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Minister Brežan at talks on the use of natural values in TNP

Uroš Brežan, minister of the environment and spatial planning, today made a field visit to Vintgar Gorge together with the mayor of Gorje, and also met the mayors and other representatives of the municipalities of Bled, Bohinj, Jesenice, Kranjska Gora, Bovec and Kobarid, and those responsible for managing natural resources in Triglav National Park (TNP).

Tour of Soteska Vintgar: Janez Poklukar TD Gorje, Minister Uroš Brežan, Parish Priestess Peter Torkar

Tour of Soteska Vintgar: Janez Poklukar TD Gorje, Minister Uroš Brežan, Parish Priestess Peter Torkar | Author Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning

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The minister said that managing natural resources is one of the challenges that he faced as a mayor, but now he also has insight into the issue from the point of view of the ministry. “This is one of the priority tasks that we will have to tackle seriously. The local community, the TNP, and the public institutes dealing with the management of natural resources will have to be involved in the discussions. Considering today’s visit, and the conversation across the table, I believe we will find compromise solutions,” he said.

He added that there are already numerous examples of best practice, but that challenges will undoubtedly arise, and have to be solved at two levels – within the framework of existing legislation, and under a new concept, which will most likely require a change in legislation, in particular the Nature Conservation Act.

The minister also explained that the ministry was aware of the importance of the Ovčja Jama water catchment area, which is why they upheld the restrictions cited in the municipal ordinance and banned the use of fertilisers and plant protection products in the immediate vicinity. He also clarified that finalising the Decree on water protection areas for the public drinking water supply depends on the conclusions of the new methodology for compensation for farming in WPAs, and on the Constitutional Court’s assessments of bans on the use of plant protection products in WPAs.

At the meeting with representatives of the municipalities of Bled, Bohinj, Jesenice, Kranjska Gora, Bovec and Kobarid, and natural resources managers who charge entry fees and road tolls in TNP, the minister emphasised that visiting TNP should be organised in such a way that first, natural resources and biodiversity are preserved, second, visitors can enjoy a good experience in the national park, and third, inhabitants are not disturbed in their everyday lives, and are granted opportunities for sustainable development.

“It is our goal that by the next tourist season we will have found interim solutions, and that within a year we will have developed a concept that could be enacted by law. This would be a model for all of Slovenia, and might also make a good example for all of Europe,” said the minister.