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Oct 10, 2022
The JeloviZA project aims to improve the condition of ecosystems and conserve certain species in the Slovenian Natura 2000 site Jelovica. Six project partners are working on a management plan for the area, which will include nature conservation, tourism and regional development.
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Searching for ideas in the High Tauern National Park/A: The Slovenian partners of the JeloviZA project. © Samo Khan

Jelovica is an important nature reserve in Slovenia containing valuable habitats in the Natura 2000 area (nine protected bird species, beech forests, mountain meadows, butterflies, the Barje Ledine and Za Blatom nature reserves and karst landscapes). The area has been the victim of natural disasters such as storm damage (which favours the spread of bark beetles) due to climate change several times in the past decade.

The foundation for the project was laid in March 2021, by among others the mayors of municipalities, representatives of the Tourism Institute, the Forestry Institute, the Slovenian Institute for Nature Conservation, the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, CIPRA and development agencies. They agreed on the need for a holistic approach – responsible, prudent, forward-looking and sustainable – to the future development of the Jelovica area.

Jelovica is located in the territory of five Slovenian municipalities (Železniki, Kranj, Radovljica, Bled, Bohinj) and is also an area where many stakeholders meet. It is therefore all the more important that the Jelovica management model can be co-designed through a participatory approach and that all four types of ecosystem services are documented for this purpose.

Project partners: CIPRA Slovenia, the Slovenian Institute for Nature Conservation, the Slovenian Forest Agency, the Sora Development Agency, the municipality of Železniki and CIPRA International.

Project activities:

  • Restoration of damaged and burnt forests through planting of suitable tree species and protection of habitat trees
  • Participatory development of the Jelovica management model
  • Stakeholder activities, such as sharing best practices, training, lectures and workshops to increase competence and expertise in ecosystem management
  • Expert excursion to the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria
  • Inventory of capercaillie, grey partridge and three-toed woodpecker numbers
  • Installation of counters to obtain data on the pressure on the area (number of visitors, traffic, recreational activities) and assessment of such pressure
  • Inventory and assessment of ecosystem services throughout the site
  • Rehabilitation of bird nesting boxes for hawk owls
  • Awareness raising and communication for the conservation of the area.

Project objectives:

  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Analysis of the status of habitats and specific plant and animal species in Jelovica
  • Participatory development of the management model
  • Insight into best practices
  • Evaluation of ecosystem services
  • Spatial delimitation of the area
  • Awareness raising and professional training
  • Implementation of communication campaigns

The main objective of the project is to develop a management model for the Jelovica plateau in a participatory manner. Through forest rehabilitation, empowerment and education programmes, it aims to contribute to increasing the climate resilience of Jelovica.

Target groups for the project:

Municipal representatives; representatives from hunting, forestry, nature conservation, tourism; employees of the Office for the Protection of Cultural Heritage; public administration; forest owners; the local population; health and cultural institutions.

Duration: 01.05.2022 – 30.04.2024


The JeloviZA project is co-financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants to the sum of EUR 1,143,298.04.


Further information: (sl)

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Katarina Žakelj, project manager, CIPRA Slovenia:

Manon Wallenberger, project manager, CIPRA International: +423 237 53 12,


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Further Information