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Forests in Slovenia

Slovenia is a land of forests


The most typical feature of the Slovenian landscape is its forests, which cover as much as 58% of the national territory (report of the Forest Service of Slovenia for 2004). In terms of relative forest cover Slovenia is third in the European Union, after Finland and Sweden. The forest area in Slovenia is expanding through the growing-over of abandoned farmland, primarily meadow and pasture in more remote parts of the countryside. In many parts of the urban landscape, however, forests must yield to the construction of infrastructure and other structures. The forests are a valuable natural resource for Slovenia, with close to 300 million cubic meters of wood growing in them.


At the same time, however, the forests are a major resource in terms of their ecological and social functions, as well as in terms of the beauty they lend to the Slovenian landscape. The ecological functions include: protection of forest land and stands, a hydrological function, plus a biotope and climate function. The ecological functions of the forests serve to protect fertile soil from erosion, to protect biodiversity - the existence of a multitude of animal and plant organisms that are essential for the unimpeded life of the ecosystem, to purify water and to maintain the balanced drainage of precipitation into watercourses (numerous water sources are within forests). The forests exert a softening influence on the climate by balancing temperatures; they are also an absorber of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, which is generating critical long-term changes to the climate of our planet.


The social functions of the forests are associated with various human activities within forests. At first glance these social functions have not been evaluated in material terms, but without doubt they represent for humans a major, universal, and indirectly material value. They include: the functions of protection - protecting structures, recreation, tourism, learning, research, hygiene and health, the function of protecting the natural and cultural heritage and other environmental assets, and a defensive and aesthetic function.



Slovenia's forests in numbers


Surface area:

1.163.812 ha


Number of naturally growing tree species:



Growing stock:

293.532.000 m3


Annual growth of growing stock:

7.445.927 m3


Annual harvest (2004):

2,957,997 m3


Potential annual harvest (2004 forest management plans):

4.162.662 m3




Text by: Tone Lesnik, Forest Service of Slovenia , Večna Pot 2, Ljubljana


(in 2005)




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