1. POLICY SETTING
- The Environmental Protection Act (2006) regulates the system of environmental protection based on sustainable development principles.
- The Natura 2000 Management programme for Slovenia for 2015-2020 (coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning) was adopted in April 2015. Once implemented, its outcome could be a coherent Natura 2000 network providing many of the core areas with healthy ecosystems by developing functional green infrastructure. It comprises concrete and operational measures for the Natura 2000 network on the basis of the approach of the Priority Action Frameworks (PAFs). The preparation of the Programme was funded under the LIFE programme. In the Natura 2000 Programme, priority Natura 2000 areas were defined, where active measures of improvement and restoration need to be done in order to improve conservation status of target species and habitat types. Projects proposing such measures in priority Natura 2000 areas are eligible for funding from the Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014-2020.
- In addition to a coherent Natura 2000 network, there is a network of ecologically important areas (Decree on ecologically important areas) covering 50% of the country that are taken into account in spatial planning procedures. The decree on ecologically important areas was adopted in 2004 and amended in 2013. This decree establishes ecologically important areas and conservation policies to maintain or achieve favourable conservation status of habitat types and species of wild flora and fauna species and their habitats in these areas.
- Slovenia's Development Strategy 2014–2020 is a national strategic document that defines the well-being of the population as the highest development goal. According to the draft strategy, Slovenia's development will be directed toward ensuring a green living environment by investments in green infrastructure, measures for nature protection and biodiversity conservation, and the provision of a biosafety system (parts, relevant for green infrastructure). The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (GODC) is the lead institution for Slovenia’s development Strategy.
- Spatial Development Strategy of Slovenia is a strategic spatial planning document, adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia at its session as of 18 June 2004, published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no 76/2004, and in force since 20 July 2004. The Spatial Strategy is the basic strategic spatial development document and an integrated planning document which implements the concept of sustainable spatial development. Together with the Strategy for Economic Development of Slovenia, it represents the umbrella document for guiding development and forms the basis for the harmonization of sectoral policies. The Strategy preparation process involved all ministries and services, whose work is of relevance to the implementation of spatial development and to the territorial cohesion of the country and its participation in the European spatial development. The basic premises and policies which they laid down are included in the spatial development objectives and policies of the Spatial Development Strategy. The Strategy imposes conditions for balanced economic, social and cultural development while ensuring the kind of development which will also enable the conservation of the environment, nature, heritage, and the quality of living. The national spatial development strategy consists of three interwoven spatial systems, settlement, infrastructure and landscape. The strategy provides a wide concept of landscape development, describing it as optimal “when by locating the activities, landscape works as functionally, ecologically and visually balanced system of spatial structures, which enables healthy, safe and pleasant living environment, when development conserves as much as possible of the natural structure, retains cultural layers, and provides space for natural processes, and when landscape development enables the landscape to become a carrier of national and local identity.”
The landscape spatial system is defined by its basic cultural and natural components offering potential for biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage conservation, agriculture, forestry, water management, mineral resources extraction, natural hazards management, tourism and recreation. Landscape should be developed as natural, cultural and urban landscape, territorially shown in the landscape concept map. The strategy emphasises the need to provide “balanced proportion of built and green areas in the settlement and link to the open landscape.” Cities are obliged to prepare “green systems” for which the strategy provides a definition (p. 10); elements and principles of its establishment can be understood as GI elements in cities. The strategy mentions GI elements, e.g. the maintenance and establishment of landscape structures, which are important for the conservation of biodiversity (continuity and interconnection) (CBD 5th national report – Slovenia, 2015).
- The new Spatial Development Strategy of Slovenia 2050 is in preparation. It will include significant national infrastructure, including green infrastructure, as a strategically planned multifunctional system of different spatial/landscape elements on national level with the guidelines for developing on regional and local levels in spatial plans.
- The proposal for the new National Environmental Action Programme 2017-2030 (NEAP) is being prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, which will include also the new National Nature Conservation Programme (NNCP). NEAP will be adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia and it will include main objectives and measures to achieve the objectives. The green infrastructure objectives and measures with special emphasis on the Natura 2000 network and achieving the nature conservation objectives on state property (forests, agricultural land and waters) is intended to be included in the NEAP-NNCP.
2. IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
- Sečovlje Salina (Regional) is a 650 ha area along the estuary of the Dragonja River on the southernmost stretch of the Slovenian coastline. The coastal alluvial plain has developed over centuries by the continuous deposition of sediments in the Dragonja river estuary. Basins for evaporating sea water were created at least 700 years ago; the landscape and ecosystem has remained relatively unchanged since. Several different habitat types, however, have evolved, all of them dependent on the salty environment and the presence of humans to prevent tide and floods. This is the first state-designated protected area to be managed by a private company (Soline; a salt producer). The project is a good example of a multifunctional Green Infrastructure capable of combining salt production, tourism and recreational activities and education whilst at the same time conserving unique habitats for salt-loving vegetation. The project – the result of public-private efforts - improved the conservation status of target bird, reptile and fish species and target habitat types in the Natura 2000 site Sečovlje salina. The specific actions were to ensure control and effectively manage the water regime; enhance the conservation status of numerous species and habitats in the area; and raise public awareness (Trinomics et al., 2016).
- Ljubljana (Local/regional) is Slovenia’s capital and with 280,000 inhabitants the largest city of the country. Throughout the city’s history, floods have frequently struck the city. The main aims of the city’s spatial policy are to maintain the well-structured green network, redevelop brownfields and create new green areas. The green network functions as a green infrastructure area since it is multifunctional, providing socio-cultural and ecological benefits as well as flood prevention. Through these efforts, Ljubljana has become well-known as a GI city, and was recognized as the European Green Capital in 2016. The first green system concept for Ljubljana was developed in 1994. Later, the City Municipality prepared the Ljubljana Spatial Development Concept as a strategic outline for the new spatial plan; green systems played an equally important role to other spatial systems. Although, Slovenia does not have regional spatial plans, the Ljubljana Urban Region Agency (encompassed by 26 municipalities) prepared expert bases for an integrated regional spatial plan, which included a landscape development concept for the whole area, based on natural and cultural heritage assets and potential for other uses.
- Restoring and conserving habitats and birds in Škocjanski zatok NR (regional) No.: LIFE00NAT/SLO/7226, LIFE III Natura, (Duration: 1.7.2001 – 30.6.2007) Partner: Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning Co-financers: European Community through its financial instrument LIFE. Total project cost: EUR 899,252€; total cost of restoration was about EUR 3.1 million (the remaining costs being financed by the Water Fund of the Republic of Slovenia). The project has substantially contributed towards establishing a favourable conservation status of habitats and birds in Škocjanski zatok. The habitats, which are recognised as rare and endangered on a national and EU level, have been restored and enhanced, thereby ensuring favourable conditions for the increase in the number of species and populations of important birds in the reserve.
- Interreg project Alpine Space: Alpine Ecosystem Services – mapping, maintenance and management (AlpES) (transnational) (December 2015 - December 2018, ERDF grant: EUR 1.829.886, implemented by partners from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Slovenia). The AlpES project’s overall objective is to introduce ecosystem services as a regional/transnational environmental governance framework and train and support the AlpES target groups in understanding, valuing and managing them. The Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planning is an observer of the project.
- “Conservation of Natura 2000 sites Kočevsko” (regional) (LIFE + 2013, 09.01.2014 to 28.02.2019, led by Municipality of Kočevje, total value nearly 2.3 million) The Kočevsko project area is famous for its extensive forests and is considered one of the most naturally preserved parts of Slovenia, The whole Kočevska area is defined as a Natura 2000 site both under the Birds Directive (SPA Kočevsko) and under the Habitats Directive (SCI Kočevsko) as well. The main objective of the project was to take specific actions to preserve nature which will improve habitat conditions and consequently create a favourable conservation status for the highly threatened forest birds. One of the actions was to set up special traffic arrangements on forest roads.
- The main objective of the “Conservation and Management of Freshwater Wetlands in Slovenia – WETMAN” project was the restoration and improvement of conditions of six Slovenian wetlands (local and national). Project dates: 1.2.2011 - 1.2.2015. Project value: EUR 2,144,376, 50% co-financed by the EU “LIFE+ Nature” programme (EUR 1,072,188). Project partners: The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia Forest Service, Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia, Municipalities Ruše and Kranjska Gora and RTV Slovenia.
- Sustainable management of Pohorje (regional): Due to its natural resources, Pohorje is part of the Natura 2000 ecological network, but for a variety of factors, mostly tourism and recreation, the most valuable parts of Pohorje are endangered. The numbers of bird species, amphibians and butterflies are declining rapidly. This is why the SUPORT project goal was to find sustainable development strategies for Pohorje that will ensure the protection of valuable natural areas and outdoor leisure activities. Key issues addressed: turning grassy and swamp land into forests, inadequate measures for strengthening the biotopic role of protective forests, extensive grasslands and wetlands, unregulated outdoor activities in the natural reserve, poor landscape management – no control and no integrated management of the Natura 2000 Pohorje area. The project was carried out as a part of the programme of Financial Mechanism EEA 2009-2014.
- Project People for Marsh (regional) – Biodiversity Conservation at the Ljubljana Marsh (LJUBA) addressed the main causes of biodiversity loss in the Ljubljana Marsh (project ended April 2016). Its total value is € 554,274.20, of which 94.9% is co-financed by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism (EEA Grants). The lead partner of the project was The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, other partners are Ljubljana Marsh Nature Park Public Institute, Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia, Institute for agriculture and forestry Ljubljana and Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
- Tourism infrastructure in Nature Reserve Škocjanski Zatok (regional): The main purpose of this project was to ensure modern management of the reserve and build appropriate infrastructure for visitors. The project was carried out in cooperation with the nature reserve management authority which is Birdlife Slovenia. Funding: the ERDF operational programme for strengthening regional development programmes 2007-2013. Beneficiary: Ministry of environment and spatial planning. Total cost of the operations and the amount of public funding: EUR 3,373,380, of which about 70% of the EU funds, national public sources. The project in Nature Reserve Škocjanski serves as a best practice case of caring for green infrastructure and green tourism in Slovenia. The first step was habitat restoration in the nature reserve (see the above described LIFE project in Škocjanski zatok) and the second step was the provision of public infrastructure to experience well preserved nature with minimal negative impacts.
- Commitment towards the development of Blue-Green corridors along the Adriatic-Ionian region (cross border) - one of the important topics of the EU Strategy for Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR) has been initiated by local coastal authorities and stakeholders with the closure of the coastal road between cities Koper and Izola (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ka1CfYhWXDg&feature=youtu.be).
3. MAINSTREAMING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
The EU Natura 2000 network is at the core of the EU's Green Infrastructure. By early 2016, Slovenia had designated 355 Natura 2000 sites. They include 324 Sites of Community Importance (SCI) under the Habitats Directive and 31 Special Protection Areas (SPA) under the Birds Directive, together covering 37.9% of the land area (which is the largest percentage of MS land area in the EU, EU average 18.1%) and 10.6 km² of marine waters (European Commission, 2017).
Management of agricultural land use is not subject to planning. The most important instrument for ensuring sufficient agricultural areas are in favourable condition is agri-environment-climate payments (AEC). There are AECs of special importance for ensuring favourable conditions for various species of grassland butterflies and birds, as well as grassland habitat types. Areas eligible for such payments are spatially limited and help ensure green infrastructure on agricultural land. The Natura 2000 Management Programme 2015-2020 sets targets (ha included in appropriate AECs) for each of these areas.
In forestry, Natura 2000 sites are managed through forest management plans which plan the implementation of measures for the modified use of natural resources. The framework for the measures is forestry legislation which facilitates planning and implementation of all necessary measures to ensure a favourable status of forest habitat types and species bound to forest ecosystems. Detailed conservation objectives and guidelines for modified use of forests (natural resources) are indicated by Appendix 6.1 “Objectives and measures” of the Natura 2000 Management Programme 2015-2020. Forest management plans for forest management units (FMP for FMU) must include specific guidelines and measures provided in nature conservation guidelines.
The Spatial Planning Strategy of Slovenia (SDSS, 2004) and the Spatial Order of Slovenia (PRS, 2004) contain guidelines for the quality of urban planning, including green areas. Green areas are supposed to be planned and managed in the context of the settlement’s green system. SDSS highlights the ecological, environmental, social and structural functions of green and open spaces.
In towns or settlements, which represent development centres and will continue to have such a role in the future, green areas have to be part of an urban plan. This type of plan is an obligatory part of municipal spatial planning for settlements with central functions (Spatial planning act (ZP-Načrt)).
Slovenian urban municipalities (city municipalities) have adopted ‘sustainable urban strategies’ for sustainable urban development in the year 2015. Several measures in these strategies directly address improvement of green infrastructure in urban areas. The implementation plans of these strategies were adopted in the spring of 2017 and several of them also include GI projects.
As an example, more than 20% of the entire area of Ljubljana is protected. More than 46% of the city’s surface area is covered with natural forest and in 2010 Ljubljana declared a 1,440 ha special-purpose forest. A nature conservation monitoring system has been created – a first inventory of habitat types was made in 2002, the second in 2009. Based on the findings, Ljubljana has implemented measures to reduce the impact of different agricultural activities on habitat types. In 2010 the city carried out a mapping and nature protection evaluation of non-forest habitat types for areas that were highly assessed in the preceding inventory. Ljubljana also has plans to develop green corridors in order to increase biodiversity in the city, which will link the natural hinterland with the urban section of the city (Ljubljana 2016 Green Capital Application, n.d.).
Green infrastructure topics are explicitly highlighted in the Spatial Development Strategy of Slovenia. E.g. Guidelines for conservation of natural qualities: Planned spatial development and location of individual activities shall serve to ensure the preservation of natural processes and vitality of large and small areas with natural qualities throughout Slovenia. Also mentioned are: the maintenance and establishment of landscape structures which are important for the conservation of biodiversity (continuity and interconnection), favourable status of habitat types, which are conserved on a priority basis, and the habitats of endangered species.
According to Slovenian spatial planning legislation, green systems shall be planned in municipal spatial plans. They appear at two “levels”: at settlement level for all important settlement (centres) and in the strategic part of plans as guidelines for 1) development of individual activities in the landscape (development areas for the uses/activities which are related to natural resources - agriculture, forestry, water management, tourism and recreation, mineral resources); for 2) conservation (areas in which recognizable elements of the landscape should be protected).
There are approximately 150 (out of 212) adopted municipal spatial plans that include urban plans for, at least, the municipal centre with green systems as a binding component. Green systems should include elements of GS, their interrelations, and interrelations with other built elements in the city and some other details. (see also above under urban policy).
Based on the Water Framework Directive, Water management plans (WMP) and the programme of measures (PM) include detailed conservation objectives which refer to ensuring the passability of watercourses and reducing hydro-morphological burdens (improving the structure of the bed and banks of watercourses), and objectives attained by maintaining watercourses or their restoration (such as maintenance of embankments and channels which facilitates the survival of Natura species, and preserves the structure and function of riparian habitat types, adjusted clearing of vegetation in watercourses and removing alluvial material) (The Natura 2000 Management programme for Slovenia for 2015-2020).
Disaster risk reduction
The newly adopted River Basin Managament Plan 2015 – 21 directs towards reducing risks of floods through use of non-structural measures, an approach that is promising more green infrastructure along waters.
Marine and coastal policy
Based on the Marine Framework Directive a management plan is in preparation. In the plan, management measures to protect the sea-floor integrity in order to safeguard the structure and functions of the ecosystems are foreseen along with other measures relevant to achieve Good Environmental Status (GES).
Tourism and leisure
Slovenia’s Tourism Strategy 2012-2016 placed green tourism and sustainable development at the core of the national tourism strategy, with health, active lifestyles, and sustainability being the three focus areas of Slovenia’s tourism industry. Tourism is a key sector of Slovenia’s economy. The tourism strategy emphasized encouraging investment in sustainable tourism infrastructure, including natural areas.
The Slovenian Industrial Policy adopted by the Government in 2013 states that in the planning of industrial development, it has to be taken into account that natural resources are limited and that human activities impose such a burden on the environment that we are approaching the environmental limits of the planet or have already exceeded them (climate change, biodiversity) (Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, 2015).
4. FINANCING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
There are potential European sources of financing within the programmes for territorial cooperation of the European Regional Development Fund (particularly cross-border cooperation) and within the Operational Programme for the Implementation of EU Cohesion Policy 2014–2020 for green infrastructure with a view to achieving the objectives of Natura 2000 sites. Funds under the LIFE programme are also an important source (Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning, 2015).
EU Cohesion Policy is a major source of financing in the period 2014-2020 for Natura 2000 projects. EUR 45 million have been granted through ERDF to Natura2000 restoration projects according to the Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014-2020, the priority investment Protecting and restoring biodiversity and soil and promoting ecosystem services, including through Natura 2000, and green infrastructure. Around 15 projects will be financed through these funds from 2017-2020 (Interview, 26/04/2017).
GI projects in brownfield urban areas in urban municipalities can also be financed from OP priority investment 6.3 - Taking action to improve the urban environment, to revitalise cities, regenerate and decontaminate brownfield sites (including conversion areas), reduce air pollution and promote noise - reduction measures. Funds can be drawn on the basis of adopted sustainable urban strategies.
Gaps for financing: there is a lack of financing for sustainable tourism infrastructure and green bridges e.g. along highways. Older roads, train tracks, and hydro-power plants do not incorporate GI elements. There is also a need for more financing for research, studies and data management in relation to GI and ecosystem services (Interview, 26/04/2017).
5. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR GI DEVELOPMENT
5.1 Best practice/points of excellence
Since the 1990s, Slovenia has been piloting the establishment of the Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN), which has been one of the cornerstones of the EU Natura 2000 network in its Slovenian part. The country has more designated Natura 2000 sites than any other EU country, with 37.9% of its territory being covered.
The overall concept of GI at national level shall be set according to basic needs and principles of multifunctionality. Expectations are to bridge this gap in the process of the revision of the Spatial development strategy of Slovenia (ongoing).
The mainstreaming of green infrastructure objectives into sectoral planning, and particularly implementation of GI in different sectors remains insufficient (Trinomics et al., 2016; Interview 26/04/2017).
The National Ecological Network in Slovenia is insufficient to secure effective protection of the rich biodiversity for which it is designated, mostly due to the lack of adequate government funding (Trinomics et al., 2016).
The management of the areas comprising the Ecological Network is largely de-centralised; with the lack of effective operational Priority Action Frameworks, the coherence and integrity of the Green Infrastructure is unsure (Trinomics et al, 2016).
The currently low uptake of Green Infrastructure in agriculture land, combined with the low uptake of the existing agri-environment measures is a barrier to effective preservation of the lowland and open area biodiversity (Trinomics et al., 2016).
There seems to be a lack of understanding of the potential benefits from Green Infrastructure and the enhanced quality of life it could guarantee if adequately managed (Trinomics et al., 2016).
The preparation of the Natura 2000 Management Programme for Slovenia for 2015-2020 involved partners from all sectors (agriculture, forestry, fish and game management, and water management), which creates an opportunity for mainstreaming of the Green Infrastructure concept into sectoral policies (Trinomics et al., 2016).
There is potential for Slovenia to become a best practice example for green tourism that incorporates conservation action; combining effective visitor management while reducing negative environmental impact. Tourism is a strong industry in Slovenia and is marketed as providing ‘green, active, healthy’ experiences. This provides great opportunities for more GI investment and could encourage job creation as well (Interview 26/04/2017). According to data from the Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 (2013), 30% of foreign tourists are attracted to Slovenia by preserved nature, and 30% of Slovenians spend their free time enjoying nature. This provides impetus for further maintaining or achieving favourable conservation status of species and habitat types, and further developing high quality green tourism by preserving and conserving nature (Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 - For the EU Multiannual Financing Period 2014-2020, 2013).
Slovenia carried out a study on the socio-economic impact of Natura 2000 on local communities in 2004, 2013 and 2016: http://www.natura2000.gov.si/uploads/tx_library/nacrt_ukrepov.pdf
6. KNOWLEDGE BASE
In Slovenia ES assessments have been carried out mainly at local level. There was also a study in which selected ES were evaluated at national level, with traditional economic methods and sustainable ecosystem methods, based on ES data arising from land use:
Economic valuation of ecosystem services for designing policies of sustainable use of forest resources (Doctoral dissertation, Anže Japelj)
Developmental and Protective Evaluation of Ecosystem Services of Slovenia (Master thesis, Suzana Vurunić)
Economic evaluation of ecosystem services of the lakes Lovrenška jezera
The Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation is a partner in the on-going Interreg project Alpine Space: Alpine Ecosystem Services – mapping, maintenance and management (AlpES) that will last from December 2015 to December 2018. The AlpES project’s overall objective is to introduce ecosystem services as a regional/transnational environmental governance framework and train and support the AlpES target groups in understanding, valuing and managing them. The Ministry for the environment and spatial planning is an observer of the project. The topic of ecosystem services is still quite unknown in Slovenia. Stakeholders have some basic knowledge, but overall the concept is still missing. The goal of the project is to speed up the process of understanding this concept, especially in terms of Alpine Space area.
An important part of the project for Slovenia will be a calculation of the indicators for mapping and assessment of ecosystem services relevant for the Alpine space programme area. The results of the project will be relevant on a national level as Alpine space programme area covers entire country. In the AlpES eight ecosystem services will be assessed and indicators will be developed and later tested in pilot regions. With the input of more detailed national data first Slovenian map of ecosystem services will be developed. Assessment of ES will be an upgrade to the mapping. Indicators will also be tested in the selected pilot region that will offer first regional mapping of ecosystem services in Slovenia.
Mapping of non-forested habitat types based on national standardized methodology will continue (70% of the first cycle is already completed). Land use data of forested and agricultural areas are also continuously updated in 4 year cycles. (BISE, 2016)
7. FURTHER RESOURCES AND PUBLICATIONS
Spatial Development Strategy of Slovenia : http://www.mop.gov.si/fileadmin/mop.gov.si/pageuploads/zakonodaja/en/sprs_eng.pdf
Ljubljana Green System, article: http://dkas.si/?author=33&id=5,17,320
Natura 2000 in Slovenia: http://www.natura2000.si/index.php?id=18&L=1
LIFE SLOVENIJA: https://lifeslovenija.si/en/
Green scheme of Slovenian tourism: https://www.slovenia.info/en/business/green-scheme-of-slovenian-tourism
Nature parks of Slovenia: https://www.naravniparkislovenije.si/en
8. LIST OF CONSULTED REFERENCES
BISE (2016) MAES-related developments in Slovenia. Accessed 05.04.2017: http://biodiversity.europa.eu/maes/maes_countries/slovenia
CBD 5th National Report Slovenia https://www.cbd.int/doc/world/si/si-nr-05-en.pdf
European Commission (2013). Green Infrastructure (GI) – Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital. COM(2013) 249 final.
European Commission (2017). The EU Environmental Implementation Review Country Report – Slovenia. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eir/pdf/report_si_en.pdf
Interview (26/04/2017) with Andrej BIBIČ and Katarina Zeiler-Groznik, Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning Slovenia, Sector for Nature Conservation
Ljubljana 2016 Green Capital Application (n.d.). Accessed 13.04.2017: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/winning-cities/2016-ljubljana/ljubljana-2016-application/
Ljubljanica Connects Project (n.d.). “Ljubljanica Connects”. Accessed 13.10.2016: http://ksh.fgg.uni-lj.si/ljubljanicaconnects/ANG/default.htm
Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning – Republic of Slovenia (2015). The Fifth National Report on the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Ministry of the Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy, Spatial Planning Directorate (2004). Spatial Development Strategy of Slovenia http://www.mop.gov.si/fileadmin/mop.gov.si/pageuploads/podrocja/prostorski_razvoj/SPRS_angleska_verzija.pdf
Natura 2000 Management Programme (2015-2020) http://www.natura2000.si/fileadmin/user_upload/C5_ProgrammeNatura2020.pdf
Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014-2020: http://www.eu-skladi.si/sl/dokumenti/kljucni-dokumenti/operational-programme-english-version.pdf
Partnership for the sustainable development of Slovenian tourism (2012). Slovenian tourism development strategy 2012-2016. Accessed 13.10.2016:
Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 - For the EU Multiannual Financing Period 2014-2020 (2013) http://www.natura2000.si/fileadmin/user_upload/LIFE_Upravljanje/PAFSlovenijaVerFinal2.pdf
Spatial development Strategy of Slovenia: http://www.mop.gov.si/fileadmin/mop.gov.si/pageuploads/zakonodaja/en/sprs_eng.pdf
Tourism infrastructure in Nature Reserve Škocjanski (n.d.) (Slovenian) Accessed 26/04/2017: http://www.mop.gov.si/si/delovna_podrocja/narava/objekti_v_naravnem_rezervatu_skocjanski_zatok/
Trinomics, ALTERRA, Arcadis, Risk & Policy Analysis, STELLA Consulting, and Regional Environmental Centre (2016) 'Green Infrastructure in Slovenia', in Supporting the Implementation of Green Infrastructure, Final Report to the European Commission under Service Contract ENV.B.2/SER/2014/0012, Annex I. ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/ecosystems/pdf/Green%20Infrastructure/GI_SL.pdf
 Note that in Slovenia urban policy and urban planning are part of spatial planning. The binding document which regulates spatial and urban development at local level is the municipal spatial plan.