EU Comission`s High Representative visits Notranjska Park
Notranjska Regional Park was visited by Angelo Salsi, Director of Europe`s LIFE Programme at the European Commission. He and his core team deserve all the merit for the fact that LIFE’s projects have become a success and the name “LIFE” on the project has become a name for reputation, quality and genuin care for nature conservation. Salsi has been operating under the European Financial Mechanism LIFE for almost three decades and is also a big environmentalist himself. Salsi has visited our park after he had witnessed the release of an Eurasian lynx called Blisk into its natural environment in the forests of Snežnik. A move that is also part of the LIFE project: the LIFE Lynx project. Salsi saw this mighty animal in the wild for the first time and as he said, will never forget this experience for which he is most grateful.
We believe he will never forget his visit to the Notranjska Park, as well. The purpose of his visit to Cerknica was to get a closer look at our work on the LIFE Stržen project, which was presented to him in detail by the project manager Irena Likar. As the Notranjska Park is much more than just the intermittent Lake Cerknica, to which the LIFE Stržen project mainly focuses, the Park`s expert team manager Tomaž Jančar, gave a concise presentation of natural values and the complexity of nature conservation in this extremely diverse area. The Park`s biologist Jošt Stergaršek presented the complex processes of Lake Cerknica and its hydrologic connection with the neighboring areas through the Karst waters of Ljubljanica river basin.
Since, of course, it is impossible to preserve nature from the office, and the activities carried out in the project can only be checked in the field, we took our guest to some of the most beautiful parts of the nature park and showed him the many results of the LIFE Stržen project. We visited the Slivnica hill, from where one can clearly see the restored meanders of Stržen riverbed, the Drvošec Thematic Trail and the Križna jama Cave. The latter made the biggest impression on the guest. In terms of the number of true cave species, it is one of the richest caves in the world and once a popular wintering shelter for cave bears. The experience of the visit was undoubtedly enriched by the guidance of Gašper Modic, an experienced caver and guide and the president of Križna jama Cave Supporters’ Association. Mr. Salsi seemed satisfied with our work and acknowledgedpraised our success on the project.
As the visit lasted all day long, we also had to make sure our stomachs didn`t remain empty, and they really didn`t, thanks to delicios cuisine provided by local farmer Lili Mahne from “Notranjska tasting room”, and to the Pav restaurant.
On his visit to Notranjska park, Mr. Salsi was accompanied by Julijana Lebez Lozej, Head of the Contact Point of LIFE Programme for Nature and Biodiversity for Slovenia and monitors of LIFE projects in Slovenia, and Nikolaj Pečenko and Mitja Kaligarič, External Supervisors for Slovenia for the LIFE programme. In addition to our nature park, in Slovenia Mr. Salsi only visited the Radensko polje Landscape Park.
These days, namely on 21st May 2022, the LIFE program is celebrating its 30th anniversary. During this period, the LIFE Financial Mechanism co-financed more than 5,500 projects in the fields of nature and environmental protection and climate change in the European Union. In the field of nature protection, LIFE has co-financed more than 1,800 projects involving one quarter of all Natura 2000 sites and more than 1,800 animal and plant species (including 460 bird species) in the European Union.
The LIFE program has a key role in the European Green Agreement implementation. It currently has four sub-programs: nature and biodiversity, the circular economy and quality of life, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the transition to clean energy. The climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are more present than ever, but LIFE projects give us hope and inspiration for effective solutions.