Slovenian Forestry Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia

An interview with Dr Ursa Vilhar from the Slovenian Forestry Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

1. What is the vision and mission of your organisation?

The Slovenian Forestry Institute (SFI) serves the public as the nation's leading forestry research institute. The specific objects of the SFI are to promote ecosystem goods and services, to continue and improve traditional close-to-nature sustainable forest management and biodiversity, to foster public understanding of forestry and its importance in Slovenia and to maintain sustainable production capacity.

Also, ecosystem resistance to changes under stress and biological diversity are the key factors that ensure a healthy forest ecosystem, to apply environmentally sound techniques and technologies in forestry. 

2. Why did you decide to become a GWP Partner?

We decided to become a GWP partner to enhance knowledge and improve our activities related to the forest-water interactions. Also, taking part in the activites under GWP Central and Eastern Europe's Integrated Drought Management programme was very nice and fruitful experience for our capacity building and knowledge transfer.

3. What have you found to be the benefits of being a GWP Partner?

An important benefit of the partnership with GWP is capacity building and exchanging experiences within the network and also the possiblity to communicate our expereinces and good management practices to a broader, multisectoral water management community. 

4. What is one challenge facing the management of water resources in your region?

The main challenge is the lack of coordination and management among different sectors on the watershed level. Several management plans are prepared by water managers, forest managers, nature conservation agencies, municipalities, without taking into account the watershed integrity. 

5. Are there any special projects or initiatives that you would like more widely known?

Our institute has a successful project on improvement of Natura2000 forest habitat types alongside Mura river, Slovenia. Also, long-term monitoring of stream quality and quantity in two small forested experimental watersheds in Pohorje Mountains is providing very interesting results for forest practitioners and watershed management.