This is the second of three guest posts from the Slovenian wind awareness group the Civil Initiative for the Protection of Senožeška Brda, this time concentrating on the region’s beautiful, unique and protected landscape and architecture.

The Municipality of Divača promotes our Karst region as a region of an untouched and unique nature where people, animals and their surroundings live and breathe in harmony with the unique nature and therefore protects natural and cultural heritage with vast forests and typical and unique Karst features. The untouched location provides shelter for numerous endangered species and types of animals and plants; that is why the Natura 2000 network comprises as much as 54% of the territory, which is the largest in Slovenia. Park Škocjanske Jame caves Establishment (the Škocjan Caves – see link: http://www.park-skocjanske-jame.si/eng/) is also against the wind turbine power stations anywhere in our region.

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Škocjan Caves

The park is located in the influential region of the planned turbines. Due to its amazing natural beauty its enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage.

There are some people there who are not aware of one fact therefore it is worth warning that the proposal for enlisting the Slovenian Classic Karst to the World Heritage UNESCO List as one of the most genuine and typical examples of the Karst area in the whole world has already been made (see link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/590/).

The fact is that Senožeška brda / Divača / Karst are located very close to each other. We could say that Senozeska Brda are on the edge of our genuine Karst, nevertheless the situation is more complicated therefore we are trying to explain and make this terms clearer for our readers.

Divača is a community with its council democratically elected every 4 years. On 5th of October 2014 new council and a new mayor will be elected (we, the Civil Initiative, will take part in elections with its candidate for the mayor – Mr Loredan). A decision of Divača council that no turbines will be accepted is still valid. The decision was brought based in the referendum in which a majority rejected wind turbine plans. But the government has right to impose Government Proposal to communities, as per our legislation.

Senožeška brda (hills) is a geographical term. They are located in a community Divača. More detailed, they are in a local community (LC) Senožeče. Communities in Slovenia are subdivided into local communities. Elections are at the same time also in LCs. They have their councils. More specific, Senozeska Brda is located in LC Senožeče. Senožeče is also a biggest village in LC Senožeče.

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Karst (Slovenian: Kras).

Karst is also a geographical term. Slovenian Karst encompasses a big part of Slovenia. In Italy, near the border with Slovenia there is Italian Karst. There was a bilateral project for example for the development of Karst region. But Karst is a geographical region not political (Slovenia has 12 political regions).

Karst is known all over the world as a landscape with caves and other similar natural phenomena. The name Karst for such a landscape originates from Slovenia. Karst is also in China and some other parts of the world.

Community Divača is known for its Karst phenomena (as are some other communities in the vicinity). Its most known cave is The Skocjan cave, The UNESCO World Heritage Link, pictured above. Senozeska Brda is not included into a core UNESCO Heritage but in a so called Transition part of MAB (Man and Biosphere) land, coupled with the Core Heritage. We hope MAB will be a valuable argument against turbines. Link and another link

Senozeska Brda and the whole Divača community are located in MAB territory. One of the advantages of MAB is that the local community has more power in decisions on their development. But we will see…We are working hard on that argumentation.

In case of the construction of wind factory there would be a huge impact on our Karst region. The further development of the tourism would be impossible since all tourists who come here do it so due to our genuine unspoilt countryside. Besides, noise pollution would turn tourists away. At the beginning people felt frustrated because of the generally accepted view – there is nothing you can do against government and secondly because of their decreasing standard of living: “We can´t win so at least we will have some money to survive”.

 

Our Slovenian Karst again: Štanjel:

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Katarina Dea Žetko and Tomaž Ogrin

Civil Initiative for the Protection of Senožeška Brda (http://www.senozeska-brda.si/)