Slovenia

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Slovenie

Portoroz – Slovénie – vue de la plus grande station balnéaire de l’adriatique slovène. © AFP photo Hrvoje Polan

A young republic of 20,273km2 in total area, also known as « the Balkans’ Switzerland », Slovenia was once a part of Yugoslavia. More than 56 % of its territory are covered with forests, providing a habitat for many animal species, including bears (more than 500) ; the 286 sites Natura 2000 represent almost 35% of the territory, a European record.

Issues

Pollution : in order to fix the heavy metal concentration originating from mining activities (lead and zinc in Mežica, mercury in Idrija, coal in Velenje), researchers from the Institute for Ecological Research of Velenje and from the Institute of Physical Biology carry on experiences on plants, called «hyperaccumulator plants», capable of absorbing a great quantity of toxic heavy metal.

Adriatic Sea : The Slovenian Association for ecological movements is fighting against the installation of another freighter terminal, for the interdiction of longline fishing, against the entrance of nuclear submarines in the Koper harbour, and for the Adriatic Sea to be declared ‘fragile maritime zone’ by the International Maritime Organization.

Energy : exploited both by Slovenia and Croatia, the nuclear power plant in Krško (120 km away from the capital, Ljubljana), connected to the network in 1983, produces 20 % of used power. Despite a failure in 2008 that set off the European alert system ‘Ecurie’, a second reactor is planned in the country. Sustainable energies cover 12 % of the needs.

Players

Focus Association for Sustainable Development. The first fair trade shop opened its doors in Ljubljana (meaning “the loved one” in Slovene). There also is the Association for the liberation and the rights of animals, supported by the President of the Republic, a vegetarian himself.

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