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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):