ljubljansko barje

Nature, progress or both

At Ljubljansko Barje, nature could have followed the changes caused by man and his activities for thousands of years, and it is almost a miracle that in spite of all these pressures it has remained exceptionally diverse till this very day. It looks, however, that this cohabitation is slowly coming to an end. The fact is that human encroachment upon this largest Slovene and southernmost European wetland is becoming increasingly aggressive. Deep, regularly cleaned drainage channels. Each day new and to this environment unadapted residential buildings. Intensively farmed land, filled with fertilisers of all kinds. Rubbish tips and discarded building materials dumped there. Airfield for the local men of note. Strollers with their dogs, recreationists on bikes, tourists in huge balloons. And all those that openly point at these facts, suddenly become the enemies of progress.

The areas of the Ljubljansko Barje type are becoming increasingly rare all over the world. In the last few decades, seventy percent of wetlands have disappeared in Europe, together with their animals and plants, the same as many other natural districts. Collateral damage, of course! When Slovenia joined the EU, it bound itself to respect two nature conservationist directives that specify special protection areas and special areas of conservation, i.e. Natura 2000 sites, which include the entire territory of Ljubljansko Barje. The directives' minimal demands are to preserve the favourable state of habitats and species living in these areas and to prevent further deterioration of the existing conditions there.