Conservation on Lake Cerknica, Slovenia

National Id
Slovenia_03
Site name
Cerknica Lake
Summary
The purpose of this project was the establishment of appropriate conditions for protection and conservation of animal and plant species and their habitats on Lake Cerknica, in Slovenia. It simultaneously sought to promote an even development of local agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism, recreation and education in accordance with natural values. The project was funded by LIFE program and Notranjska Regional Park was responsible of the project coordinated with the Biotechnical Faculty, the Municipality and Inzeniring za vode d.o.o.
NUTS Code
Zahodna Slovenija
RBD code
SI_RBD_1
Transboundary
0
Data provider
Jovanka Ignjatovic, REC
Longitude
14.363
Latitude
45.7425
Climate zone
cool temperate moist
Mean rainfall
1700
Mean rainfall unit
mm/year
Average temperature
8
Mean runoff
6
Mean runoff unit
600 - 750 mm
Type
Case Study Info
Light or indepth?
Light
Vegetation class
Cerknica Lake is one of the most important Slovenian Karst sights. When the water level is highest it covers over 29 km2. Lakes most significant characteristic is its intermittent nature. Due to this variability, special ecological conditions were created on the lake that enables rich diversity of animal and plant species and their habitats. The area is mostly covered with permanent pasture areas and marshy areas. Due to frequent flooding the extensive agricultural land use is dominated (wet meadows, pastures, fields).
Monitoring impacts effects
0
Performance impact estimation method
Unknown
Performance impact estimation information
N/A info
Application scale
Field Scale
Installation date
2009-12
Lifespan
50
Age
5
Performance timescale
1 - 4 years
Area (ha)
2900
Area subject to Land use change or Management/Practice change (ha)
3
Size
1400
Size unit
m
Design capacity description
A land survey of current and former watercourses on an area larger than 100 ha was carried out as the bases for re-naturalization of former meanders. More than 12 km of watercourses in the Cerknica were included in this study. By restoring former meanders of two streams it was intended to raise the groundwater level in the area. Restoration works were done on few sections, approximately 1400 m long.
Constraints
N/A info
Favourable preconditions
N/A info
Management change from
The project provided the first demonstration of land purchase in accordance with the Nature Conservation Act in Slovenia. It involved preparing extensive documentation, obtaining the necessary permits and consent, and verifying contracts.
Management change to
It managed to purchase 260 ha of land to be set aside for long-term protection of cultural and natural heritage.
Direct action restored 1.35 km of natural streams. This succeeded in raising the groundwater level of the Dujce fen and providing sustenance to characteristic water and river-bank plant communities of the Tresenec stream.
A specialized equipment was introduced for mowing and harvesting hay on 26 ha of flood meadows with low carrying capacity. Mowing was conducted to prevent overgrowth of shrubs towards the center of the itinerant lake. 500 tonnes of hay were mowed and made available to stakeholders.
Design consultation activity
Activity stage
Implementation phase
Key issues
The project was highly active in engaging the public, including through information notices in a shopping centre, published materials and lakeside boards.
Name
Popularization of the project
Comments
Public was informed about the course of the project on more different levels:
Lectures and other activities for local and general public (31 lectures for professional, local and general public were performed that had very good media support both on local and national level),
Articles in local and national newspapers (102 articles in printed media, mostly in local newspapers were published. 22 articles were also published in the monthly bulletin eNatura under the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning),
Announcements on radio and TV stations (There were 117 publications on local and national TV and radio stations, concerning the LIFE project. The project group regularly cooperated with local radio stations, the public was informed about the importance of nature protection and conservation. The project group also cooperated in radio show named Rompompom for young people, for which 5 broadcasts were prepared),
Contributions concerning the nature protection and conservation were published monthly on the local TV station (the project and work within was presented in several talk shows on the local TV station. The advertisement for buying agricultural land in the area of Lake Cerknica was also regularly transmitted).
Activity stage
Implementation phase
Key issues
Project conducted nature protection actions with a network of schools.
Name
Work with youth
Comments
As a future investment, one of the project team's goals was to meet all schoolchildren that live in Notranjska Regional Park and present them the project and actions within it.
The following activities within this action were carried out: Establishment of Nature protection network of schools and kindergartens of Notranjska Regional Park, Educational activities, Preparation of educational materials, Summer research camps).
Design authority
Authority type
Other
Role
Initiation of the measure
Name
Notranjski regijski park
Comments
Public institute established by municipality of Cerknica.
Authority type
Other
Role
Implementation
Name
Biotechnical Faculty, Department for Biology
Comments
Faculty under University of Ljubljana
Authority type
National water authority
Role
Determination of design details of the measure
Name
Inženiring za vode
Comments
Private company
Authority type
Other
Role
Financing
Name
Ministry of Environment
Comments
Ministry
Authority type
Other
Role
Financing
Name
Municipality of Cerknica
Comments
Miunicipality
Key lessons
The project was aimed at ensuring long-term favorable conditions for the conservation of endangered habitat types and associated plant and animal species at Lake Cerknica.
The main focus was given to the restoration of the natural watercourses with the aim of prolonging the drainage time and holding back the water in the driest summer months. This contributed to raising the level of groundwater, particularly close to riverbeds or watercourses, crucial for conserving endangered habitat types and species.
The project substantially improved the quality of the Cerknica Lake Natura 2000 site and raised awareness of the sites importance locally and beyond. It demonstrated new approaches to nature conservation in Slovenia, particularly the purchase of farmland for permanent protection and advanced mowing and mulching techniques on wetlands.
Success factor(s)
Success factor type
Attitude of relevant stakeholders
Success factor role
main factor
Success factor type
Financing possibilities
Success factor role
main factor
Success factor type
Communication activities
Success factor role
secondary factor
Financing
Financing type
EU-funds: LIFE+
Comments
Main funding source was Life+ programme, Municipality of Cerknica and Ministry of Environment cofinanced the project.
Barrier
Comments
No barriers have been experienced
Driver
Driver type
Organisation committed to it
Driver role
main driver
Comments
Cerknica lake is one of the most important Slovenian Karst sights known worldwide. In the past people wanted either to drain or to flood the lake for their benefit. Many interventions were carried out on lakes watercourses and sinkholes that changed the water regime on the lake. The result of the changed water regime is a lower ground water level and faster drying of the lake that has a negative influence on water organisms and habitats.
With the act and establishment of a public institution Notranjska Regional Park in 2002 the lake has gained the legal protection.
Financing share
Financing share type
European funds
Share
73
Financing share type
National funds
Share
27
Policy description
The Cerknisko Jezero project substantially improved the quality of the Cerknica Lake Natura 2000 site and raised awareness of the sites importance locally and beyond. It demonstrated new approaches to nature conservation in Slovenia, particularly the purchase of farmland for permanent protection and advanced mowing and mulching techniques on wetlands.
Quantified objectives
The project aims to ensure long-term favorably conditions for the conservation of turloughs and other endangered habitat types and associated plant and animal species at Lake Cerknica. It simultaneously promotes sustainable development of local agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism, recreation and education in accordance with natural values.
Part of wider plan
1
Policy target
Target purpose
Improved Biodiversity
Target purpose
Groundwater Recharge
Target purpose
Increase Water Storage
Target purpose
Runoff control
Target purpose
Oher Societal Benefits
Policy wider plan
Wider plan type
National
Name
Spatial Development Strategy of Slovenia
Wider plan type
Regional
Name
Decree on the spatial and social components of a long-term plan of the municipality Cerknica
Wider plan type
Local
Name
Amendments to the general planning conditions Municipality of Cerknica
Direct benefits information
not available information
Ancillary benefits information
not available information
Costs investment information
Only info on total cost is available
Costs operation maintenance
Only info on total cost is available
Costs total
1840584
Costs total information
Only info on total cost is available
Ecosystem improved biodiversity
1
Information on Ecosystem improved biodiversity
Improved water regime has a positive impact on the prevalence and size of certain Natura 2000 habitat types (depressions on peat substrates, transitional bogs, meadows). Modified water regime has a direct impact on macrophyte, amphibious and wading species.
Slower flow of water and lower water level fluctuations affect a positive impact on the breeding of witnesses and reproduction and spawning green frogs, as well as spawning fish.
Modified water regime allows for long-term species diversity of dragonflies, water beetles and caddisflies.
Ecosystem provisioning services
0
Information on Ecosystem provisioning services
Not relevant for this application
Ecosystem impact climate regulation
No specific impact
Information on Ecosystem impact climate regulation
Not relevant for this application
Information on retained water
N/A info
Information on increased water storage
N/A info
Information on runoff reduction
N/A info
Water quality overall improvements
Not relevant for this application
Information on Water quality overall improvements
Not relevant for this application
Soil quality overall soil improvements
Not relevant for this application
Information on Soil quality overall soil improvements
Not relevant for this application

Partners

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