OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Slovenia
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Slovenian
POPULATION OF THE CAPITAL: 282,994
Slovenia covers 20,273 square kilometres and has a population of 2.06 million. It has borders with Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary, and stretches across the Alps, the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Plain to the Mediterranean.
In spite of its geographically small size, it is a convergence point for a range of different landscapes, each of which has its own characteristics and unique features. The coastline is only 46.6 km long, but there are 26,000 km of rivers and streams and some 7,500 freshwater springs, including several hundred first-class therapeutic mineral springs.
Ms Ksenja Podpečan, MSc.
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food
Dunajska cesta 22
SI–1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
T: +386 (0)1 478 93 62
SLOVENIAN FORESTRY AND FORESTS
Slovenian forest in figures for the year 2016
|Forest area:||1.193.284 ha|
|Growing stock:||350.085.089 m3 (296.13 m3/ha)|
|Annual increment:||8.659.485 m3 (7.33m3/ha)|
|Possible cut:||6.444.924 m3|
|Total annual cut:||6.102.630m3|
|Coniferous trees:||4.013.145 m3|
|Deciduous trees:||2.089.485 m3|
|Realized cut represents||94,7% of possible cut.|
|Length of forest roads||12,085 km|
|Length of forest borders||cca 115,000 km|
Forests cover around 60% of the territory of the country; Slovenia is the 3rd most forested country in Europe, after Finland and Sweden.
Approximately 11.5% of the Slovenian countryside is legally protected. Slovenia has 44 protected areas for parks, including 1 national park, 3 regional parks, and 40 landscape parks. 35% of the country is protected as part of the Natura 2000 network (sites reserved for bird conservation and the conservation of habitat types and species) and 50% of forests are situated in the EU Natura ecological network. Slovenia boasts 7,000 registered Karst caves, 15,000 animal species and 3,200 plant species, some of them are endemic.
Table 1: Forest area until 2014
|Forest area (ha)||1,183,252||1,185,145||1,186,104||1,185,169||1,184,369||1,184,526||1,186,043||1,181,943|
Slovenia has an established tradition of planned forest management. Modern principles of forest management in Slovenia are sustainability, imitating the natural cycle in forests (co-natural management) and the multi-purpose nature of the forests (the forests not only produce material assets, but also have environmental and social functions). Forest management is the right and duty of forest owners, while guidelines for forest management are within the competences of the Slovenia Forest Service, which in cooperation with forest owners also performs tree selection for felling on the basis of the National Forest Programme, Forest Law, and forest management and silvicultural plans. Report on the implementation of the National Forest Program 2007 – 2014 was made.
The main issues concerning forest management are:
• Unfavorable ownership structure hinders intensification of forest management in a way that some owners are not interested in income from forests because of small properties, which results in low cutting rates mentioned beforehand. Additional drawback is that the level of technology applied in harvesting is relatively low and that marketing of timber of small quantities is not optimal. Due to low intensity of management, possibilities to improve quality of forest stands are limited.
• There is increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters, causing windbreaks at a larger scale. In the context of climate change droughts are more frequent, following by bark beetle attacks and forest fires.
• Another issue in Slovenia are constrains due to Nature Conservation, having in mind that 50% of forests are situated inside EU Natura 2000 ecological network.
74% of forests in Slovenia are private property, 26% of forests are public (owned by the state or communes). Larger and undivided forest estates of state-owned forests enable good professional management. Private forest estates are small, with an average area of only 3 ha. According to the latest data there are already 314,000 (with co-owners even 489,000) forest owners in Slovenia. The large fragmentation of forest property and the number of forest owners and co-owners, present a serious obstacle to carrying out professional work in private forests, optimal timber production and utilisation of forest potential.
Forest owners unfortunately do not involve actively in the forest management planning processes. The scope and content of professional, systematic and more active motivation of forest owners for management and business co-operation have not achieved the desired results as such co-operation practically does not exist. Progress could be made by supporting producer organizations in the forestry sector arising from funds of the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020.
Growing Stock, Increment and Logging
According to the data of forest management plans by the Slovenia Forest Service, the growing stock of Slovenian forests amounts to 327,458,525 cubic metres or 276.08 cubic metres per hectare. The share of growing stock of coniferous trees is 46.50% and 53.50% of deciduous trees. There is an annual increment of 7,985,256 cubic metres of wood or 6.74 cubic metres per hectare in Slovenian forests.
In recent years, the felling in Slovenian forests has totalled to around 4 million m3 of trees annually, 60% of which have been conifers and 40% deciduous trees. According to forest management plans, the felling could be higher. Currently, it amounts to 70% of its potentials and 40% of the current increment.
Table 2: Growing stock until 2014
|Growing stock (m3 per ha)||268.84||271.86||276.08||279.27||282.10||285.19||289.31||292.80|
Table 3: Relationship between coniferous and deciduous trees, calculated on the basis of the growing stock of species, taking into account forest management plans of forest management units of 2013 and comparison with previous years (as a percentage of timber stock) Source: SFS
Disruptions endangering Slovenian forests
In addition to damage caused by weather (wind, sleet, snow), Slovenian forests have lately been endangered mostly by insects (mainly by bark beetles) that are the most common reason for sanitary cut (37% of sanitary cut). On average sanitary cut amounts to a third of the entire cut and in different years it ranges between 19% and 45% of the total cut. Such a situation reduces the share of necessary tending cut, thus making planned forest management difficult and at the same time it weakens the bioecological stability of forests
By increasing the growing stock increases also the capacity of the forest to sequester CO2. From the forest policy perspective it is desirable to increase sinks of CO2 to a level that all other functions of forests are provided and the sustainability of forest management is ensured.
Table 4: Balance of carbon in 2014
|Annual carbon sink in forests (million tons)||1.51||1.51||1.51||1.51||1.51||1.51||1.51||1.51|
|Storage of carbon in forests (including soils) (tons/ha)||219.7||221.24||222.77||224.31||225.85||227.4||228.94||230.48|
|Annual change of carbon in wood products||84.78||62.31||49.78||35.17||20.33||17.46||6.92||30.60|
ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF FORESTS
The number of employees in forestry
The total number of workers employed in forestry, woodworking and pulp and paper industry has in the period 2003 to 2012 fallen by 5,800 to 24,000 in 2012. The most significant number of employees decreased in wood processing industry from 13,000 (in 2003) to around 9,200 (in 2012). Forestry has increased its share by 11 percent to 6,000 employees in the structure of employees in the whole forest and wood sector in this period
Contribution to the GDP
The gross added value of forestry in gross domestic product (GDP) in the period until 2014 was less than 1 percent. In 2007 it amounted to 0.5 percent and aftet that there has been a trend of a slight increase. In the period until 2014 has increased also the GDP per employee: from € 29 thousand per AWU in 2007 to about € 43 thousand per AWU in 2012 and 2013. Last year, the GDP per AWU decreased to € 39 thousand.
Table 5: Gross added value of forestry, Slovenian GDP, the share of forestry in GDP and GDP per person employed in forestry until 2014
|Gross added value of forestry
(current prices) € million
|Gross domestic product of Slovenia
(current prices) € million
|Share of forestry in GDP (in %)1||0.49||0.48||0.46||0.50||0.56||0.64||0.70||0.63|
|GDP – € per employee (AWU)||28,673||29,050||27,252||33,900||38,348||43,106||43,004||39,318|
1 calculated from forestry GDP (current prices) and Slovenia’s GDP (current prices) – Original and derived data from the SI-STAT database (SORS).
The value of forestry services has been growing. An exceptionally high value was achieved in 2014 due to restoration of the forest damaged by ice-break.
Table 6: Value of forestry services until 2014
|Value of forestry services in € million||14.5||16.4||21.4||21.8||25.2||25.0||26.2||38.2|
Source: SORS (EAF)
The importance of the forest-wood chain in GDP
In recent years the share of activities that are directly related to the extraction and processing of wood in GDP strengthened, except for activity C31 – Manufacture of furniture. Since 2010 has the total proportion of these activities in the national GDP increased (in 2010 the share was below two per cent, in 2014 it rose to 2.16 percent).
Table 7: GDP and main aggregates of national accounts (based on the ESA 2010) until 2014
|Value added (current prices in € million)||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014|
|C16 processing, wood processing, wood products …||273.0||243.5||202.4||202.8||220.1||220.8||219.0||246.6|
|C17 Manufacture of paper and paper products||180.1||157.6||192.0||147.9||154.0||156.0||165.5||186.7|
|C31 Manufacture of furniture||229.9||239.6||186.2||173.4||155.2||140.8||133.8||139.2|
|Gross domestic product||35,153||37,951||36,166||36,252||36,896||35,988||35,907||37,303|
Source: GDP and main aggregates of national accounts (based on the ESA 2010)
Table 8: Shares of forestry and wood industries in GDP until 2014
|Shares in the national GDP (%)||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014|
|C16 Processing, wood processing, wood products …||0.78||0.64||0.56||0.56||0.60||0.61||0.61||0.66|
|C17 Production of paper and paper products||0.51||0.42||0.53||0.41||0.42||0.43||0.46||0.50|
|C31 Manufacture of furniture||0.65||0.63||0.51||0.48||0.42||0.39||0.37||0.37|
|Total C16, C17 and C31||1.94||1.69||1.61||1.45||1.43||1.44||1.44||1.53|
|Total forestry (A02) and C16, C17 and C31||2.45||2.16||2.05||1.91||1.97||1.99||2.02||2.16|
|Gross domestic product||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00||100.00|
Source: GDP and main aggregates of national accounts (based on the ESA 2010), conversion of GIS
Since 2007, when it stood at 3.24 million m3, the felling increased to 3.92 million m3 by 2013. A record level of 6.35 million m3, which for the first time exceeded the allowable cut, was achieved in 2014 due to restoration of damage caused to forests by ice-break. The amount of felling in all other years of the reporting period has otherwise lagged behind the allowable cut determined in the forest management plans reaching only 65 percent of its value. The allowable cut in 2014 amounted to 87.3 percent of the annual growth assessed for the whole country.
Export of timber
The export of roundwood increases as a consequence of growing gap between the increased harvest and limited domestic capacity for wood processing. In 2013 the exports more than doubled in comparison to 2007. In 2014 exports reached record amounts due to increased offer of wood on the market related to the restoration of forests damaged by ice break. There is a steady increase in export of industrial roundwood (logs, pulpwood and other industrial roundwood), which represents three-quarters of it. Coniferous logs have the largest share reaching 40 percent of the export in recent years.
The increase in energy production from biomass
In the last four years the consumption of electricity produced from wood and wood residues fluctuated between 21,686 TJ and 24,423 TJ which is less as envisaged in the Action Plan ‘Wood is beautiful’, according to which the primary energy production from biomass should increase by 30 percent by 2020. In Slovenia, there is no regular monitoring that would clarify to what extent inefficient wood-burning stoves have been replaced with efficient ones. Based on the data of the Eco Fund grants to households for the substitution of inefficient heating devices with modern wood stoves, it can be concluded that energy efficiency has increased considerably offering at the same time business opportunities in the forest sector and beyond.
Importance of state-owned forests for forest-wood chain
Management of the state-owned forests has a significant impact on the establishment and development of the forest-wood chain not only because of their relatively big share, but more importantly because of security of provision of forest wood assortments to the Slovenian market. An important objective of transforming the system of management of forest owned by state is to achieve greater cooperation between stakeholders along the forest-wood chain and, consequently, greater use of wood in Slovenia. Uniform and transparent offer of all wood harvested in the state-owned forests, and the option of entering into multi-year contracts with the timber industry creates a new business environment that could significantly contribute to further development of Slovenian wood-processing industry. Therefore the Action Plan to increase the competitiveness of the forest-wood chain in 2020 in Slovenia named ‘Wood is beautiful’ (2012) envisages in its objectives and guidelines establishment of a state-owned company for management of state-owned forests instead of concession system that will be valid until mid-2016.
Untapped potential of wood and non-wood forest products and services
The forest provides numerous opportunities in other areas, such as hunting, tourism and recreation as well as crafts based on a variety of forest products. The economic role of forests can significantly gain in importance if the increased realization of allowable cut and more precise evaluation of non-wood forest products and services are taken into account.
Forest services are gaining in importance and play a significant role in creating proper public attitudes to the forest, forestry and the environment. Public forestry service is performed in all forests, regardless of ownership, by the Slovenian Forest Service, while certain tasks of the public forestry service are also performed by the Slovenian Forestry Institute. Management of private forests is often ineffective because forest holdings are fragmented. Associations of owners, for which timber removal and other works in larger complexes are organised, can significantly contribute to better efficiency of management of private forests. The Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry should also be involved in the training of forest owners for reaching commercial efficiency for forest management. Large area covered by forests and the necessity of comprehensive direction of their development require highly competent and well organised public forestry service.
Slovenian Institutions associated with forestry
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food
Dunajska 22, 1000 Ljubljana
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food is the main political and administrative body responsible for forestry. Forestry matters are dealt within the Forestry, Hunting and Fisheries Directorate.
Responsibilities of the directorate are especially:
• Monitoring and preparation of systematic legal solutions in the field of forestry;
• Monitoring the economic impacts and costs of forestry activities;
• Preparation of economic instruments for financing or co-financing measures in the forests;
• Supervision of implementation of the Forest Act and National Forest Programme.
Forestry Inspection Service
Dunajska 58, 1000 Ljubljana
As a part of the Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia for Agriculture; Forestry, Hunting and Fisheries performing supervision of the implementation of laws, other regulations and acts in the area of forestry.
Slovenia Forest Service
Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana
The Slovenian Forest Service is central professional forestry institution and was established by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (Act on Forests) in 1993. It is financed from the budget of the Republic of Slovenia.
Main tasks of the service are:
• Forest management planning, which are being elaborated and maintained for all forests regardless of ownership;
• Silviculture and forest protection, where the main activities are elaboration of silvicultural plans, marking trees for felling and various forest protection activities including bark beetle control);
• Forestry technique with main tasks of directing and supervising construction of forest roads and providing extension to forest owners for safe work in forests;
• Wildlife management and hunting, including elaboration of hunting management plans.
Slovenian Forestry Institute
Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana
The Slovenian Forestry Institute is the central forestry research organization
Research Centre of Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts, Jovan Hadži Institute of Biology
Novi trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana
With a 60 year history, the Jovan Hadži Institute of Biology ZRC SAZU is one of the leading biological research groups in Slovenia. Its researchers perform basic and applied studies of plants and animals at the regional and global scales. Within the institute are three topical units, focusing on basic botany, basic zoology, and applied biology, respectively. The researchers are connected internationally and conduct biodiversity studies on all continents, or provide, through regional applied studies, important guidelines for landscape planning for various clients. The researchers also help teach courses and mentor students at universities in Europe, USA and China.
Biotechnical Faculty, Department of Forestry and Renewal of Forest Resources
Večna pot 83, 1000 Ljubljana,
The Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources is the only institution in Slovenia that offers undergraduate (BSc) and postgraduate (MSc and PhD) studies in forestry. The teaching process is organized by chairs, which also represent research groups. Work with foreign students is based on mentoring and individual consultancy and is tailored to the individual’s level of knowledge.
SIDG – Slovenia State Forests PLC
Rožna ulica 39, 1330 Kočevje
A new Slovenian state-owned company, Slovenski državni gozdovi d.o.o. (SiDG), has been established by a state forest management law approved by the government on 14 October 2015 and subsequently adopted by the Slovenian Parliament on 2 February 2016. Shortly afterwards the new company was registered (17 March). State forests were earlier managed by the Fund for Agricultural Land and Forests of the Republic of Slovenia
Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia
Celovška 135, 1000 Ljubljana
The Chamber officially represents forest owners and provides extension service. Membership in this organization is mandatory for land owners over certain size of property.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia
Dimičeva 13, 1504 Ljubljana
• Furniture and Wood Processing Association
• Forestry Association,
• Metal processing association,
Federation of Forest Associations of Slovenia
Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana
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