Minister Šinko and the representatives of service providers signed the first contracts under the Recovery and Resilience Plan
Minister Irena Šinko and state secretary dr. Darij Krajčič presented the projects of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food (MKGP) under the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) at the press conference today.
She also signed the first two contracts for the implementation of RRP with the representatives of service providers: the project Establishment of a Seeds, Tree Nursery and Forest Protection Centre and the e-Forestry project. The head of the Representation of the European Commission in Slovenia, dr. Jerneja Jug Jerše, also took part at the event.
Minister Irena Šinko noted the following at the press conference: “Just as other countries, the Republic of Slovenia also prepared the Recovery and Resilience plan, which was given a positive assessment on 1 July last year by the European Commission. In the framework of the plan, Slovenia is carrying out reforms and investments to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 measures in Slovenia; it supports long-term sustainable growth and addresses the challenges of the green and digital transition. With the help of funds from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, Slovenia will become stronger and better prepared for the challenges of the future.”
State secretary dr. Darij Krajčič presented both projects in more detail, for which the first contracts have been signed today, and noted that the “construction of the Seeds, Tree Nursery and Forest Protection Centre is urgent because of the increasingly common natural disasters and related damages in forests due to climate changes and other factors that decrease the resilience of forests. The digital transformation of public sector and the economy is necessary for the long-term development and competitiveness of the country. With the e-Forestry project, the public forestry service shall be able to undergo digitisation of its main operating processes, with focus on the collection of data in the field, obtaining new high-tech pillars for the decision-making processes, and the simplification of its operating processes.”
The head of the Representation of the European Commission in Slovenia, dr. Jerneja Jug Jerše, noted the following: “The Recovery and Resilience Plan of Slovenia includes a comprehensive programme with 55 investment windows and 22 reforms. It combines investments into the green and digital transition with reforms of the long-term care and healthcare systems, and strengthens the economic and social resilience for the benefit of all Slovenians. Slovenia has 1.5 billion euros of grant funds available; we have already received 231 million euros in the scope of the previous financing scheme.”
On the Recovery and Resilience Plan
The Recovery and Resilience Plan is one of the pillars for the successful recovery and long-term development of the country following the standstill caused by the Covid-19 measures. In the framework of its plan, Slovenia will implement measures to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 measures in Slovenia, and it shall also address the challenges of the green and digital transition.
MKGP will implement 10 projects together with the constituent bodies. Projects at MKGP are carried out in the framework of three pillars, namely:
- RRP pillar: Green transition (project worth 5.1 million euros excluding VAT)
- RRP pillar: Digital transformation (eight projects in the total value of more than 24 million euros excluding VAT)
- RRP pillar: Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth: (project worth 5.3 million euros excluding VAT)
The first MKGP projects in the framework of RRP
The first two RRP contracts have been signed today, which include the following:
- Green transition – Establishment of a Seeds, Tree Nursery and Forest Protection Centre (5.1 million euros excluding VAT)
Aim of the project: to strengthen the public research infrastructure which will allow for a higher quality implementation of the existing tasks of the public service and public authorisations in the protection of plants, seeds and tree nursery, as well as the protection of forests and the monitoring of the genetic diversity of forest trees. With all its activities, the Centre will directly support the increase of resilience of the forest ecosystems and the forestry/wood chain in terms of climate changes and adjustments to the climate challenges by restoring and preserving the health, resilience and biodiversity of forest ecosystems and the efficient sustainable usage of forests and wood in the future. The activities that stem from its operations will have a significant positive long-term impact on the mitigation of climate changes, adjustments to climate changes, protection of water sources, and the protection and preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. The planned investment allows for the achievement of the goals as set out in the Resolution on National Forest Programme, the National Energy and Climate Package and the Action plan to increase competitiveness of forest-wood chain in Slovenia, as well as the measures in the forestry plans and forestry units made in the co-decision process with forest owners, interested parties, ministries and other stakeholders. It also addresses the Recommendations of the European Commission for Slovenia regarding the preparation of the Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan 2023–2027.
- Digital transformation – project: e-Forestry (10,116,426.00 euros excluding VAT)
Aim of the project: to simplify the implementation of the forestry policy. The expected impact is also to improve transparency in the forestry chain by improving databases with uniform access to the forestry information system with up-to-date data on the state of the forests and implemented measures. In addition, the application E-gozd (“E-forest”) will be developed, which will allow the owners and managers of forests to have access to the implemented measures, planned measures and basic data on the economics of cutting and storage of wood and the sale of wood on the market. With the purpose of establishing a one-stop shop for acquiring data for the needs of all stakeholders and to allow the analyses of historic data for forming strategies and policies in the formation of the future forestry policy in line with the EU strategies, records, registries and databases will be created and updated at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food and the indirect budget users (Slovenian Forest Service, Slovenian Forestry Institute) and their links with other institutions. The data will also be available to owners and managers of forests for a more efficient management of forests, and they shall also be available to the general public, researchers, other sectors, etc., in an appropriate aggregated form. Digital transformation will thus allow for the rationalisation of tasks and especially for more efficient and quicker customer service.