PIVKA.KRAS.PRESIHA (European Regional Development Fund)

Improving the conservation status of species and habitat types of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park .

The European Regional Development Fund is co-financing the project Improving the conservation status of species and habitat types in the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park (PIVKA.KRAS.PRESIHA) under thematic objective 6, priority axis 6: Better state of the environment and biodiversity.

The project partners include the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, –Institute of agriculture and forestry Nova Gorica and the University of Primorska, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Information Technologies. The project is expected to be completed by 31. 9. 2023. The project implementation area is the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park.

The project’s goal is to preserve the agricultural landscape in the Nature Park area. The activities aim to preserve or improve the condition of habitat-type intermittent lakes (wet meadows) and eastern sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands. The target species are the Scarce large blue (Maculinea teleius) and Marsh fritillaries (Euphydryas aurinia ) (butterflies), Woodlark (Lullula arborea) and Barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria) (birds), Italian crested newt (Triturus carnifex) (amphibians), and Lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) (bats). Priority species and habitat types are set at the EU level. In addition, part of the funds is intended for the interpretation of nature protection and the regulation of the basic infrastructure of the Nature Park. An especially important set is dedicated to awareness-raising activities and cooperation with residents and other key stakeholders (landowners and managers).

The value of the project is estimated at EUR 3,060,831.86, of which EU funds represent EUR 2,965,520.27.

Characterisation of karst aquifers on a regional and local scale: the case of the hinterland of the Malni water source (Karst Research institute). In the area of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park, the Institute for Karst Research ZRC SAZU conducts research within the project “Characterisation of karst aquifers on a regional and local scale: the case of the hinterland of the Malni water source” (ARRS no. L7-2630)

The three-year project, which began in September 2020, builds on research conducted between 2016 and 2019.

The projects’ main goal is to find a reserve water source that can temporarily replace the Malni catchment in the event of a disruption. Understanding the regional dynamics of aquifers in caves and on the surface in various hydrological conditions is one of the goals of research in the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park. We measure lake water levels and water levels in caves, temperature and electrical conductivity of water. We also conduct periodic water analyses that include microbiological and chemical water quality indicators. We intend to conduct additional speleological research and map caves that have access to regional groundwater. We will predict the unknown underground karst channels, as well as the direction and speed of water flow, using a numerical hydrological model. The findings will aid in determining how the hydrological conditions in Petelinjsko jezero Lake, Palško jezero Lake, and Jama v Ždinku cave are changing. We will then calculate the water balance of these lakes and forecast changes in the regional hydrological gradient based on this information.

Figures 2: Field work. . (Top left) Hydrological measurements and sampling in Jami v Ždinku. (Top right) Temporary hydrological measuring station in Petelinje Lake. (Bottom left) Measurements of temperature and electrical conductivity of water from Trnje springs. (Bottom right) Flow measurements downstream of the Mišnik spring.


Mayaud, C., Gabrovšek, F., Blatnik, M., Kogovšek, B., Petrič, M., Ravbar, N., 2019. Understanding flooding in poljes: a modelling perspective. Journal of Hydrology 575, 874-889. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.04.092.

Ravbar, N., Mayaud, C., Blatnik, M., Petrič, M., 2021. Determination of inundation areas within karst poljes and intermittent lakes for the purposes of ephemeral flood mapping. Hydrogeology Journal 29 (1), 213-228. doi: 10.1007/s10040-020-02268-x.

Contact persons:

ZRC SAZU Karst Research Institute

Tito Square 2



Project of the Ecomuseum of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development)

In 2013, the Ecomuseum of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka project was implemented, the value of which amounted to EUR 108,053, of which EUR 65,218 were obtained from the European Agricultural Fund, namely from the rural development programme 2007-2013.

Ecomuseum of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka presents the story of water in the karst world of Upper Pivka Basin. The area’s unique geological structure, combined with the uneven distribution of precipitation, causes a large fluctuation in the karst groundwater level. As many as seventeen intermittent lakes form in the valley along the high waters. To determine their formation, a special mill wheel must be turned. Individual lake presentations also include locals’ lives in the landscape, where there is sometimes too much and sometimes too little water. Models of the most important living environments, including wet and dry meadows, bushes, forests, and caves, supplement presentations of the Pivka basin’s extremely diverse flora and fauna.

Thematic path at the Živa Wastewater Treatment Plant

In 2016, we implemented the project LEARNING PATH AT THE ŽIVA WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT in collaboration with the companies CID treatment plants, Godina, Kovod, and GeaArt.

The Learning path at the Živa wastewater treatment plant is established in accordance with the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park objectives and temporary management guidelines in the field of water resource protection and pollution prevention, as well as education and awareness-raising on the importance of water protection, particularly in karst terrain, which has very poor self-cleaning abilities.

The project’s goal is to draw attention to the unique characteristics of the karst world, as well as the importance of the treatment plant as essential infrastructure for maintaining clean water in this sensitive environment, and to present wastewater treatment procedures.

We have also focused on the global aspects of the issue of clean drinking water – despite the fact that our planet appears to have an abundance of water, this is not the case. There is less than 1% available drinking water! We must begin to behave appropriately, and the Learning path at the Živa treatment plant teaches our visitors just that.

The Learning path at the treatment plant is intended for organised and pre-announced groups, primarily school-aged children and young people, but it will undoubtedly be of interest to other groups of visitors as well.

Implementing the development of sustainable tourism in accordance with the guidelines of the national park/protected areas of the regions (international cooperation – LEADER-CLLD)

Project duration: 1. 9. 2017 to 31. 7. 2021

Partners: LAG Development Centre Estonia (lead partner), LAG Green Riverland Partnership Estonia, LAG Kodukant Läänemaa Estonia, LAG Cesis District Rural Partnership in Latvia, LAG Business Association of North Kurzeme in Latvia, LAG between Snežnik and Nanos (the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park), LAG Soča Valley, LAG ATAHCA in mainland Portugal, LAG ADRAMA on the island of Madeira in Portugal

ACTIVITIES: co-organisation of joint activities and project management, participation in the organisation of a summer university, attendance and participation in study tours and summer universities abroad.

Edible and sensory parks (LEADER-CLLD)

The Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Agricultural Markets and Rural Development selected the Edible and sensory parks project for intergenerational education in the direction of self-sufficiency and sustainable rural development in the municipalities of Postojna, Pivka, and Ilirska Bistrica (UČP) for co-financing in the amount of EUR 49,728.19.

The project involved seven partners: Postojna Knowledge Institute, Postojna Municipality, Pivka Municipality, KGZS Agricultural and Forestry Institute Nova Gorica, Anton Žnideršič Elementary School Ilirska Bistrica, Rudolf Ukovič Elementary School Podenka Žakelj s. p.

In the village of Zagorje, the surroundings of the children’s playground were arranged into an Edible and sensory park, and workshops were held on the use of medicinal herbs. In Pivka, workshops were held for the planning of the Edible and sensory park in Pivka, and a conceptual and implementation plan was prepared.

Culturecovery (Interreg Central Europe)

The Municipality of Pivka implemented the European project CULTURECOVERY, aimed at the protection and restoration of intangible cultural heritage in Central Europe with the help of ecomuseums.

The CULTURECOVERY project was applied for the Transnational Programme Central Europe 2014-2020 (Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE) on Priority Axis 3: Cooperation in the field of natural and cultural resources for sustainable growth in Central Europe with a focus on improving the capacity for sustainable use of cultural heritage and resources.

The main purpose of the CULTURECOVERY project was to protect and restore the intangible cultural heritage of Central Europe with the help of ecomuseums as promoters of local development.
The project lasted three years and was worth 1.5 million euros, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The municipality of Cervia, with the Ecomuseum of Salt and Sea, was the project’s lead partner, with the remaining nine partners hailing from Croatia, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and Slovenia. Among the partners was the Municipality of Pivka, which covered 15% of the project’s total cost of EUR 146,840 with budget funds.

The partners in the CULTURECOVERY project researched and identified best practices in Europe in the field of Ecomuseum management and the promotion of intangible cultural heritage. Each of the partners organised a number of participatory workshops in their respective areas, during which the proposed measures for the protection of intangible cultural heritage were examined with the assistance of the local community. Training on the revival and transmission of traditional cultural heritage to the younger generation, as well as workshops with primary school children, were organised as part of the project.

Interactive tourism for all (LAG collaboration – LEADER-CLLD)

Interactive tourism for all is a LAG collaboration project in which the Partnership LAG Zasavje, LAG Notranjska, LAG In the embrace of the sun, LAG Along the heritage trails from Turjak to Kolpa, LAG Upper Savinjska and Šaleška dolina, and LAG Between Snežnik and Nanos (Municipality of Pivka – Nature Park) the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park.

We received funds for project implementation through the third public tender for Sub-measure 19.3: Preparation and implementation of LAG cooperation activities. The collaboration included joint promotional activities such as the creation of a comprehensive graphic image of the project, the creation of joint multimedia contents, the presentation of contents at mobile intermedia points, guide training, the development of an interpretation plan, and joint press conferences.

The Municipality of Pivka was granted EUR 59,000 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for the implementation of activities in Interactive tourism for all operations. We completed the work in December 2020.

We followed new guidelines and the development of accessible tourism in Europe in the Interactive tourism for all project, as we developed some new niche tourism products aimed primarily at vulnerable groups: people with reduced mobility, blind and partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing, people with disabilities, mental health, and the elderly.
In the course of the project, we acquired new equipment such as a model for the blind and partially sighted, a touch map, VR glasses, FM radios and transmitters, image films about the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park, 360 videos, and photos.

Establishment of an eco-tent for the disabled people (LEADER-CLLD)

Partners: Postojna Secondary Forestry and Woodworking School, Project partners: Municipality of Pivka, Education Tamara Urbančič s.p., Rihard Baša s.p.

Total value of the project: EUR 69,532.89 including VAT; 58,989.06 EUR without VAT
Value of co-financing: EUR 47,191.24 without VAT
In the second public call of the LAG between Snežnik and Nanos – LEADER/CLLD programme, published on 14 February 2017 by the LAG between Snežnik and Nanos, the operation “Establishment of a sustainable tent for the disabled” was confirmed in January 2018, amounting to 80% co-financed by EU funds, European Regional Development Fund.

The operation’s goal was to contribute to a better and more accessible tourist offering in the LAG area. The goal was to set up a sustainable tent with adaptations for the disabled in the park next to the Secondary Forestry and Woodworking School, as well as to include local providers, which contributes to the improvement of the tourist offer.

Postojna Secondary Forestry and Woodworking School acted as the leading partner of the operation. As part of the operation, the entrance to the student dormitory or Youth Hostel Proteus was arranged, which became more accessible for people with reduced mobility.

The Municipality of Pivka (the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park) set up an interactive information board in the park next to SGLŠ as part of the operation, which is intended to present the Ecomuseum of Seasonal Lakes of Pivka and the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park. As part of the project, an outside contractor worked with the park’s professional staff to provide 10 adapted guided tours for vulnerable groups in the KPPPJ area and the Ecomuseum of Seasonal Lakes of Pivka.

Financing data:
Value of eligible costs of the operation: EUR 69,532.89
ERDF co-financing 47,191.24 or 80% of eligible costs.
The value of eligible funds for co-financing of the Municipality of Pivka is EUR 4,557.36

Carnivora Dinarica (Interreg Slovenia-Croatia)

The Carnivora Dinarica project was aimed at improving the protection status of large carnivores in the Natura 2000 areas of Javorniki-Snežnik, Notranjski trikotnik, Gorski Kotar and Severna Lika, which form a uniquely concluded cross-border forest area in Central Europe.

The project focused on four common challenges: concretising strategies and closing gaps in cross-border management of bear, wolf, and lynx populations, reducing risks and coexistence opportunities, and understanding carnivore ecosystem roles.

The goals of the project were:

improving cross-border population management by harmonising wolf and lynx measures, a better understanding of threats, habitat ‘connectivity,’ ecosystem services, and enhanced cooperation between institutions from both countries; risk reduction through demonstration activities such as good practice farms, damage prevention fences, shepherd dogs, dynamic road signs, orphanage stalls, honey-safe bins, measures to direct visits to the Risnjak Nature Park, Snežnik, and Kolpa areas, and the establishment of large carnivore guiding and awareness centres in Krpanov dom in Pivka; strengthen the skills, knowledge, and awareness of the importance and methods of coexistence of humans and large carnivores through training of national and local stakeholders, as well as residents of conflict areas.

As part of the project, the Municipality of Pivka established the Dina Pivka Centre for Large Carnivores in Krpanov dom Pivka. The goal was to present large carnivores and coexistence in a comprehensive and appealing manner to visitors, particularly youth, families, nature lovers, domestic breeders, hunters, and anyone else interested in large carnivores and coexistence with them. The project’s main goal was to translate scientific and professional knowledge into a language that children could understand; we wanted research on large carnivores to be accessible to all. We chose a method that is primarily based on modern technologies, allowing visitors to independently explore the content while also evaluating their own knowledge in a fun way.

The project had a value of EUR 2.35 million, European co-financing was 85 percent, and the Municipality of Pivka had a stake in the project worth EUR 741 thousand. The project was underway from 1. 9. 2018 to 30. 9. 2021.

The Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana was the lead partner, with the Slovenian Forest Service and the Municipality of Pivka on the Slovenian side, and the Risnjak National Park Public Institute, the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Zagreb, the WWF Adria Association for Nature Protection and Biodiversity Conservation based in Zagreb, the municipality of Vrbovsko, and the County of Primorje-Gorski Kotar from Croatia. The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Protection, the Croatian Environment and Nature Agency, and NINA, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, were also involved.

NATURE & WILDLIFE (Interreg Slovenia-Croatia)

In the project, we created a tourist product – Explore the wondernature – for experiencing nature and wildlife in the Dinaric Karst’s cross-border area, which largely adheres to the guidelines of responsible nature management, particularly the use of brown bears in tourism. It is one of only three other areas in Europe (along with the Dinarides, the Carpathians, and Scandinavia) that still has all three species of large carnivores (bear, lynx, and wolf).

The project combined an exceptional natural and cultural heritage into a thematic cross-border tourist product, upgraded it with interpretation and new visitor infrastructure, and increased the destination’s attractiveness to specific target groups of visitors.

Partners: RDA Zeleni kras d. o. o., Municipality of Pivka, Public Institute for Culture, Tourism and Intergenerational Cooperation Snežnik, Jezerski hram – Institute for Preservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage Cerknica, Public Institution Risnjak National Park, Local Development Agency PINS d. o. o., Rijeka Development Agency PORIN d. o. o., Subjekt d. o. o.

Associated partners: Woodland Ways Ltd, The World Owl Trust from Great Britain, Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, the Slovenia Forest Service

As part of the project, the Municipality of Pivka established a one-of-a-kind interpretive toy made of natural materials on the topic of forest animals and phenomena in the Nature Park, we developed an app for mobile devices that guides visitors along the paths between the Pivka lakes and an interactive printed map of the area, we held 16 workshops for tourism providers and local residents, and we created promotional material.

The value of the eligible costs of the project amounted to EUR 982,694.29. The ERDF project is co-financed in the amount of EUR 835,290.12 or 85% of eligible costs. The Municipality of Pivka’s eligible costs totalled EUR 181,084.48, with the ERDF funding the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia, priority axis 2: Conservation and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources, Programme specific objective 2.1 Active heritage conservation through sustainable tourism co-financed EUR 153,921.80.

The project lasted 30 months, from 1. 9. 2018 to 28. 2. 2021.

Multisensory experiences related to castles and villas of the cross-border region for excellence in tourism – MerlinCV (Interreg Italy-Slovenia)

MerlinCV is a cross-border strategic project co-financed within the Interreg VA Italy-Slovenia 2014-2020 Cooperation Programme from the European Regional Development Fund.

The aim of the project is to increase the visibility of the tourist region by providing innovative, integrated, thematic, and sustainable tourism-oriented tourist products in the Slovenian-Italian border area.

Numerous activities in the field of designing new tourist products and educating relevant stakeholders were organised as part of the project. The project activities were planned based on research and the transfer of best practices from comparable environments. On this basis, a web and mobile application were developed that serves as a database of the local tourist offer as well as a tool for tourist itinerary planning. Several pilot projects for local tourism providers were conducted, including educational workshops, a network, the so-called “Local Offer Community,” individualised itineraries, and tourism stories.

The Municipality of Pivka is one of the eight project partners, and it actively participated in the project’s valorisation and revitalisation of castle heritage (Šilentabor and Ravne manor), as well as the implementation of pilot activities, pilot projects, and tourism stories.

Museum evenings and educational workshops on the topics of cultural heritage and tourism were organised as part of the project activities for the local community and other interested stakeholders. A web and mobile application were created to highlight the area’s tourist, catering, and other offerings. A thematic cycling route has also been established, connecting the majority of the municipality’s tourist points.

One of the project’s main activities is a detailed scientific study, which was used to present the development of the Ravne manor through different historical periods and future prospects. The study will also serve as the foundation for the creation of a museum exhibition about the aforementioned manor.

Funding information:
The value of the eligible costs of the project is EUR 2,583,296.29
ERDF co-financing EUR 2,195,801.84 or 85% of eligible costs
with the Municipality of Pivka bearing a share of the project costs
The Municipality of Pivka’s eligible costs for co-financing total EUR 232,075.00.
ERDF co-financing EUR 197,263.75

Secap Project (Interreg Italy-Slovenia)

The SECAP project is part of the Interreg Slovenia-Italy programme. The project’s common challenge is to provide practical assistance to the municipalities of the partner areas in the implementation of sustainable energy policies and in adapting to environmental changes identified in the transition from the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) to the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (SECAP). The project’s main goal is to assist local operators in improving their energy planning capacity by focusing on energy savings, renewables, CO2 emissions reduction, and climate change mitigation measures.

The change we seek is the result of a strategic cross-border approach that will ensure rapid adaptation and coherence among various sectors and levels of government. The goal is to understand the effects of climate change and to develop and implement policies to ensure the best level of adaptation possible by developing regional and local strategies that are consistent with national ones. The presence of Slovenian ministries (as associated partners) and Friuli-Venezia Giulia ensures the exchange of options with management authorities as well as the coherence of the strategy with action plans and national and regional development policies.

The expected results are: a cross-border single strategy that will ensure the transition to a green economy and provide new employment opportunities; educational courses for municipalities and public awareness; the transition from some Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) to the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (SECAP); other pilot activities to identify SECAP methodologies tailored to local needs and small infrastructure investments to monitor emissions into the atmosphere and energy consumption, as well as good practice examples.
Krpanov dom, the largest multi-purpose public building in the Municipality of Pivka, with an internal area of 3,052.2 m2, will produce a thermal envelope that will have positive effects and contribute to efficient energy use and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and particulate matter emissions. In order to demonstrate the project’s effects, two green roofs with a total area of approximately 130 m2 will be arranged on the flat part of the roof, in addition to the thermal envelope of the building. Thermal insulation of external concrete walls will be conducted as part of the thermal envelope, joinery will be replaced where necessary, meteor water drainage will be arranged in certain parts, and other measures will be taken to achieve adequate functionality, thermal insulation, and energy efficiency of the public building. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Partners: Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region – Direzione ambeinte ed energia, University of Trieste, Area Science Park, Metropolitan City of Venice, IUAV University of Venice, Unioncamere Veneto, GOLEA, LEAG, RRA LUR, Municipality of Pivka

Getting to Know the Pivka intermittent lakes by Bicycle (Drobnovratnik Association)

The Drobnovratnik Association conducted a one-year project called Getting to Know the Pivka intermittent lakes by Bicycle, which was funded in part by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment. They actively contributed to the development and easier launch of the then-newly established protected area, the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park, whose mission is to ensure sustainable development and biodiversity preservation in the Pivka region.

Members of the association focused their efforts, in collaboration with local stakeholders (landowners, young farmers, owners of farms with added content, interested public, etc.), on implementing nature conservation campaigns and laying the groundwork for the development of nature-friendly tourism in the park.

They conducted two field actions in the Natura 2000 area of Pivka to improve the condition of two target habitat types and qualification species. They helped to preserve biologically diverse dry karst grasslands by removing trees and shrubs from overgrown areas. They ensured adequate habitat for endangered butterfly species by mowing a portion of the nature-important wet meadows at appropriate times.

They proposed cycling routes in the vicinity of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park, suitable for guided cycling trips. As a result, they contributed to the expansion of opportunities for the development of new tourist products that add value to the local population and are based on the sustainable natural exploitation of goods (tourism, organic farming, woodworking…).

The increase in the number of visitors, as well as the lack of tourist infrastructure, is a major issue for the protected area. We obtained an assessment of the area’s load and insight into possible negative impacts on the most sensitive parts of nature by monitoring visitors in the Pivka intermittent lakes area. The collected data provide a solid foundation for future visitor guidance within the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka Nature Park’s Management Plan.

They held training sessions for potential nature interpreters on bicycles. They encouraged all interested masters of wood processing to creatively use this natural asset, which is abundant in the Pivka region, through competition for wooden useful products, souvenirs, and marking elements on tourist trails. All activities were meaningfully related to the content for the long-term development of tourism, the interpretation of biodiversity, and the promotion of nature protection among the local population and the wider community.


Contribution to the knowledge of ecology and management of selected endemic or protected species of invertebrates in the Pivka river basin – FAMNIT (Programme ŠIPK)

Project time frame: April 2019 – July 2019

We began a four-month project in April as part of the Student Innovative Projects for Social Benefit that deals with selected protected or endemic invertebrates in the Pivka river basin. The Pivka Local Acceleration Centre and the Ecomuseum of the Seasonal Lakes of Pivka, as well as students from the University of Primorska in Koper’s Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Information Technology and the University of Ljubljana’s Biotechnical Faculty, collaborated on project activities.

The first goal of the project was to investigate the occurrence and seasonal dynamics of the endemic Karst fairy shrimp (Chirocephalus croaticus), which is only known from the Pivka intermittent lakes and was previously only recorded in Petelinjsko jezero Lake. The Petelinjsko jezero Lake is probably suitable for the Karst fairy shrimp due to the lack of fish and most other predators, and the crustacean survives in the form of eggs during the dry season. Experts from the University of Primorska and students collaborated on the project to determine the abundance of this fascinating animal and the extent to which it is influenced by various environmental factors.

The second goal was to investigate the presence and population parameters of two butterfly species that are common in wet grasslands. Both selected species belong to the blues family (Lycaenidae) and are listed as Natura 2000 species. The Scarce large blue (Phengaris teleius) caterpillar has specific requirements in order to complete its life cycle, as it requires the presence of the food plant Great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) and host ants of the genus Myrmica. The Large copper (Lycaena dispar) is also found primarily in moist meadows, but it is also common along ditches and watercourses with riparian vegetation. The caterpillar feeds on dock (Rumex).

Because the chosen area is part of the cultural landscape and has a close relationship with man, the project also determined what preserved nature means to people. The project’s activities and outcomes will contribute to a better understanding of selected species and will aid in future conservation efforts.

Life lynx – Rescue of lynx in the Dinarides and the south-eastern Alps from extinction (LIFE Programme)

Project time frame: 7. 2017–31. 3. 2024

The LIFE Lynx project’s main goal is to save the Dinaric-SE Alpine lynx population from extinction and to ensure its long-term conservation. The population is currently extremely small and isolated, with specimens that are extremely similar to one another. As a result, the degree of relatedness must be reduced by bringing in healthy specimens from another, non-endangered population. With international cooperation, we will relocate lynx from the Slovak and Romanian Carpathians to Slovenia and Croatia, thereby preventing the extinction of our species. Simultaneously, we will work to maintain strong public support and key stakeholders for lynx conservation, which we will accomplish by developing management tools based on scientific research findings. We will collaborate with the EU countries where this lynx population resides to ensure the long-term conservation of immigrant animals in a systematic manner, as well as to ensure that the general public accepts lynx protection. We will pay close attention to stakeholders and public acceptance of the project, as close collaboration with local residents and all stakeholders in the process of rescuing the lynx population is critical for its long-term conservation. We will prepare national and population-level strategic documents to ensure the long-term preservation of the renewed population. We will be able to understand population development, monitor the success of resettlement, test different management scenarios, and select the best way to manage the population using the scientific tools that we will develop based on project data. The project’s long-term goal is to develop the population into a functional unit that, as part of the metapopulation, will be able to exist independently and in the long run in this territory. We will also work to mitigate the effects of habitat fragmentation by establishing connectivity with other nearby populations and taking species into account in spatial planning.


Life Dinalp Bear – Comprehensive management and protection of brown bears in the northern Dinarides and the Alps (LIFE Programme)

Project time frame: 7. 7. 2014–30. 6. 2019

Cross-border cooperation and population-based management are important goals of brown bear conservation and management in Europe’s politically divided region. Unfortunately, this goal is often difficult to achieve. We hope to overcome this challenge within the countries of Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Austria with the help of a large LIFE+ project funded primarily by the European Commission (69%) and affecting the brown bear population in the northern Dinarides and southwestern Alps. The LIFE DINALP BEAR project lasted from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019.

Conflicts between humans and brown bear populations (Ursus arctos) in Europe continue to be one of the most serious threats to brown bear conservation, and steps to improve coexistence are urgently needed. Uncertainty about the socioeconomic and environmental importance of brown bears, unsubstantiated assessments of the risk of bear attacks leading to lower bear tolerance and high bear mortality in traffic due to fragmentation of bear habitat as a result of expanding transportation infrastructure, and urbanisation are all challenges that must be addressed.


ForBioEnergy (Interreg Mediterranean)

A significant portion of the Mediterranean forests are protected areas, and while they provide numerous opportunities for the production of wood biomass, there are some constraints on its extraction and subsequent use for energy purposes.

The primary goal of the ForBioEnergy project was to investigate the feasibility of obtaining, processing, and using wood for energy purposes in protected areas, as well as to find solutions within the constraints that protected areas impose. Throughout the project, we sought transnational solutions to reduce barriers to sector development and the planning of biomass potential exploitation, while preserving the biodiversity of protected areas.

We, too, have many protected areas in Slovenia, where forests and overgrown areas provide an important source of wood for energy. Throughout the project, we looked for ways to encourage the extraction and use of wood for energy purposes in collaboration with the managers of selected protected areas. Our goal was to heat public buildings in the protected area with locally grown wood fuels.

The project has 9 partners from 4 European countries:
Italy: Sicily Region: Councillorship for Agriculture, Rural Development and Mediterranean Fishing Regional, Department for the Rural and Territorial Development (lead partner), Municipality of Petralia Sottana
– EnviLand Ltd.
Slovenia: Slovenian Forestry Institute; RDA Green Karst (Pivka intermittent lakes Landscape Park)
Spain: The Forestry Municipalities Association of Comunitat Valenciana Valencia Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Shipping
Croatia: Zadar County; Public institution Nature Park Velebit

AlpES – Mapping, conservation and management of ecosystem services in the Alpine space (Interreg Alpine Space)

The project lasted 36 months from 1. 1. 2016 to 31. 12. 2018. The total cost of the project is nearly EUR 2.3 million, with the EU contributing 85% (EUR 1,829,886.45) through the Interreg Alpine Space Programme. The European Academy (EURAC) in Bolzano is the project’s lead partner. The partnership involves all Alpine countries except Switzerland, which has project observer status. The Institute for Nature Conservation of the Republic of Slovenia collaborated with nine project partners from Italy (4), Austria (2), Germany (1), France (1), and Liechtenstein (1).

With this project, the Institute of Nature Conservation of the Republic of Slovenia approached the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy until 2020 in the field of improving knowledge about ecosystems and their services in the EU, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, which has the status of an observer (measure 5).

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The project’s goal was to develop a common transnational understanding of ecosystem services, as well as to unify mapping and assessment methods and to manage ecosystem services in the Alpine space. Various interactive tools and a set of training tools will be essential for involving stakeholders in the process of implementing the concept of ecosystem services at various levels and across the territorial governance sectors.

  1. The development of the concept of ecosystem services in the Alpine space: a shared understanding of ecosystem services as well as the concept of mapping and evaluating them.
  2. Implementation of mapping and evaluation of (selected) ecosystem services in the Alpine space: collection of content and spatial data in the field of ecosystem services, selection of appropriate evaluation indicators, creation of a map, and selection of a test area for results evaluation.
  3. Establishment of an interactive web application GIS (AlpES web GIS) and expansion of the web browser database within WIKIAlps.
  4. Transfer of tools and results to stakeholders: involve as many appropriate stakeholders as possible, hold workshops, training, and e-learning, and develop guidelines for the implementation of knowledge on ecosystem services at various administrative levels and across sectors.


The project included a wide range of stakeholders in the processes of understanding, evaluating, and managing ecosystem services, including public institutions, policymakers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), researchers, and economic actors.