History of Nature Protection in Poľana Mts. (Central Slovakia) – 2. part (from 1990 until present)

Katedra biológie a ekológie, Fakulta prírodných vied UMB, Tajovského 40, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, email: Peter.Urban@umb.sk, urbanlutra@gmail.com

Venované Ing. Dušanovi Slávikovi, prvému a dlhoročnému riaditeľovi Správy CHKO BR Poľana vo Zvolene, pri príležitosti jeho životného jubilea.


After the year 1989, nature protection in Poľana (like the whole of Slovakia) underwent a number of changes. These changes had a strong influence on the development of future nature protection. State nature protection in Slovakia has moved from the sector of culture to environment sector. The Ministry of the Environment is a central body for environmental protection and management. Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic in 1993. The No. 1/1955 Act was replaced in 1994 by the new Act of National Council of the Slovak Republic 287/1994, passed on January 1, 1995. This Act represented a new legal basis under which government authorities establish and manage protected areas. The main idea of this act was that not only specially protected parts of nature should be conserved for the future but that it is also extremely important to maintain basic natural processes in landscapes, stressing both diversity and stability of various biological systems. Legislation was subsequently harmonized with the legislation of the European Union and in consideration of international obligations and into the next Act No. 543/2002 the regulations of the European Community were incorporated. It enabled creation of the network of protected areas of European importance in the system Natura 2000.  

Biosphere Reserves are referred to in the national Nature and Landscape Conservation Act as areas of international importance and coordinated through regional offices of the State Nature Conservancy.

Poľana Protected Landscape Area (PLA) Biosphere Reserve (BR) subsequently amended by a Decree of the Ministry of the Environment on 3rd September 2001 (legal act No. 431/2001 Coll.). According to this decree an area of 20 360 hectares (17 102 hectares forest land, 3 001 hectares are agricultural land, 102 hectares are covered by water bodies, 49 hectares are built-up areas and 106 hectares are other areas). In this PLA are three national nature reserves (Hrončecký Grúň, Ľubietovský Vepor, ZadnáPoľana), seven nature reserves (Havranieskaly, Kopa, Mačinová, Pod Dudášom, Pri Bútľavke, Príslopy, Vrchslatina), one national natural monument (Vodopád Bystrého Potoka), seven natural monuments (Bátovský balvan, Havranka, Jánošíkova skala, Kalamárka, Melichova skala, Spády, Veporské skalky) and four protected local sites (Dolná Zálomská, Horná Chrapková, Hrochotská Bukovina, Meandre Kamenistého potoka). Their total area covers 1 369 hectares (about 6.7 % of the PLA). Eight sites of community importance are also situated within PLA (Repiská SKUEV0008, Koryto SKUEV0009, Kopa SKUEV0045, Javorinka SKUEV0046, Močidlianska skala SKUEV0248, Hrbatá lúčka SKUEV0249, Poľana SKUEV0319, and Detviansky potok SKUEV0400). Their total area is 3 824 hectares, which is about 18.7% of PLA. The bird protected area Poľana (SKCHVU022) was designated on 1 February 2008. It encompasses an area of 32 188 hectares and is thus larger than the territory of PLA.

In the whole Poľana PLA BR are three traditional rural settlements: Iviny, Snohy and Vrchslatina (on the southern slopes of the PLA) only. These three villages represent a dispersed settlement pattern. Dispersed settlements have their specific Slovak names in this area. The number of permanent residents in these settlements has shown a strong decline over the last decades.

Until now, the biosphere reserve is not seen as a promoter for regional development itself.

In 2014, the Coordination Board of the Poľana Biosphere Reserve was created. In January 2015, the new comprehensive Management Plan for Poľana Biosphere Reserve (developed in participatory manner already in 2014) was approved by the Coordination Board of the Biosphere Reserve. This most recent plan was inspired by the Action programme for the Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve (Switzerland) which has a partnership with Poľana BR. The Management Plan is the four year plan for the period 2014 – 2017. In consultation with stakeholders, proposed extension of the Poľana Biosphere Reserve (its transition zone) was completed and submitted to International Coordination Council (ICC) UNESCO MAB. The main purpose of the extension was to create conditions for better implementation of the Biosphere Reserve development function. The proposal has been approved during the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves with main topic “A New Vision for the Decade 2016-2025” which was held in March 2016, in Lima (Peru).

On the occasion of 25 years of existence of the Poľana BR, a day-long stakeholder event was held on October 29, 2015, combining excursion through the most notable parts of the Biosphere Reserve and a celebration dinner accompanied by presentations on the past and present of the Poľana BR.

For the future it is crucial to set the decision-making processes which should be based on the principles of the equality, voluntariness and local stakeholders involvement.


Key words: Biosphere reserve, protected areas, conservation, administration, stakeholders

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