Protected areas - overview and division

Territorial protection and protected natural areas - overview, division and categories


Basic informations

Territorial protection and levels of protection
Legislation
Protected area
Buffer (protective) zones of protected areas

Division and categories of protected areas in Slovakia

Large protected areas (LPA)
Small protected areas (SPA)
Categories of protected areas

Natural areas of international importance

Beech Forests of the Carpathians - UNESCO Natural Heritage
Caves of the Slovak Karst - UNESCO Natural Heritage
Biosphere Reserves in Slovakia
Natura 2000 in Slovakia
Ramsar sites in Slovakia
 

Basic informations

 

Territorial protection and levels of protection


Territorial protection of nature and landscape according to the law means protection of nature and landscape on the territory of the Slovak Republic or its part. For territorial protection of nature and landscape there are 5 levels of protection. The territorial protection specifies five levels of protection. The extent of restrictions increases depending on the increase of the level of protection. If several kinds of protected areas with different levels of protection overlap in some territory the highest level of them is valid there.
 

Legislation


The basic and fundamental document about nature and landscape protection in the Slovak Republic, is the Act No.543/2002 Coll. of June 25-th, 2002 on Nature and Landscape Protection and its amendments. A link to the applicable nature protection legislation you will find below the article.
 

Protected areas


To achieve territorial protection, there are declared protected areas. The protected area is an important site under state protection. Protected areas are declared to contribute to preserving the diversity of conditions and forms of life on earth and to create conditions for the sustainable conservation, restoration and rational use of natural resources. The declaration of the area as protected also aims to preserve the natural heritage, the characteristic appearance of the landscape and to achieve and maintain ecological stability.Based on the state of the biotopes, the protected area may be subdivided into no more than four zones if necessary to ensure its protection.

In the territory of the Slovak Republic, where there are no declared protected areas (except for specially declared protected areas), the first level of protection applies, in which the general protection of nature and landscape applies. The levels of protection for each category of protected areas can be found below for each category of protected areas.

Protected areas (PA) can be declared if there are located:
 
  • biotopes of European importance and habitats of national importance
  • biotopes of species of European importance
  • biotopes of species of national importance
  • bird biotopes, including migratory species
  • important landscape elements
  • territories of international importance
Biotope (habitat) is a place or an area with a certain kind of environment that is characterized by certain species of plant and animal community, thus it meets the characteristic conditions for particular living organisms. It can be said that this is a common environment of organisms living in a certain territory, as well as the influences that affect it. The biotope always refers to a specific species of organism, for example biotope can be forests, caves, water courses, rocks, wetlands. The biotope can be understood as a common environment of certain components and a set of impacts that create the environment of all living organisms in the biotope territory. The term ecotope is sometimes used for plants.
 

Buffer (protective) zones of protected areas


If necessary, in order to protect a protected area (national park, protected area, nature reserve, national nature reserve, natural monument or national natural monument), it is possible to declare its buffer (protective) zone. Simplified it can be said that the protection buffer zone separates non-intervention areas from the intervention area. On the territory of the buffer zone, the appropriate level of protection according to the Act on Nature and Landscape Protection - Act no. 543/2002 or its amendments is valid.  The buffer area of the national park may also include the built-up area of the municipality, the area to be built or the area intended for territorial development. The surface protection zone above the cave, which is or may be endangered by economic activity, is declared by Regional Environmental Office. After its announcement, the optimization of economic activity on the surface without disturbing the cave ecosystems will be achieved.
 

Division and categories of protected areas in Slovakia


National parks and protected landscape areas are unofficialy called as Large protected areas (LPA). They are a larger area, usually over 1000 ha. Protected sites, nature reserves, national nature reserves, nature monuments, national nature monuments and protected landscape elements are unofficialy called as Small protected areas (SPA).
 

Large protected areas (LPA)

 

Small protected areas (SPA)

 
List and areas of large protected areas in Slovakia - map, list, area, region, district >>
List of Small protected areas (SPA) in Slovakia - area, region, district >>

Protected areas are also divided into categories.

 
 

Categories of protected areas


The categories of protected areas are:
 


Protected landscape areas (PLA)

in Slovak Chránené krajinné oblasti (CHKO)

Protected landscape area (PLA) – a larger area, usually more than 1,000 ha, with fragmented ecosystems which are significant for conservation of biological diversity and ecological stability, with characteristic landscape features or with specific forms of historical settlements. In the territory of a PLA the 2nd level of protection is valid unless determined otherwise.

Protected landscape areas (PLA) in Slovakia - list, areas, regions, districts >>


National park (NP)

in Slovak Národný park (NP)

National park (NP) – a larger area, usually more than 1,000 ha, predominantly with ecosystems substantially unaffected by human activities, or with unique and natural landscape structures that form national biocentres and the most significant natural heritage in which the nature protection is of higher priority than other activities. In the territory of a NP the 3rd level of protection is valid unless determined otherwise.

List and areas of National Parks in Slovakia, regions, districts >>


Protected site (PS)

in Slovak Chránený areál (CHA)

Protected site (PS) – an area, usually up to 1,000 ha with existence of natural habitats of European interest or natural habitats of national interest in which favourable status of these natural habitats depends on human economic activities. In the territory of a PS the 3rd, 4th or 5th levels of protection are valid.

Protected sites (PS) in Slovakia - list, area, region, district  >>


Nature reserve (NR) and National nature reserve (NNR)

in Slovak Prírodná rezervácia (PR), Národná prírodná rezervácia (NPR)

Nature reserve (NR) and national nature reserve (NNR) – a  locality, usually up to 1 000 ha representing predominantly original or those natural habitats of European or national interest or habitats of species of European or national interest which have not been generally affected by human activities. The 4th or 5th levels of protection are valid in the territory of a NR and NNR.

Nature reserves (NR) in Slovakia - list, area, regions, districts >>
National nature reservations (NNR) in Slovakia - list, area, regions, districts >>


Nature monument (NM) and National nature monument (NNM)

in Slovak Prírodná pamiatka (PP), Národná prírodná pamiatka (NPP)

Nature monument (NM) and national nature monument (NNM) – point, linear or other smaller ecosystems, their components or elements, generally not exceeding 50 ha in area, of scientific, cultural, ecological, aesthetic or landscape significance. The 4th or 5th levels of protection are valid in the territory of a NM and NNM.

Natural monuments (NM) in Slovakia - list, area, regions, districts >>
National natural monuments (NNM) in Slovakia - list, areas, regions, districts >>


Protected landscape elements (PLE)

in Slovak Chránený krajinný prvok (CHKP)

Protected landscape element (PLE) – a significant landscape element fulfilling a function of a biocentre, a biocorridor or an interactive element, especially of local or regional interest. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th levels of protection are valid in the territory of a PLE.

Protected landscape elements (PLE) in Slovakia - list, area, regions, districts >>


Protected bird area (PBA)

in Slovak Chránené vtáčie územie (CHVÚ)

Protected bird area (PBA)  – habitats of bird species of European interest and habitats of migratory bird species. The purpose of designation of PBA is ensuring their survival and reproduction. PBAs are components of the coherent European network of protected areas NATURA 2000 as special protected areas (SPA).

Protected bird areas (PBA) in Slovakia - list, area, regions, districts >>
 


Natural areas of international importance


Beech Forests of the Carpathians - UNESCO Natural Heritage


The area was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 together with other forests in the territory of Slovakia and Ukraine. In 2011, the list of territories was extended by five old German forests and was listed under the name Carpathian primaeval beech forests and old beech forests of Germany. In 2017, the list was extended to other locations in selected European countries under the name Old beech forests and primaeval beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe... read more >>


Caves of the Slovak Karst - UNESCO Natural Heritage


Based on a joint project of Slovakia and Hungary, the caves of the Slovak Karst were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995 as Caves of the Slovak and Aggtelec Karst. In 2000, the project was extended to the Dobšinská Ice Cave, located in the National Park Slovak Paradise (NPSP) in Slovakia.... read more >>


Biosphere Reserves in Slovakia


Established in 1971, the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) program is an intergovernmental scientific program designed to create a scientific basis for improving relationships between people and their environment. The MaB program combines the knowledge of the natural sciences and the social sciences, creating the basis for a rational and sustainable exploitation of the biosphere resources, with the simultaneous protection of natural ecosystems and man-made landscapes ... read more >>


Natura 2000


Natura 2000 is the name of the system of protected areas of the Member States of the European Union and its main aim is to preserve the natural heritage and preserve the most valuable and endangered species and habitats (biotopes) of Europe. This system of protected areas is intended to ensure the protection of the most precious and most endangered species of wild plants, wild animals and natural habitats occurring  on the territory of the European Union and, through the conservation of these species and habitats, to preserve biodiversity on the territory of all the European Union ... read more >>


Ramsar sites in Slovakia


The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is one of the most important international  convention concerning nature protection and the only convention protecting a certain
biotope - wetland. The convention was initiated by an alarming decline in the number of populations of many species of water birds  in connection with the changes and loss of wetlands ... read more >>

Sources:
Act No.543/2002 on Nature and Landscape Protection (Slovak language)
EnviroPortal,
www.sopsr.sk

Useful links (sites are in Slovak language):
Atlas of habitats in Slovakia
Catalog of habitats in Slovakia
Territorial protection of nature and landscape and its levels
Legislation - laws and decrees to protect nature
EnviroPortal
Slovak Botanical Society at SAS
www.minzp.sk
www.biomonitoring.sk