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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

Food control is the responsibility of the Slovak Food and Agricultural Inspection, the State Veterinary Administration of the Slovak Republic, as well as other health protection bodies within the Ministry of Health.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

Use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes is regulated by provisions of the act No. 307/92 on protection of registered agricultural land resources and by the regulation of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 152/96 on basic payment rates for abstraction of agricultural land from the registered agricultural land resources. Payments are calculated according to quality of the soil - code of classed soil-ecological units.

The list of biological means for plant protection has been elaborated (published by the Ministry of Soil Management, 1998) which are applied in system of ecological agriculture. There is a Commission for Ecological Agriculture under the responsibility of the Ministry of Soil Management which recommends the use of these means for their application in a system of ecological agriculture.

According to the act No. 61/1964 the regular, comprehensive agrochemical tests of soil are carried out which identify the basic agrochemical parameters. These tests are financed by the state. The following aspects are monitored: supplies of nutrients in soils, pH, carbonates, transfers of heavy metals, contamination of soils and intensity of fertilization (by the Research Institute of Soil Fertility).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

The main goal of Slovak agricultural policy is "to use the potential of agricultural land, as well as all available production and human resources for food production and non-food materials in an economic fashion, while respecting the requirements of the environment, the country's resource protection needs, and rural settlements. Long-term strategic goals and tasks of the agricultural sector can be summarized as follows: ensure food security of the state and food sufficiency for its population; provide economic stability and meet the income requirements of the agricultural and food industry; support regionally balanced development; protect agricultural land; and prevent xenobiotics in the food chain.

The loss of agricultural land has been reduced in recent years, thanks to the consistent enforcement of the Act on the Protection of Soil and a phase-down of building activities in Slovakia. Land adjustments are being performed which prevent increased erosion. The priority targets for environmental improvement and the protection of soil have been harmonized in the Strategy of State Environment Policy and also in the Concept and Principles of the Policy of Soil Management (both documents have been approved by Parliament). These targets are: to lower the intensity of the productive use of agricultural land areas; to harmonize the entire agricultural sector's economic and environmental considerations; to cover 150 to 180 thousand ha of steep and erosion-prone arable land with grass and to convert it to meadow and pasture land; to use approximately 300 thousand ha of pasture land in its natural form for extensive grazing only; to use around 80 to 100 thousand ha of land damaged with pollutants exclusively for non-food production while a gradual decontamination takes place; to introduce an organic way of agricultural land management; and to increase support of those entrepreneurial activities which serve agriculture and the settlement of rural areas.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

The National Agency for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprising operates in the area of the Programme of Comprehensive Support of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprising. One of the main results has been elaboration and adoption of the State Medium-Term Policy of Support of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprising, which defines individual objectives and intentions of the state support of small and medium-sized enterprising for the period up till 2000. The Report on State and Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprising and its Support in the Slovak Republic is submitted to the Slovak Government and to the NR SR for discussion each year.

Programmes and Projects   

See financing

Status 

Currently, the land market is stagnant in Slovakia due to a number of factors such as the uncompleted restitution processes, the incomplete identification of land ownership, the absence of realistic land market prices, the low capital revenues in agriculture, and the insolvency of farming entities. The quality of agricultural land expressed in official prices shows that nearly two-thirds is found in the poorest land bracket, that is up to SK 50 thousand per ha. National parks, protected land areas, and water protection belts cover 23% of all agricultural land of Slovakia (550 thousand ha).

Compared to other developed countries, Slovakia's citizens spend more than 38% of their income on food. This is twice the European Union (EU) average. The state has guaranteed a level of agricultural production which is consistent with the threshold of food safety. In the context of an open market, the Government intends to keep production resources and home production volume at 90% of the expected real consumption of basic commodities in Slovakia, especially in regards to daily food consumption.

Due to the lack of finances for purchase of pesticides in the Slovak Republic their total use is very low in comparison to Western European Countries (the average use during last six years is 1.64 kg per ha).

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

In Slovakia there are programmes for:

- allocating the grants for production and consumption of bio-oil in accordance with the article 26 of the decree of the Ministry of Soil Management of the Slovak Republic No. 928/2/1999-100 on support of enterprising in agriculture

- allocating the grants for preservation of genofund and for crossbreeding of varieties, seed grains and seedlings and farm animals in accordance with the article 11 of the decree of the Ministry of Soil Management of the Slovak Republic No. 928/2/1999-100 on support of enterprising in agriculture.

Cooperation  

In accordance with methodology of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) the occurrence of agricultural pests is being carried out together with diagnostics. If quarantine pests were identified in Slovakia, a notification would be sent to the EPPO Secretariat about this fact.

In accordance with conclusions of the Pan-European Conference on Rural Development, which was held in Bratislava in May 1997 under the responsibility of the Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for Agriculture and Rural Development, "the Conception of Rural Development in the Slovak Republic" was worked out and approved by the Slovak Government in 1998. It works out principles which are in compliance with EU principles, e.g. integrated principles, economic and social diversification, sustainability, as well as principle of planning and projecting the development of agriculture and rural areas "from bottom to top". The Conception is an innovative trans-sectoral document and together with passed act on ecological agriculture present very important documents necessary for integration of the Slovak Republic into the European Union. The Plan of Rural Development of the Slovak Republic is being currently prepared in accordance with the Conception of Rural Development. Sustainable development of agriculture belongs to the priorities of the sector of soil management and Programme SAPARD for the period 2000 - 2006.

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This information is based on Slovakia’s submissions to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 1999.


To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here.
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

 

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

According to the United Nations Human Development Report, approximately one quarter of Slovakia's population, based on current estimates, lives in contaminated areas which do not meet the parameters of a healthy environment. In 1993, 156 settlements located in 12 regions were designated as areas of environmental stress. The emission of pollutants is responsible for high mortality, high disease rates, the impoverishment of natural organisms, and the shortened durability of basic materials. Through Decree No. 112/1993, the Ministry of the Environment has legally identified 12 affected areas requiring special air protection.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

The ozone layer has been depleted by 2-3% over Central Europe during the last ten years. In 1993, Slovakia initiated the National Climatic Program and the National Program for Reducing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases. The consumption of ozone-depleting substances has decreased from 0.4 kg to 0.2 kg per capita during the mid 1990s. An additional decrease in their consumption will require the gradual replacement of compressors in cooling equipment and the substitution of some technologies at a cost of SK 8.5 billion. The Government's short-term objectives for pollution control include the introduction of a ban on halon use effective from 1994, and a ban on partially halogenated hydrocarbons, carbon tetrachloride, and partially halogenated bromo hydrocarbons effective in 1996.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

Industrial production is the origin of a significant amount of air pollution in Slovakia. Slovakia produces four times the sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions of neighboring Austria, despite the fact that SO2 production has declined from 606,000 tons in 1988 to 374,000 tons in 1992. The reason for their reduction is the replacement of lesser quality fuel by more environmentally sound fuels such as gas, heating oil, coal with lower levels of incombustible components, as well as a general decrease of power generation and consumption after 1989. The conversion to gas has also contributed to the reduction of SO2 emissions. The ENOL block of power plants in Novaky, after renovation and installment of desulphurization equipment, should achieve a permanent 40,000 ton reduction in SO2 emissions per year.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

The main pollutant emissions are monitored in Slovakia through a database that was established in 1985 and operated by the Slovak Institute of Hydro Meteorology. Air pollution is being monitored through a National monitoring system. Since 1994, some 32 permanent monitoring stations have been in operation (there were 18 in 1992). Air pollution measurement at these stations is based on an air index classification. Of the 26 locations in Slovakia evaluated in this manner, some 9 rank among areas with high pollution levels. Currently there are 7 stations in operation to monitor regional air pollution and the chemical composition of precipitation in Slovakia.

Research and Technologies   

Imperfect combustion processes are the primary source of carbon monoxide emissions. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, which have been more or less stagnant, originate predominantly from the combustion of fossil fuels, and they are monitored at the National level. Mobile sources, industrial technological processes, and local heating plants were the prime source of carbon monoxide emissions in 1994. Although the numbers of personal vehicles have been on the increase, they do not necessarily have a direct impact on air pollution in urban areas, due to the introduction of lead-free gas and other technical measures (catalytic converters, etc.). Solid particle emissions have decreased from 308.6 thousand tons in 1990 to 87.3 thousand tons in 1994. Imperfect burning processes are the main source of carbon monoxide emissions.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

In Slovakia, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was accepted in 1990. The London Amendment was approved by Slovak Republic Government Resolution 272/1993). The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed by the Slovak Republic on May 19, 1993.

The Slovak Republic is situated in Central Europe, in the area of the heaviest regional air pollution on the continent. According to the Evaluation of Transboundary Atmospheric Pollution in Europe (EMEP), Slovakia is situated in the area of greatest atmospheric pollution and acid rainfall in Europe. Transfer of transboundary air pollution represents some 70% of the overall regional air pollution and acid rain precipitation in Slovakia. According to 1992 measurements of the Cooperative Program for Monitoring, Slovakia is ninth among European states in sulphur dioxide emissions. Yet more than 50% of the sulphur dioxide emitted is transmitted across Slovak borders as long-term transboundary pollution, and the largest contributors to transboundary emissions in 1992 were Poland, Bohemia, and Hungary.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the f5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 1997.

For national information on air protection, click here.
Click here for national information from the Web Site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

Achieving ecological stability will require changes in the approach to land use, improvement in forest conditions, the greening of towns and farm land, and significant long-term investment in the renewal of land. Protected areas help mitigate areas vulnerable to environmental stress. Of special importance are five National Parks, covering 199,724 ha (4%of Slovakia), and 16 protected areas in the countryside covering 660,493 ha (13.4% of Slovakia). The 448 state wildfire preserves encompassing 90,999 ha (1.85% of Slovakia) also perform an important eco-stabilizing function. One hundred and four protected habitat areas, covering 6,974 ha, are intended to protect endangered plant and animal species.

An additional 19 research areas, one protected park, three protected gardens, and 936 protected natural elements (646 trees, and 45 caves, abysses, and other natural phenomena) are legally protected as special parts of nature. In addition, special protection is afforded to trees growing outside forests; to 226 taxons of wild-growing plants (127 of them completely, 13 partially, 86 territorially); and to 176 species of animals living in the wild.

Challenges  

Slovakia's lowlands and plains have been almost completely deforested and nearly all remnants of their natural ecosystems have been cleared. This process, combined with air pollution, has caused a retreat of sensitive plant types. Degrading processes and unfavorable factors are also encroaching on the few remaining eco-stabilizing areas, represented by the 87 registered Biocentres of National Significance, covering an area of 271,000 ha (5.5% of the area of Slovakia).

The negative influence of changing conditions on wildlife is manifested in decreased biodiversity, including the extinction of some species. Out of 2,500 taxons of naturally-occurring vascular plants, 1,326 (53%) were included in the Red List in 1993, including 31 that are deemed to be extinct (1.23%). Of non-vascular plants, 41% of lichen species, for example, have become extinct. Of the 751 taxons of vertebrates living in the wild, 27 fish, 20 amphibians, 19 reptiles, 79 birds and 30 mammals (23.3% vertebrae) are endangered or extinct.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Slovak Republic is party to the Convention on Biological Diversity which it signing on May 19, 1993 with ratification in 1994. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) became effective in the Slovak Republic on May 28, 1992. The Republic acceded to the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals in 1994; and signed the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats in 1994). Slovakia is also party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 1997.

For national information on health and nature protection, click here.
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

No information available.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The main body responsible for decision-making concerning energy issues in general is the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic. As far as energy-related aspects of atmosphere and transportation are concerned, the specific competence is given to Ministry of the Environment and the Office of Nuclear Control of the Slovak Republic.

Each document that is submitted by the Ministry of Economy to the Government for discussion is commented on by other ministries, including Ministry of the Environment. Proposals of concrete activities in energy sector are assessed in accordance with the Act 127/1994 on environmental impact assessment. Article 35 of this act lays down what it is necessary to assess basic development conceptions in energy sector. Entrepreneurship in sector of energy is possible only based on license and is subject to state regulation in accordance with the Act 70/1998 on energy and on modification of the Act 455/1991 on trading business (trading act) as amended by further regulations. The state regulation in the area of prices and tariffs in energy sectors is carried out by the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, in the area of economic competition by the Antimonopoly Office and in the area of business conditions by the Ministry of Economy. Currently an Act on establishment of an independent regulatory body, which should start its operation since 1 January 2001, is under preparation. 

The Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic controls the State Energy Inspection (SEI), which has been established under the Article 39 of the Act 70/1998. The SEI carries out supervision over compliance with this Act, with generally binding legal regulations issued in accordance with this Act and with measures applied in accordance with this Act. It is divided to a central inspectorate which controls regional inspectorates. The SEI is a budgetary organization seated in the city of Trenčín and lead by central director who is also responsible for its activity. The central director is appointed by the Minister of Economy. The Ministry of Economy has also established the Slovak Energy Agency to ensure realization of some activities determined by implementation of the Act on energy and its implementing regulations.

The Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic is a central state administration mining authority. In accordance with the Act 51/1988 the bodies of state mining administration are: the Central Mining Office seated in Banská Štiavnica and the District Mining Offices seated in Bratislava, Banská Bystrica, Košice, Prievidza and Spišská Nová Ves. The Central Mining Office is a budgetary organisation lead by a Chairman who is appointed by the Minister of Economy. The Central Mining Office controls the District Mining Offices.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

As far as energy acts are concerned, there are in particular the Act 70/1998 on energy and the Act 130/1998 on peaceful utilization of nuclear energy and subsequent implementing regulations of the Ministry of Economy as amended by the further regulations:

The energy sector is incorporated in a broad legislation of air protection covered by Ministry of the Environment:

·        Decree of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic 111/1993 on issuing expert judgments in air protection or waste management, assignment of persons authorized to issue judgments and on verification of professional qualification of these persons as amended by the Decree 53/1995;

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

The strategic objectives are determined by the Energy Policy of the Slovak Republic (January 2000):

Short-term objectives:

The most important objectives in electro-energy:

The objective of the state policy in the area of heat supply is:

The most important objectives in the area of gas industry:

The objectives of the policy in the area of oil supply:

·        to permanently seek opportunities of diversification of oil imports to minimize risks connected to oil supply in long-term perspective;

The objectives of the policy in the area of coal mining:

The medium-term objectives:

Strategic objectives:

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

Representatives of non-governmental organizations, scientific groups and Association of employers are members of working groups which prepare important documents.

Share of the private sector in production of electricity was 3.35 percent in 1999, which was 1,104 GWh. Distribution is provided by four companies. In heat production the private sector occupies much larger area (81 percent including distribution, which makes 213 PJ.  They very actively criticize the governmental decisions, of which they do not agree, and point out at saving measures.

Programmes and Projects   

The Programme of support of energy savings and utilization of alternative energy resources which is subsidized by the state budget up to the sum of 30 million SKK yearly.

Energy labeling of domestic electric devices in accordance with EEC/880/92.

Developing CO2 Cap and Trade Program which is carried out by the Ministry of the Environment together with the Center for Clean Air Policy, USA.

For 2000 the SEA was allocated the SAVE 2000 programme called Support of KGJ as a basis for Eastern-Western energy partnership. It deals with introduction and support of co-generation units.

Implementation of the Decree of Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic 144/2000 on requirements for fuel quality, keeping operational records on the kind, extent and way of providing data to air protection authority.

The Programme of support of savings of energy and utilization of alternative energy resources which is subsidized by the state budget up to the sum of 30 million SKK yearly.

As early as 1992 Slovenské elektrárne (the Slovak Power Plants Company) established a division of energy efficiency and elaborated a DSM programme (promotion of energy efficiency and management on the side of consumption) in collaboration with the company Power Smart Inc. from Canada. The objectives of the programme are a) reduction of consumption in peak hours, b) transfer of burden and c) improvement of efficiency of utilization of electric energy in households and industry. In the framework of this programme pilot projects are being run that are oriented to installation of heat pumps for heating the premises and water in the sector of housing and efficient lighting of houses and streets.

In the year 2000 the SEA was allocated the SAVE 2000 programme called Support of KGJ as a basis for Eastern-Western energy partnership PROCHP. It deals with introduction and support of co-generation units.

The further SAVE 2000 programme for Slovakia is the programme called Extension of EXCOs TPF involvement in Public Sector CHP and in DH schemes in the Czech and Slovak Republics. It deals with support of funding projects of co-generation units by a third party (TPF: third party financing).

In 1999 Slovakia was involved in programmes: Analysis of obstacles in implementation of combined production of heat and electricity in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, the National programme of monitoring and identification of objectives in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, the Manual for self-governments in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

The following forms of support provided by the state can be considered as the most important ones:

Note: The issues of energy effectiveness and renewable resources of energy are in detail worked out  in a document Draft Programme of reduction of energy demand and broader utilization of alternative energy resources, including support of research and development in this area, which was adopted by the resolution of the Government 1055/1999.

Status   

Slovakia suffers from lack of its own primary energy resources (these resources constitute only 11 percent of total consumption). The rest is covered by import, in particular from the Russian Federation. Import of coal is diversified.

Slovakia is electrified to 100 percent.

Fuel energy (specific resources of energy as gas, oil, fuel wood, coal, etc.)

Currently there is a trend of gasification of boilers using coal. In construction of new resources gas-steam cycles are being considered, mainly because of economic reasons. Gas co-generation units are becoming still more and more utilized. Small and medium boilers in housing and private sectors are being replaced by gas boilers or are reconstructed to combust gas (in the case of larger units). In this way consumption of coal is reduced in favor of gas. Utilization of biomass is perspective for heat production. First of all the waste water treatment plants use co-generation units of small outputs combusting gas produced in these facilities.

Solar / hydro / wind energy

Solar energy is being utilized only minimally and wind energy even more rarely. Mostly there are testing private facilities. On the other hand, the hydro-energy is one of the pillars of the Slovak energy production. The hydro-energy potential is utilized up to 58 percent in Slovakia and the trend is to increase the level of its utilization.

Nuclear energy

Slovakia runs six blocks of nuclear power plants. In 2006 and 2008 two blocks of older type will be phased out in Jaslovské Bohunice. 

Others

One of the most perspective and important areas for gaining the geothermal energy is the Košice basin. The water temperature achieves 115 oC. The expected thermal and energy potential of usable volume of geothermal energy is 1,276 MWt. The heat in CZT Košice should be primarily used for low-temperature heating (heating of flats, greenhouses, dryers, recreational facilities, air-condition of facilities for breeding poultry and agricultural animals, fishery) or for production of electricity in the case of appropriate abundance of boreholes.

In the area of the city of Dunajská Streda the geothermal energy is used for heating the greenhouse and recreational purposes. In Komárno the geothermal energy is used for bathing purposes. This water, however, contains geothermal gas which is separated and used as fuel for small co-generation unit.

Slovakia is preparing transformation, restructuring and privatization of electro-energy which will be realized in the course of 2001. These processes will increase effectiveness of energy sectors and will contribute to rational utilization of energy. In the case of expected growth of GDP the consumption of energy will also grow, which will be also supported by production by independent producers, mainly on the basis of natural gas, share of which will further grow. 

The Government has stated that among its long-term objectives it would like to reduce electric energy consumption to the average of member countries of the European Union (EU). The energy-supply system in Slovakia has limited resources. All available resources, including fossil fuels, hydroelectric power, and nuclear energy are utilized for the generation of electrical energy. The use of non-traditional, alternative energy sources is still in an experimental phase. Two large fossil fuel based thermal electric power stations are currently in operation, as well as six large district heating plants, and one nuclear power station. A second nuclear power station is under construction. The electrical energy grid is evenly distributed throughout Slovakia and is connected to systems in neighboring countries.

The split from the Czech Republic led to a modification in the east-west flow of energy. Western Slovakia became part of a territory with the most promising development prospects within Europe. The Slovak part of this territory is relatively well-prepared for this from an energy and power supply infrastructure viewpoint.

The reason for sulphur dioxide (SO2) emission reduction is the replacement of lesser quality fuel by more environmentally sound fuels such as gas, heating oil, coal with lower levels of incombustible components, as well as a general decrease of power generation and consumption after 1989. The conversion to gas has also contributed to the reduction of SO2 emissions. The ENOL block of power plants in Novaky, after renovation and installment of desulphurization equipment, should achieve a permanent 40,000 ton reduction in SO2 emissions per year.

Challenges  

The area of Upper Nitra is the most threatened by emissions of pollutants from thermal plant ENO Nováky. As far as consumption is concerned, it is VSŽ Košice (metallurgy plant), ZSNP Žiar nad Hronom (metallurgy).

Long-term return rate of these investments (high investments, interest rates and low prices of energy), insufficient possibilities of the state budget to support these  resources and technologies, under-capitalized businesses.  Insufficient state budget.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

Exhibitions RACIO ENERGIA, ELOSYS, AQUATERM, ENEF and further, various conferences, workshops, seminars, competitions in mass media, advisory centers

There are courses, in particular physics, biology and ecology, which include issues of environmental protection.

Energy auditors and so called competent representatives who run businesses in energy sectors are trained via the Slovak Energy Agency (established by the Ministry of Economy). They acquire a certificate of professional ability.

Advisory and trade centers of energy enterprises, exhibitions EKOTOPFILM, ENVIROFILM, etc.

Information   

Information is gathered and processed by the Statistic Office of the Slovak Republic. Business companies, which belong under the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy, submit data also to the Ministry of Economy. The area of heating management is monitored by the Slovak Energy Agency.

Official statistics is available. Other data and information are presented at conferences, seminars and workshops.

www.infelen.sk <http://www.infelen.sk/>, www.economy.gov.sk <http://www.economy.gov.sk/>, www.energia.sk

Research and Technologies   

Hydro-power:

Number of small hydro-power plant has been increased and this trend still continues. Construction of one hydro-power plant with 64 MW output is finishing.

Biomass:

Share in energy production and number of introduced units have been increased. Gasification of biomass is developing in the area of waste water treatment plants. Number of campaigns and undertakings oriented to energy utilization of mainly biomass is extending.

Wind/solar energy:

Solar energy is utilized in particular for heat production. Wind power plants are used only experimentally.

Nuclear energy:

Two blocks in the nuclear power plant Mochovce have been completed and put into operation, which contributes to fulfillment of Kyoto commitments.

Geothermal energy is partially used for heat production.

In the framework of research and development in industrial sectors and energy the following scientific and technical projects were realized in 1999:  Development of mass remote control of important technical components for DSM SR, which was solved by VUPEX Bratislava in the period 1996-1999;  Improvement of complex system for support of RODOS decision-making developed within the European Union and its adaptation for the Eastern Europe. It was solved by VUJE Institute Trnava in the period 1996-1999 (project solved in the framework of international scientific and technical co-operation EU – COPERNICUS); and Development of facility for production of absorption containers for burnt fuel cells from nuclear installations, which was solved by ZTS VVU Košice in the period 1998-1999.

In the area of hydro-energy it depends on achievement of consensus with ecologists in building further small hydro-power plants. Environmental evaluation of hydro-energy potential of the Slovak Republic is under preparation which will determine a list and proper localization of small hydro-power plants. In Slovakia there is an important producer of solar collectors that are, however, exported.

Experiments are being carried out. Concerning major heating plants, fluid combustion of coal has been introduced at ENO Nováky and further facility of this kind of combustion is under preparation.

Fluid combustion – see previous item, gas-steam units, co-generation units, utilization of geo-thermal energy.

Financing   

The state budget contributes to the Programme of support of savings and utilization of alternative energy resources with a sum of 30 million SKK yearly (for private sector). There is a contribution also to the Programme SAVE II – 3.6 million SKK (private sector).

Cooperation  

Investments of foreign investors in the Slovak Republic are protected. The Slovak Republic has ratified the Convention on Energy Charter), besides that the Government has adopted several measures providing potential investors with advantageous conditions.

The Slovak Republic is connected to the international energy network UCPITE and CENTREL.

Programmes INTERREG, Phare, SAVE II, SYNERGY

The third National Report on Climate Change is under preparation. Emission trading is also under preparation and Joint Implementation projects are being realized (with Denmark and the Netherlands).

The Protocol on Energy Charter and relating environmental aspects.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 2001.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for developing and implementing sustainable forest policy. Such a policy and its implementation is conditioned by available financial sources and by the constraints of the transfer of ownership process since 1989.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

General legislation in force in the area of the environment (the act on the environment No. 17/1992) defined only general legislative frameworks for dealing with problems of the environment in the Slovak Republic. This act together with related legislative regulations does not create conditions for successful harmonisation of intentions of the State Environmental Policy in all relevant sectors. Orientation and priorities of the State Environmental Policy were determined only by direct or indirect implementation of environmental and ecological principles contained in sectoral policies, but not by principle of their common preparation. It has to be stated that today effective mechanisms for harmonization of cross-sectoral policies related to forests and the environment do not exist.

Certification is also a profitable business. It is transferred to certification of wood and wooden products. Certification confirms that the wood comes from forests managed according to agreed criteria. This offers a barrier against export of wood without certification from an accredited institution. Process of certification of wood and wooden products is permanently monitored in Slovakia. At negotiations of representatives of CEFTA (Bratislava, 4 December 1996) the Slovak Republic joined a common position that for certification the Central Europe will use an argument of long-term forest management according to forest management plans (in Slovakia since 1879) and the certificate will be provided for those, who show compliance with forest legislation in force. Providing the certifications free of charge will have a preference.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

Principle of sustainable forest management is determined by the Strategy and Conception of Forestry Development in Slovakia and the Principles of the State Forest Policy, as well as by the basic legislation related to forest management and nature protection. Legislative process in the area of forest management has not been completed and in the near future it will be fundamentally modified, with regard to sustainable forestry.

The targets of forestry development are determined by the strategic and policy plans approved by the Government of the Slovak Republic within the Resolutions No. 8/1993 (Strategy and Policy of Forestry Development in Slovakia) and No. 9/1993 (Principles of the State Forest Policy in Slovakia). The long-term strategic targets of development have been specified in the Programme Declaration of the Government in accordance with the strategy of sustainable forest management with stressing the public functions of forest, necessity of realization of remedial measures and consolidation of extent and quality of silvi cultural operations.

Basis for integrated land management and spatial planning is represented by regional territorial systems of ecological stability which respect the national trans-regional territorial system of ecological stability approved by the Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 319 from 27 April 1992 which reflects the current state of ecological quality of the whole Slovak territory and indicates the opportunities for achieving the ecological stability as a precondition for conservation of diversity of conditions and forms of life in the territory and maintenance of production capacity of a country.

Direct linkage between forest management planning and preparation of territorial systems of ecological stability does not exist at present, although large forest complexes present a basis element of trans-regional territorial systems of ecological stability. Optimal solution for the future would be the adoption of a common approach on the regional level (i.e. forest regions in Slovakia) which could deal with issues exceeding the framework of current planning in forest management arrangements (e.g. issue of total percentage of forest land in a concrete area, issue of territory over the upper forest limit, etc.). Situation is also determined by the legislative specification of the land resources in Slovakia (agricultural and forest land resources) which rather strictly frames all land-related activities.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

Forest management’s share in gross domestic product is only 0.9 percent. Number of employees in forest management is gradually decreasing since 1990 and its share in total number of employed persons in Slovakia in productive age is 1.3 percent. The average salary in forestry was not very different from the national average in 1991, however, in 1998 it was lower by 14 percent. Despite of these facts the forest management participates in improving the employment in areas, where, except for agriculture, there are no other job opportunities. To deal with employment and improve incomes of rural population, the Ministry of Soil Management has elaborated Programme of development of rural tourism, including silvitourism. The Programme will be ensured via SAPARD project.

Status   

Area of forests makes 41 percent of the whole territory of the Slovak Republic (forest lands 1,989,443 ha, afforested total of forest land 1,999,266 ha) (as of 31 December 1998). Out of this area the coniferous forests make 41 percent and leafy forests 59 percent. Production forests make 66.9 percent, protective forests 15.3 percent and forests for special purposes 17.8 percent. They are cultivated via shelter cultivation which, together with selection system, is applied on 57.1 percent of the area and this figure will be growing in the future. The average afforested supply is 206 m3 per ha. The health state of the forests is stabilizing, however, it is still significantly worse than the European average. There is high rate of salvage cutting which made 42 percent of total cutting in 1998.

There are more than 4,200 ha of deforested land above the tree line, while another 3,800 ha are in stages of deforestation in Slovakia. There are some 1.5 million ha of farmland threatened with erosion, 670,000 of which urgently require protection. Only about 15 to 20% of the renewed forests is recovered by natural forest regrowth, although by applying optimal natural conditions, up to 50 or 60% can be renewed. There is an acute need to reforest at least 60,000 ha in Slovakia, according to expert estimates.

The area of specially designated forest has increased to 14.2% of the total forest area, facilitating the stabilization of the ecosystem and contributing to the public use of forests. The annual harvest volume of forests has decreased from the original 6 million m3 per year to 5 million m3 per year, while the share of random harvests has increased (40-50% of the annual harvest volume on average). Approximately 180,000 ha of land is estimated to be suitable for forestation, including 60,000 ha of land requiring acute forestation.

The current status of the Slovak forests, with its mix of species, is incongruent with today's climatic conditions. The most precarious environmental conditions are found in the low-lying forested altitudes (up to 500 m) where the lack of rainfall is pronounced. Plans to modify the species composition of the most endangered forest requires a time frame of at least 40 to 50 years.

The health status of forests significantly deteriorated during the past decade due to emissions. Ninety-two percent of elms, 41% of firs, 11% of oaks, and 10% of pines have become extinguished in Slovakia. Deterioration can also be detected in younger age groups. The most afflicted coniferous tree is the pine (40%), followed by the fir (36%), and the spruce (29%). The average value of defoliation, calculated from research during a period of 7 years, has reached 27%. Persisting emission exposure and the weakening of forest capacity has increased tree defoliation and thinning of tree cover. Accidental tree cutting reached 60.4% of overall lumbering in 1994.

In relation with social changes after 1989 fundamental changes have been realized in recognizing and respecting private property and rehabilitation of proprietary relations which used to exist before 1948. In the area of ownership of forest land (forest crop) and its use several acts have been passed which deal with issues of rehabilitation of proprietary relations to forest land (the acts No.: 229/1991, 306/1992, 138/1991, 330/1991). Currently the process of re-privatization is almost completed (at present only 43 percent of forest area are owned by the state). Currently forests are owned by the state, municipalities, churches and by other legal and physical entities. All kinds of ownerships are equal (the Constitution of the Slovak Republic).

Challenges

The more fundamental application of principles of sustainable development of forest management in Slovakia will be dependent on economic possibilities of the state.

The act No. 287/1994 on nature protection does not solve fully the issue of compensations for material losses caused by different manners of forest management (articles 46 and 47), although such losses are defined explicitly defined in the act. Owner (administer, holder) of forest lands has increased expenses in managing forests, with respect to intensification of social functions, caused by application of finer and more suitable manners of cultivation, which have not been included in forest management plan or which were usually implemented under given conditions.

At the time of entering into force of this act there was no legislative regulation explicitly laying down the extent of material loss or how to calculate and use it in practice. Currently this issue is still not fully solved.

Currently a complex programme of recycle of forest waste does not exist in forest management. Partial projects are being implemented in utilization of wastes in the area of bioenergy.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

Use of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management:

Preparation of reports:

Report on forest management in the Slovak Republic (Green Report)

Monitoring the health state of forests in the Slovak Republic

Policy preparation:

Draft Slovak Forestry Policy

Preparation of legislative intention of the forest act

These criteria and indicators are permanently used in elaboration of forest management plans, which links them to forestry practice.

Indicators useful to assess progress towards sustainable forest management at the international level:

Participation of Slovakia in international initiatives defining criteria of sustainable forest management:

Ministerial conferences on the protection of European forests (Strasbourg, Helsinki, Lisbon), the World Forestry congresses (Turkey for the last time).

Information on sustainable forest management are regular part of annual reports on forest management.

Information available via Internet: Report on health state of forests:

Research and Technologies 

Forest research is aimed also at issues of biodiversity, ecological stability, integrated protection and conservation of genetic resources. To realize and control the application of these principles, specialized work places have been established for control of seeds, phytosanitary control, protection of forests and monitoring of forest ecosystems.

Financing   

No information is available.

Cooperation  

The 1992 UN Conference on the environment and development held in Rio de Janeiro provided incentive for support of sustainable forest management. In relation to that an issue of certification of forests, wood and wooden products appeared as means of international recognition of sustainable forest management. Basically the aim was to avoid reduction of area of tropical forests caused by their transformation to agricultural land. The idea of certification has given an incentive to creation of international certification organizations. The most important organizations are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and ISO (International Standardization Organization). FSC, seated in Mexico and supported by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), was created in 1993 in partnership of nature protectors, forest entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs in pulp industry and native peoples. FSC has created a system of certification providing accreditation for executive groups. Canada and New Zealand initiated creation of a group Forestry at ISO which resulted in creation of a standard for environmental protection (line 14 000) which laid down principles of sustainable environmental management.

The European Union has not adopted any solution yet. According to its draft strategy, the certification system should be transparent, voluntary, non-discriminatory and should take account of specific ecological, biological and rational economic features of a land, including the system of ownership of forest. The certification should fully comply with relevant targets, i.e. improvement of sustainable use of forests, which will be economically, socially and ecologically fully in compliance with national, EU and international legislation.

The Slovak Republic, represented by the Ministry of Soil Management, Section of Forestry, participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests for the first time in 1996 (9-20 September) in Geneva. The further continuation of this process was the special session of the United Nations devoted to evaluation of fulfilling the Agenda 21. Along with the General Assembly, negotiations of special committee established within the UN Commission for Sustainable Development. The negotiations of the special committee was chaired by the President of the UN Commission for Sustainable Development. Attention was paid to continuation of work of IPF. The Slovak delegation positively evaluated the IPF. It also supported the idea of creation of Forest Policy and stressed the necessity to prepare adoption of such a document as soon as possible.

The next session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests in 1998 (12-22 February in New York) was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Soil Management, Section of Forestry.

Due to the lack of financial sources the representatives of the Ministry of Soil Management did not participate in the session of IPF this year. On 21-23 September 1999 a session of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests will be held in Madrid (Spain) which is a continuation of IPF. Negotiations will relate to solution of issues of sustainable forest management. Solution of these issues is still an obstacle for adoption of the Global Convention on Forests. Discrepancies in this area were decisive reason of unsuccessful of the European countries (including Slovakia) in persuading the other countries to adopt such a convention. The Ministry of Soil Management, Section of Forestry, supports the activities of IPF and that is why it proposes that the Ministry of Soil Management nominate its representative for the above mentioned session in Madrid.

As the above mentioned information indicates, the Section of Forestry of the Ministry of Soil Management through its organizations (Forest Research Institute, Lesoprojekt Zvolen) has assessed the relevance of proposals of IPF and IFF.

Conclusions of IPF and IFF have been implemented in the following binding documents of the Ministry of Soil Management:

Next steps could be aimed at support and improvement of support of forest management, improvement of informational systems, evaluation of public functions of forests, support of forest science and research, support of measures for avoiding the natural disasters and liquidation of their consequences.

* * * 

This information is based on Slovakia’s submissions to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 1999.

Click here for UN ECE's timber data base for the Slovak Republic.

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FRESHWATER

 

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

The Government's medium-term objectives for freshwater include: a) a 50% reduction in the amount of pollutants in discharged waste water; b) bridging the gap between the volume of water extracted and discharged; c) reduction in agricultural use of underground water to 30%, with exceptions for the food and pharmaceutical industries; d) watering of livestock and poultry; e) exportation of geothermal waters; f) boosting the proportion of total waste water purified with high-efficiency (biological, chemical) methods and by small waste-water treatment plants by 20%; g) obtaining a 30% decrease in the consumption of drinking water monitored by measuring consumption via water meters; h) eliminating at least half the leakage in the water distribution system (to 10-15% of total volume); i) assigning priority to the completion of waste water treatment plants under construction, and the construction of treatment plants near sources of enormous water pollution; j) obtaining a 60% increase in the volume of waste-water purified; and k) resolving the deficit of drinking water in 16 districts, with priority for Kosice County, Velky Krtis, Lecenec, Rimavska Sobota, Prievidza, Spisska Nova Ves, and Roznava districts.

In order to protect natural sources of water, ten areas of natural water accumulation have been designated as protected, as well as 58 rivers and their catchment areas, a number of areas of hygienic protection, and 24 areas of natural curative waters and natural mineral water sources.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The entire volume of Slovak water reserves, 15.1 billion m3, provides 2,860 m3 per capita, significantly less than the European average of 5,000 mL per capita. Approximately 22% of water is lost in piping. Despite construction of treatment plants, there is a gap between the volume of water extracted and the quantity purified, while the discharge of untreated waste water continues to increase.

In 1991, approximately 88,000 tons of insoluble substances, 506 tons of inorganic salts, and 1,857 tons of oil and other petrochemicals were released into the river system. While 83.2% of the population is supplied by water from public piping, only 37.1% uses the public sewage system. Only 635 million m3, or about 42% of waste water released in 1991 was treated.

Challenges  

Ground water quality has begun to deteriorate significantly. In 1991, 87% of water samples were judged unsuitable for consumption (only 63% in 1983). Slovakia's ground water contains high levels of iron, manganese, active carbon dioxide, as well as chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, ammonium ions, and petrochemicals.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information is available 

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies 

The quantity and quality of different groups of surface and ground waters in the Slovak territory are monitored by a partial monitoring system. Of the entire 8,210 km of economically important rivers, 3,723.3 km are monitored. The quality of ground waters has been monitored in Slovakia since 1982 in 26 key water management areas by the Slovak Institute of Hydro-Meteorology. The monitoring network of ground water consists of a total of 344 monitoring units. The most significant of these areas is part of the 10 protection areas of natural water accumulation. In addition, some 24 protection zones of natural healing resources and natural spring water resources have been registered. The most dense monitoring network has been created in the Ostrov area which is the largest drinking water source in Central Europe.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 1997.

For national information on water protection, click here.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

 

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

Coordination among the authorities responsible for land management is ensured by the authorities of registered agricultural land resources on three levels: the Ministry, Regional Offices and District Offices. In coordinating mechanisms of land mechanism we miss the inspection for protection of properties of agricultural land during its both agricultural and non-agricultural use. Policy regulation and decision making, transferred to the district level, is solved by the amended act No. 307/92 on registered agricultural land resources protection

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

The basic principles of legislative protection of land and the authorities for registered agricultural land resources are directly defined in the provisions of the act No. 307/92 on registered agricultural land resources protection. The maximal acceptable levels of harmful substances are laid down in the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic No. 531/94-510. The further legislation related to land protection is the regulation of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 152/96 on basic payment rates for abstraction of agricultural land from the registered agricultural land resources.

For purposes of land protection the Code of sound agricultural practice has been worked out, which defines legislative measures for protection of environmental elements. Methodological guidelines are being also published which deals with some adverse impacts on land fertility (erosion, compaction, contamination of soil, etc.). According to the Slovak legislation in force forest land can be used for other (non-forest) purposes only after approval by competent forest state authority in duly reasoned cases.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans

All plans for newly proposed activities in the area of waste management and solid and hazardous waste management are evaluated according to the act No. 127/1994 on environmental impact assessment, which also includes aspects of soil utilization. It is possible to apply wastes on soil in any form only under conditions of their stabilization (treatment) and in the case, that the amount of harmful substances in waste complies with the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture No. 531/94-510.

Integrated land management and its sustainable development in the Slovak Republic is based on two fundamental principles:

Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 515/1998 to the Action Plan for Implementation of the National Strategy of Protection of Biodiversity lays down in its part B.1. that Ministers have to ensure financial and material conditions for solution of the tasks laid down by the Action plan and to create conditions for their fair evaluation and utilization of solved tasks in accordance with budgetary possibilities.

The Slovak Government approved by this resolution the first Action Plan for the period 1998-2010. In a form of tables it sets the worked out tasks according to strategic objectives and directions with determination of responsible bodies, expected costs and resources, priorities and date of finalization.

Control of processes adversely affecting the biological diversity

The tasks concern the application of appropriate mitigating, rehabilitating and remedying measures, namely:

Promotion of conception of ecologically proper and sustainable business in tourism.

Since the required finances for 1999 plan have not been allocated from the state budget, it was not and it will not be possible to ensure financial and material fulfillment of the tasks planned for 1999, which are under responsibility of Ministry of Economy. Ministry of Economy will require financial means for meeting the tasks in 2000 during preparation of the draft state plan for 2000.

Spatial planning is a basic instrument of environmental protection. On the basis of implementation of principles of sustainable development, the spatial planning must be determined by ecologisation of spatial organisation which is determined by application of ecological principles in management, decision-making, planning, project preparation and implementing the human activities.

In accordance with legislation in force - the act No. 50/1976 on spatial planning and construction procedure (construction act) as amended by further regulations and acts - the spatial planning documentation creates basic conditions for harmonizing the development of all activities on the levels of the state, regions and municipalities. In this context we stress the basic idea of spatial planning which "systematically and complexly deals with functional use of space, lays down the principles of its organization and coordinates construction activities and other activities affecting the development of space. Spatial planning creates conditions for ensuring the permanent harmony of all natural, civilization and cultural values of space, in particular with regard to protection of the environment and its main elements - soil, water and air." (article 1 of the construction act).

Use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes has to be evaluated and approved by an authority of protection of registered agricultural land resources in accordance with the act No. 307/92 on protection of registered agricultural land resources in order to protect the soils of the highest quality. Such a protection of agricultural land is ensured during assessment of proposals in the framework of land-use planning activities in the concrete territory.

From the point of view of energy and Energy Policy of the Slovak Republic the issues of sustainable development of land management concern mainly the following activities:

As far as issues of tourism are concerned, Slovakia states that:

Each year the hygienic service bodies lay down maximal capacity of tourist centers depending on their whole area, including water area, as well as their level of equipment. These provisions cannot be avoided in the framework of sustainable development.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

Support of sustainable development of human settlements is ensured in the framework of the „Programme of Rural Rehabilitation in Slovakia" amended in 1996. Since 1998 realization of development programmes of villages has started. This issue is included in the „Conception of Soil Management Policy" (Ministry of Soil Management of the Slovak Republic) approved in 1993. It concerns mainly maintenance and protection of land resources, countryside and ecological cultivation. The further objective is the conservation of agriculture and traditional forms of cultivation in mountain areas in accordance with adopted Programme and principles of regional policy in agriculture through system of subsidies "Promotion of management in worse natural conditions" (Ministry of Soil Management of the Slovak Republic).

In 1997 realization of the second phase of the Waste Management Programme of the Slovak Republic started. On the basis of comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the first phase the objectives and measures of the Waste Management Programme have been laid down for the period till 2000. These objectives and measures took account of real economic situation of the state and expected economic development, which significantly influenced the results achieved in individual areas of waste management.

The Government of Slovakia intends to reduce the intensity of arable land use where growing conditions are most costly, and harmonize the economic and environmental aspects of farming. Other activities include the sodding of 150-180,000 ha of steep slopes and plowed areas threatened by erosion in order to convert them to pasture or meadowland. The Government intends to reduce the area of great to extreme soil erosion (160,000 ha) by half, as well as undertake landscaping measures, such as windbreaks, planting vegetation on banks and slopes, and terracing.

The Government will designate approximately 80-100,000 ha of emission-damaged land for non-human consumption purposes, as well as introduce biotechnologies and alternative methods of soil management in protected regions of natural curative waters and sources of natural mineral drinking water. The Government will increase support for entrepreneurial activities aimed at fulfilling the "aesthetic function" of landscaping, improve the ecological stability of the land, and apply traditional farming methods on hilly or mountainous areas with low-density farm settlements.

The Government intends to implement a programme for greening residential areas, and agricultural and industrial facilities. The Government will also implement a programme to document land use planning for the larger territorial units in order to optimize sustainable land use and achieve integrated planning of land resources.

Status   

The current area of agricultural land is 2,445 thousands ha, out of which there are 1,472 thousands ha of arable soil. There are 0.45 ha of agricultural soil pre a citizen and 0.27 ha of arable soil per a citizen. One third of our soils has high production capacity, one third has medium production capacity and the last third has low fertility.

Area of forests makes 41 percent of the whole territory of the Slovak Republic (forest lands 1,989,443 ha, afforested total of forest land 1,999,266 ha) (as of 31 December 1998). Out of this area the coniferous forests make 41 percent and leafy forests 59 percent. Production forests make 66.9 percent, protective forests 15.3 percent and forests for special purposes 17.8 percent. They are cultivated via shelter cultivation which, together with selection system, is applied on 57.1 percent of the area and this figure will be growing in the future. The average afforested supply is 206 m3 per ha. The health state of the forests is stabilizing, however, it is still significantly worse than the European average. There is high rate of salvage cutting which made 42 percent of total cutting in 1998.

In relation with social changes after 1989 fundamental changes have been realized in recognizing and respecting private property and rehabilitation of proprietary relations which used to exist before 1948. In the area of ownership of forest land (forest crop) and its use several acts have been passed which deal with issues of rehabilitation of proprietary relations to forest land (the acts No.: 229/1991, 306/1992, 138/1991, 330/1991). Currently the process of re-privatization is almost completed (at present only 43 percent of forest area are owned by the state). Currently forests are owned by the state, municipalities, churches and by other legal and physical entities. All kinds of ownerships are equal (the Constitution of the Slovak Republic).

Among soil types, brown soils, podsolic soil, and podsol are the most predominant. Acidification of land, indiscriminate land cultivation especially draining and excessive use of chemicals, and increased wind and water erosion are the main factors that negatively impact environmental land functions and agricultural production. The acidity of soil has increased in many places due to the polluted environment. As a result of this unfavorable development in soil acidification, some 700 ha of agricultural land show reactions below pH 5.5. The transmission of emissions, agricultural chemicals, excessive use of pesticides, nitrogen and potassium based fertilizers, and the use of phosphorous fertilizers with high levels of heavy metals are important sources of soil contamination. A significant drop in the consumption of manufactured fertilizers has been recorded since 1995. In the Slovak Republic, 1.5 million ha of agricultural land are threatened by erosion, of which 670 thousand ha require urgent conservation. The estimated annual soil loss caused by erosion is 2.8 million tons. Wind erosion, which affects mostly the plains, is associated with approximately 390 thousand ha of arable land.

Challenges  

Currently no document has been adopted which would deal with the national agricultural policy to support the best possible use of land and sustainable management of land resources. However, there are some materials worked out, which could serve as a background material for such an intention.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

Evaluation system for land from the point of view of its quality is based on categorizing the soils in classed soil-ecological units which represent very concrete properties of agricultural soils. The whole territory of the Slovak Republic has been mapped.

The set properties of the land are expressed through a code of BPEJ (classed soil-ecological units) are continuously updated to lay them down more precisely. In order to identify and control negative impacts on soil properties, the regular monitoring in five-year cycles in more than 300 locations is being carried out. Satellite image processing and aerial photograph surveys are carried out only sporadically according to immediate needs.

The criteria concerning the integrated land management and sustainable use of land resources are laid down directly in the legislation related to protection of the registered agricultural land resources. The Government has not worked out indicators on integrated land management.

Information on land properties, soil and slope characteristics and productivity is registered in the Information system on soil at the Research Institute of Soil Science and Soil Protection.

Information on integrated land management and sustainable use of land resources are processed, regularly updated and available to users on request though, not yet available on the internet.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

* * * 

This information is based on Slovakia’s submissions to the 5th and 8th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: October 1999.

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MOUNTAINS

No information available.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Cooperation  

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed and ratified by the Slovak Republic in 1996.

* * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 1997.

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

 

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The responsibility for management of chemical and of chemical preparations is shared among a number of ministries and other government authorities in the Slovak Republic. The most important of which are: the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Agriculture. The coordination of activities in chemical management is provided through: cross-sectoral committees whose members are appointed by ministries (for example, working groups for new legislation); an inter-sectoral consultation process for documents prepared for government sessions; and inter-sectoral meetings. For the chemical and pesticide sector, the government intends to establish a coordination working group which will include all affected parties, including NGOs. This working group will cooperate with international institutions.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

There is an urgent requirement in the Slovak Republic to introduce legislation on chemicals. The Act on Chemicals and Chemical Preparations, which is being prepared, is the first step in reaching standards of the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The principles of the Act were submitted to the government in 1996 and it is projected to be ratified in 1998. The major objective of the Act is to protect human health and the environment against the harmful impact of chemicals and chemical preparations. This act will contain provisions respecting the rights and obligations of government institutions, producers, and importers in the production, testing, classification, packaging, labeling, and registration of chemicals. The Act establishes the obligation of producers and importers to register all new chemicals as a whole or when used as a part of a chemical preparation. The data required for registration are in compliance with EU and OECD requirements.

The Good Laboratory Practice principles are applied in laboratories, which undertake tests and analysis for registration. The Act will also allow the banning or severe restriction on the use of chemicals or chemical preparations which are harmful to human health and the environment. The Act will cover information exchange on the export of banned or severely restricted chemicals and chemical preparations.

The second phase supporting the management of chemical security is the proposed Act on Risk Assessment of Existing Chemicals. This Act will cover the systematic identification and evaluation of existing chemicals, including their risk assessment. According to the timetable of the Government's legislative tasks, the principles of the Act will be submitted to the government in 1998 and the Act will be adopted in 2000. Drafting of the legislation is the responsibility of the Ministry of Economy.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The systematic investigation of existing chemicals is part of the management system for chemicals. The Inventory of Chemicals and Chemical Preparations, initiated in 1992-1993, was a preparatory phase of the program of investigation of existing chemical substances, and risk reduction and assessment of their potential impact on the environment. This program resulted in a survey of chemicals and chemical preparations in Slovakia and provided data on their physical-chemical, toxic, and eco-toxic properties. The data base is gradually being up-dated.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

No information is available

  * * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 1997.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic and regional offices are primarily concerned with the sound management of solid waste and sewage related issues in Slovakia. The Minister of the Environment issued the Waste Management Program of the Slovak Republic in 1993. It is a conceptual document that establishes waste management goals by the year 1996, 2000, and 2005, as well as defining concrete measures for their realization.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

As part of its foreseen medium-term strategy, the government intends to process 80% of biodegradable waste to produce organic fertilizers, create economic incentives for the expanded collection and utilization of secondary raw materials (for example, used oils, glass, metals, paper, etc.), introduce separate collection to obtain a 50% reduction of the volume of municipal waste designed for disposal, construct a network of waste sorting equipment for separating out secondary materials, dispose of all unusable municipal waste in landfills meeting technical standards and not threatening the environment, engage in the systematic clean-up and reclamation of landfill areas threatening the environment, and reduce the number of recorded dumps by half.

As of 1995, there was no efficient waste management system in operation in the Slovak Republic. As a result of landfill registration, which was performed in 1992 and 1993, 8,372 waste dumps have been listed. Following the Directive of the Minister of the Environment No. S-1/1993, each of the landfills has a registered certificate for its evaluation and assessment. Of 34 industrial waste incinerators, 11 of them have no facility to trap exhaust gases.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

Major Groups involved in solid waste management include VSZ Koice and Slovnaft Bratislava. The private sector is involved in capacity-building issues related to the sound management of solid wastes. The private sector, municipalities, and the state budget are involved in finance issues related to the sound management of solid waste. Regional and international cooperation on solid waste in Slovakia is obtained under the Basel Convention; and from the European Union (EU), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and bilateral contacts.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

The Slovak Republic, with its 300 kg of solid waste per capita (1995), ranks near Norway (472 kg), the Netherlands (497 kg), and Hungary (463 kg) in solid waste production. Solid wastes generated by communities represent 1,620 thousand tons in 1995, while 150 thousand tons are recycled, 40 thousand tons are used as compost, and the remaining 1,430 thousand tons are disposed.

Challenges  

Public sewerage linkages in the Slovak Republic can be expressed by the percentage of inhabitants living in houses that are connected to the public sewerage system. In 1990, 50.6% of residents had access to public sewage and in 1995, this figure increased to 52.6%. The public water linkages were 73.4 % in 1990 and 79.4% in 1995. Thus, there is a considerable lag in the development of public sewerage systems compared to public water supplies. Of the total number of villages and towns in the Slovak Republic (over 2,800), only 285 villages have created sewerage systems, while a number of them provide only partial sewage or sewage without waste water treatment. From the point of view of protecting the basins of the Danube river tributaries, the most unfavourable conditions in sewerage infrastructure are in the Bodva, Bodrog, Ipel, Slaná, Nitra and Morava Rivers basins.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

No information is available

  * * * 

This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 1997.

For national information on waste management, click here.

Hazardous Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

The Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic and regional offices are responsible for the sound management of hazardous wastes. Of the 25.7 million tons of waste that are produced annually in Slovakia, 2.5 million are designated as hazardous wastes. The government has stated that its medium-term strategy on waste management will encompass the disposal of improperly stored hazardous waste and protection against the undesired import of waste; construction of a network of hazardous waste recycling centers and a container system for handling hazardous wastes; and disposal of hazardous and medical waste with appropriate procedures and equipment.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans   

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal has been ratified by the Slovak Republic. The latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1996.

Major Groups involved in hazardous waste management include VSZ Koice and Slovnaft Bratislava. The private sector is involved in capacity-building issues related to the management of hazardous wastes. The private sector, municipalities, and the state budget are involved in finance issues related to the sustainable management of hazardous waste. Regional and international cooperation on hazardous waste in Slovakia is obtained under the Basel Convention; and from the European Union (EU), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and bilateral contacts.

 

* * * 

 

This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

Radioactive Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

In questions of spent nuclear fuel, the convention was signed by the ministers of the environment, interior, economy, transport, and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority concerning the physical safety of these materials within the Slovak Republic. The Ministry of Environment is taking part in the coordination group which is responsible for the transportation of spent nuclear fuel. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the Ministry of Health are responsible for the safe management of institutional radioactive wastes. The import of nuclear active sources and their use is also regulated by these institutions.

In the declaration No 538/1995, the Slovak Government accepted restrictions on the illegal transport of radioactive materials in the Slovak Republic. Detection equipment was installed along some of the borders (especially on the eastern frontiers) in order to control the movement of radioactive materials along and within the state.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

It is anticipated that the nuclear power plants in Jaslovske Bohunice and Mochovce will be able to process almost all kinds of waste from nuclear power plants and any radioactive waste from other originators into a form suitable for final storage. For the final storage of the processed low- and medium-active waste, a storage facility is being built in Mochovce. However, the long-term safe storage of radioactive waste that will not be accepted for the storage in Mochovce has not yet been resolved. Radioactive waste from nuclear facilities is currently stored at nuclear power plants.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

  * * * 

 

This information was provided by the Government of Slovakia to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update:  April 1997.

For national information on nuclear safety, click here.


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