10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Nature Conservation and Construction Projects in the Kras Region (Slovenia) 

Martina Stupar, Anica Cernatič Gregorič, and Astrid Ličen
Martina Stupar et al.
  • Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, Regional Unit Nova Gorica, Slovenia (martina.stupar@zrsvn.si)

Slovenian region Kras, a low carbonate plateau located in the south-western part of Slovenia, represents a part of the Classical Karst area with numerous and diverse surface and underground geomorphological karst features, unique in their appearance and size. More than 1.500 known caves, and the numerous more to be discovered, furnish an extensive system of habitats for various representatives of subterranean fauna, including many endemic species. Equally important is carbonate surface that determines a great biodiversity of this area. Karst landscape has already been recognized as a unique natural and cultural heritage at the international level. The paper discusses the efficiency of integration of nature heritage and biodiversity conservation measures into the huge construction projects in the Kras region. Already built new motorways and current constructions of the new track of the Divača - Koper railway line and new logistic centre in Sežana town, intensively encroach on environmentally sensitive karst landscape and ecosystem. The national legislation in Slovenia has established a comprehensive framework for systematic protection of the environment and nature. A solid framework for systematic regulation of nature protection integrated into the spatial planning and sectorial planning is provided. The building permit issued on the sides of substantive nature conservation values determine nature protection conditions and obligations for the investor and contractors before, during construction and even after if necessary. Active cooperation is provided between the investor, contractors, and the professional service for nature conservation. The permitting process complies with national and European nature conservation legislation. The investor is obliged to ensure regular observation of protected areas, affected by construction works and the implementation of mitigation measures. Regular speleological and geological supervision in case new cartological or geological features appear during the construction is carried out in collaboration with the Karst Research Institute and Slovene geological Survey. Diverse specialists monitor flora, fauna and habitat types on construction sites before, during and after construction in order to detect the potential negative impact on which they propose new mitigation measures. The conference will highlight the effective integration of nature protection legislation and nature protection control in the field in large construction projects from their planning to construction, some examples of long-standing practice of the Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation will be presented. 

How to cite: Stupar, M., Cernatič Gregorič, A., and Ličen, A.: Nature Conservation and Construction Projects in the Kras Region (Slovenia) , 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-267, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-267, 2022.