1. Pressure on the environment
Slovakia has relatively large but uneven
underground water reserves. This is due to its diverse and
complicated geological structure and the uneven distribution
of precipitations and river networks. According to data
provided by Slovak Environmental Inspectorate (SIP),
the main factors threatening water quality were: low working
and technological discipline, transport and haulage, unsatisfactory
facilities caused by insufficient maintenance.
plays a relatively important role in the country's economy.
Ploughed land prevails in the intensively used agricultural
areas. The main Slovakian lowlands and lower parts of the
Carpathian basins have been degraded into habitats of low
biodiversity. During the last 40 years, many meadows and
pastures have been converted into intensively managed grasslands.
Over-fertilizing and the use of hybrid seed mixtures for
restoration have changed the species composition of the
grasslands. Transformation back to the species-rich meadows
is problematic, particularly in mountain regions (GRID ENRIN).
State of the biota
a forest cover of 40.8 percent (1 998 283 ha) the Slovak
Republic is one of the European countries with the highest
percentage of forest cover. 40-45 percent of the forest
is semi-natural originating from natural regeneration and
contains a species composition that is very similar to natural
forests. This is quite unique for Slovakia and is not found
in many other countries in Western and Central Europe. More
than seventy fragments of natural and virgin forests with
a total area of 18,000 - 20,000 ha still exist in Slovakia.
Most of these areas are large enough to be considered as
independent conservation units (GRID ENRIN).
Slovakian forests face two serious problems: large-scale
deforestation and the gradual decline of the health of the
forests mainly due to air pollution, a globally changing
climate and inappropriate forests management (REC 1997).
wetlands are among the most endangered ecosystems. One tenth
of Slovakia's territory has been drained especially in lowland
and riverside areas (mainly for the construction of water
works, regulation of river flows and the exploitation of
peat). This has caused the disappearance of wetlands and
water ecosystems and has lead to the eradication of numerous
Strategy, Principles and Priorities of the State Environmental
Policy (later renamed the National Environmental Policy
or NEP) were approved in 1993. This document outlines Slovakia's
environmental policy agenda until 2010 and includes a comprehensive
legal platform for solving issues related to waste management,
environmental impact assessment and the environment as a
whole. (REC, 1997)
are four biosphere reserves and five national parks in Slovakia.
The national parks are the following:
raj (Slovak paradise) NP
Velka Fatra NP
Institutional background - links
Institute of Applied Ecology
Academy of Sciences
of Forest Ecology
of Landscape Ecology