The realisation of both goals would lead to the realisation of the final goal regarding nature protection, which is the reason why protected areas are being established at all - that is, to halt the decline in biodiversity by 2010.

Until 2004, the physical space of specific significance in Slovenia was protected within the framework of nature protected areas (national parks, regional parks, landscape parks, strict nature reserves, nature reserves and natural monuments). Roughly 12% of the whole territory was protected within this framework in 2005, which has not changed significantly until today. The Triglav national park represents an important share of these areas, while in recent years, the protected surface area has increased, mostly due to the proclamation of three larger parks (the Notranjska Regional Park, the Goričko Landscape Park and the Ljubljansko barje Landscape Park). Natura 2000 sites joined protected areas in 2004. These areas include almost 7203 km2 or 35.5% of the whole Slovenian territory. Areas that fulfil the conditions for Natura 2000 sites, covering 340 km2 or 1.7% of the country, were further designated in 2008. Protected areas partly overlap with Natura 2000 areas and those areas that fulfil the conditions for Natura 2000 sites. In 2009, these areas combined represented 39.7% of the Slovenian territory, which is six times as much as in 1992.

The data relevant to the indicator for previous years has also been modified in 2009 so as to review and correct some errors in the Register of protected areas and to eliminate the technical errors found in data in previous years.

In Slovenia, the share of Natura 2000 areas is large in comparison to other European countries. Slovenia protects a share of its territory 2.5 times larger than in any of the EU-27, both according to the Directive on the conservation of natural habitats of wild fauna and flora, as well as the Directive on the conservation of wild birds. A large portion of the protected areas arises from a rather environment-friendly use of physical space, which is reflected in extensive forest cover and a high ratio of grassland in the structure of agricultural land. Considerable surface areas of partly overgrown or plantless land above the timber tree line also contribute to a large share of protected areas.

Data for Slovenia:

• Register of protected areas, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, 2009 (as of 30 September, 2009)
• Register of Natura 2000 areas, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, 2009 (as of 30 September, 2009)

Data on protected areas is managed in the database Register of protected areas by the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, the Nature Conservation Sector, on the basis of Article 111 of the Nature Conservation Act (NCA-OCT2, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 96/04), and Article 105 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA-1-OCT1, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 39/06).

Data on Natura 2000 areas is managed in the database Register of Natura 2000 areas in the realm of registers of those areas that are significant for maintaining biodiversity, by the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, the Nature Conservation Section, on the basis of Article 34 of the Nature Conservation Act (NCA-OCT2, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 96/04), and Article 5 of the Decree on special protection areas (Natura 2000 areas) (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 49/04, 110/04, 59/07 and 43/08).

Since the same landscape may be included both in protected as well as conservation areas, the datum on net surface areas has been applied for calculating the ratio of various protection types, overlapping areas and unprotected areas (without duplicating the surface areas that are simultaneously included in various protected areas).

12 October 2009
Inga Turk, Urša Mežan, Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia