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This year’s World Wildlife Day dedicated to forests

The World Wildlife Day is celebrated on 3 March. This year it is dedicated to forests and their importance for sustaining people and the planet. Forests cover nearly 60% of Slovenia and, among other things, they are protected as part of the Natura 2000 sites.

Forests cover nearly 60% of Slovenia

Forests cover nearly 60% of Slovenia | Author STO

The emphasis is on the central role of forests, forest species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, especially indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forests and forest-adjacent areas.

In Slovenia, forests cover nearly 60% of the territory, of which nearly a half are included in the Natura 2000 network. Forests account for as much as 70% of the area covered by Natura 2000 sites and therefore effective management of forests within the Natura 2000 network is of exceptional importance for both maintaining the favourable conservation status of endangered animal and plant species, as well as their habitats and habitat types. Forty-eight Natura 2000 species (forty-three animal and five plant species) and eleven Natura 2000 habitat types can be found in forests.

In cooperation with the Slovenian Forest Service, Institute for Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, and other partners and stakeholders in Slovenia, we strive to preserve and improve the status of important European species and habitat types through the Natura 2000 Management Programme. We are also working closely together with these organisations on the new Natura 2000 management programme for the 2022–2028 period, which is being prepared as part of the LIFE integrated project for enhanced Natura 2000 management in Slovenia (LIFE-IP NATURA.SI). In this regard, special attention will have to be dedicated to forest species and habitat types with an unfavourable conservation status.