During designation of Ljubljana Marsh Nature Park three zones with different protection status were established to conserve its natural and cultural heritage.
During designation of Ljubljana Marsh nature park there was a need for delineation of protection zones. The zonation was prepared by the Institute of Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation (IRSNC). IRSNC used data on birds' distribution and habitat mapping. These two expert studies were at that time the only available systematic surveys of the area, enabling rough determination of protection zones. For finer delineation, other available data sources were used, e.g., scientific papers, university theses and different reports. These provided mainly geographically restricted data on butterflies, dragonflies and plants. Lastly, zonation borders were tuned with land cadastre. The whole area of Nature Park is now composed of three protection zones. Within the first (33% of the total area), valuable natural features, plant and animal species and their habitats are protected and adapted agricultural practices safeguarded. The second (19% of the total area) is important for nature conservation and protection of valuable natural features, biodiversity and landscape diversity, and sustainable forms of both agriculture and the use of other natural resources in a way that minimises environmental impact. The purpose of the third (48% of the area) is to conserve landscape diversity and promote sustainable development. The zonation is ground for sustainable spatial planning and efficient nature conservation. The beneficiaries are local inhabitants, municipalities, NGOs, and government.
All work, including communication, required approximately 340 working hours of one person per year over 2.5 years (= 850 working hours per person altogether).
Evidence of success
For the first time, most of relevant biodiversity data for this area was put together. This was a ground for designation of Nature Park, led by the competent ministry. The proposal was approved by municipalities and government. With a Decree (OG RS, 12/08), Park was founded in 2008. Intensive communication made the nature conservationists recognizable stakeholder in this area. The adopted protection regime successfully regulates construction, interventions and most activities within the Park.
Protection regime established on the basis of existing biodiversity data cannot fully assure that suitable agricultural practice will be used by farmers.
Potential for learning or transfer
Within Natura 2000 and management of protected areas, biodiversity data are mostly gathered for Natura species and habitats. These are usually provided in standard digital formats. However, in a case of a need for prioritization of protected zones, additional sources of biodiversity information, besides governmental databases, such as research or NGO data on rare or endemic species, or non-Natura species in general, can provide high quality information in high spatial or temporal resolution. Although use of such data requires some processing, these data should be included into the process in order to provide relevant outputs.