In the past centuries, forest area has been increasing constantly. Since 1875, when forests covered only 36% of the Slovenian territory, forest cover has increased to 58.5%.
This indicator shows forest area in absolute terms and as a percentage of total land area of Slovenia. The presented data covers the period 1875–2013.
In the Forest Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 30/93 and amendments), a forest is defined as land containing forest trees in the form of a stand or other woodland fulfilling any of the functions of a forest. According to this act, any areas reverting to natural vegetation that have been classified as a forest in the spatial part of the Forest Management Plan are considered to be forests.
According to FAO, a forest is a piece of land bigger than 0.5 ha with more than 10 per cent of tree crown cover (or equivalent stocking level). The trees should be able to reach a minimum height of 5 m at maturity in situ. Young natural stands, plantations established for forestry purposes and areas normally forming part of the forest area that are temporarily unstocked as a result of human intervention or natural causes are also included. This definition also includes forest nurseries and seed orchards that constitute an integral part of the forest, forest roads, firebreaks, etc.
Slovenia Forest Service, 2014.
|share of forest||%||36||42||43.7||46.5||46.9||51.3||52.8||53.1||53.4|
|share of forest||%||53.7||54||54.2||54.2||54.7||54.8||55||55.9||56.4||56.7|
|share of forest||%||57.1||57.4||57.7||57.9||58.4||58.5||58.5||58.5||58.4||58.4|
|share of forest||%||58.5|
Slovenia Forest Service, 2014.
To preserve an appropriate percentage of forest land in a landscape. Where there are insufficient forests and smaller forest elements in a landscape, their area should be increased, including individual forest trees.
How was the indicator measured?
The data on forest area were acquired from annual reports of the Slovenia Forest Service (since 1994) and archived data. Reports are made based on 10-year Forest Unit Management Plans that are updated at regular (most often 10-year) intervals. The manner of determining the forest area is defined in the Rules on the forest management and silviculture plans. According to Article 2 of the Act on Forests, forest area is determined by projecting relevant images acquired by means of remote sensing onto base topographical maps that can be checked on the spot if necessary. Forest also includes agricultural land reverting to natural vegetation if it has not been used for agricultural purposes for over 20 years and if the crown cover exceeds 75%. Areas larger than 0.5 ha are treated in 0.5 ha segments. The forest border is entered onto the base topographical map (scale 1:5,000 or 1:10,000), representing the documentation material accompanying the plan. At specific segments and at higher levels, the forest areas are determined to the nearest 0.01 ha. Forest area at specific plots is determined by comparing maps of the forest area and plots and is checked on the spot if necessary.
Data for Slovenia:
• name of the original database: Annual reports of the Slovenian Forest Service,
• institution acting as the administrator of the database: Slovenian Forestry Institute,
• description of the data source: Annual reports of the Slovenian Forest Service on forests,
• data are shown for the period: 1875 – 2007.
Data for Europe:
• name of the original database: Global Forest Assessment 2005, Global Forest Assessment 2000,
• institution acting as the administrator of the database: UN FAO, Department of Forestry,
• description of the data source: Data and analyses in the report were calculated based on reports from individual countries.
o Slovenia Forest Service, Central Database of Forest Management Unit Plans, 2008.
o Slovenian National Forest Development Programme , Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no. 14/1996 of 8-3-1996.
o National Forest Programme, Draft. March 2007,
o Rules on the forest management and silviculture plans, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no. 5/1998 of 23-1-1998, pp. 256 – 282.
o Rules amending the Rules on forest management and silviculture plans, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no. 70/2006 of 6-7-2006, pp. 7293-7298.
o National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP), Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no.. 83-3953/1999, p. 12765.
o Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005, UN FAO, Department of Forestry, 2006.
o Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000, UN FAO, Department of Forestry, 2001.
Forest area is one of the most basic and most easily measurable indicators for forests, which is why we already have extensive data reaching back to 1875, when forests represented only 36% of the Slovenian territory. Since then (for more than 130 years), the forest area has been increasing constantly. The trend of change, however, is not uniform throughout Slovenia. Forest area is increasing where forests are already a predominant landscape feature, while in agricultural and, particularly, suburban areas, forests are now being exposed to great pressures, leading to further shrinking of the already meagre forest remnants in those areas (Resolution on National Forest Programme, Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 111/07).
According to a report by the Slovenia Forest Service, in 2013, forests covered 1,186,044 hectares. Today, forests cover 58% of Slovenia's territory. The distribution of and changes in forest area is also monitored by the Ministry of agriculture, forestry and food within the monitoring of the use of agricultural land. The Slovenia Forest Service participates by checking the mapped forest edge. According to these data, forest area in 2010 amounted to 1,213,944 hectares, which was slightly below 60% of the territory of Slovenia.
According to the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment, Slovenia has a large percentage of forests in comparison with the rest of Europe; however, the absolute percentage is much lower. The total surface area of forests in Europe (the EU-27) in 2005 was 177,015,800 hectares, which was 42% of the entire EU-27 territory. In the period 2000–2005, the surface area of forests increased by 764,800 hectares, or 1.6%.
Similar trends have been noted in past decades on the European scale. A large share of afforestation was carried out immediately after World War II, and this trend has settled over the last decades. Areas appropriate for afforestation are shrinking and the cost of such activities is increasing. The share of managed forests has been increasing at an even slower rate as a result of the growing share of protected areas in the total surface area.