Slovenia is the western edge of the Dinaric Arc region, positioned on the crossing of Alps, Dinarides, Pannonian planes and Mediterranean. It is known for its rich forests, which cover more than half of its territory, and karst, a rich underground world that hides the most magnificent underground galleries in Europe – Postojna Cave and Škocjan Caves. A diverse landscape spreading through four biogeographical areas has created a great biodiversity of flora and fauna concentrated in a small area.
WWF has worked in Slovenia for a number of years, improving the sustainable management of rivers and protected areas.
In 2012 WWF launched the project Save the Alpine Rivers to ensure the protection of untouched river segments and revitalisation of parts of rivers with special ecological value, which have in the past been impacted by infrastructure and hydropower development.
Together with a network of NGOs WWF launched the campaign Save the Soča to protect one of the last untouched river systems in the Alps – the upper Soča and Idrijca River – from further regulation and hydropower development.
Slovenia is part of the future UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube. The Slovenian part of the Mura River is one of the rare European rivers whose natural environment hasnot been destroyed by hydropower plants, but there is great pressure to from the hydropower sector to develop small hydropower plants. WWF and its local partners, such as the NGO Moja Mura, are against such plans and are working to have this area declared an exclusion zone for hydropower and for local authorities to commit to the sustainable development of the area through tourism and sustainable fishing.
You can find the study of the most important river reaches in the Alps here.
WWF started its work on protected areas in Slovenia in 2008 with the accession of the Slovenian government to the Big Win for the Dinaric Arc. Work later continued through the Dinaric Arc Parks project and association Parks Dinarides – network of protected areas in Dinarides. Special attention is dedicated to the evaluation of the valuable ecosystems in protected areas, implementing principals for sustainable tourism in PAs (ECST), climate change, exchange of experience, education and joint promotion of parks as a desired destination for foreign and domestic tourists.
WWF is currently implementing Protected Areas for Nature and People towards the sustainable use of natural resources in the Dinaric Arc region as a foundation for socio-economic development. Slovenia is one of the countries where the project is implemented.