In October 2017, the SAI Slovenia published the audit report on managing Natura 2000 areas in Slovenia.
Since more than 350 Natura 2000 areas are located in Slovenia, representing 37 percent of its territory and at the same time the largest share in the EU, Slovenia decided to preserve those areas in a unique
way – through unified development of management measures and their integration into different sectoral plans.
Poster for an audit on managing Natura 2000 areas
The audit revealed the following:
- objectives and measures regarding the Natura 2000 areas were defined by the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation and the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia; appointed were also the bodies responsible for the implementation of measures;
- in order to fully integrate the measures into different sectoral plans and thus facilitate their implementation, the Ministry and the Institute became appropriately involved in sectoral planning (the fields of protected areas, forest management, water management, agriculture, and spatial planning), namely through issuing guidelines and appropriate assessment of plans;
- certain exceptions were identified that increase the risk of not implementing the measures – if the sectoral plans were not prepared or adopted (water management), if the appropriate assessment was not carried out (water management), or in the case of voluntary measures (agriculture);
- the SAI Slovenia identified the greatest potential for improvement in the field of monitoring the implementation of measures – the monitoring system for collecting data from different sectors is being set up, allowing the assessment of adequacy and sufficiency of the protection measures and efficient management of Natura 2000 areas.