Wild Slovenia – natural science documentary – and European Natura 2000 Day

Published: 20.5.2021

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Wild Slovenia – natural science documentary – and European Natura 2000 Day

The partners of the LIFE integrated project for enhanced management of Natura 2000 in Slovenia (LIFE-IP NATURA.SI) and the creators of Wild Slovenia hosted an online event about the behind-the-scenes of one of the most intriguing animal and plant documentaries. 

Wild Slovenia – natural science documentary – and European Natura 2000 Day

On Friday, 21 May, all European Union member states are celebrating the day of the largest nature conservation network in the world. On the occasion of this year's European Natura 2000 Day, the partners of the LIFE integrated project for enhanced management of Natura 2000 in Slovenia (LIFE-IP NATURA.SI) and the creators of the science documentary Wild Slovenia hosted an online event about the behind the scenes of one of the most intriguing animal and plant documentaries. More than 400 experts from the fields of nature protection, biology, forestry, agriculture, water management, local self-government, tourism and others take active care of the preservation of Slovenian nature on a daily basis.

Slovenian nature is considered to be exceptional, both at the European and global level: with Natura 2000 more than a tenth of all animal and plant species at the EU level are protected in Slovenia. Among them, the most common are birds, fish, insects, bats and amphibians. The richness of Slovenian nature is the main source of inspiration for Matej Vranič, who, together with 15 other team members produced the Wild Slovenia documentary. This is his second natural science documentary. “In 80 minutes, we covered different life roles and seasons in the lives of 50 animal species. From the highest alpine peaks and remote Dinaric forests, we travel across the Pannonian plains, into the underworld of the Karst world and below the surface of the Adriatic Sea,” explains Vranič, who says that the film is almost finished and will premiere in Slovenia in autumn: “I dedicated my first natural science documentary, Birds of the Lakes, to my home Šaleška dolina, and with Divja Slovenija I wanted to show exceptional images and rarely seen scenes of the animal world of the whole of Slovenia.”

“I am a biologist, but as the leader of one of the largest nature conservation projects in Slovenia, I mostly deal with the management of human activities in nature. For me, Wild Slovenia is a moving image of the essence of nature protection. It helps us experience nature in its diversity and thus helps understand why it is important to make an effort to preserve nature,” says Maja Cipot, head of the LIFE integrated project for enhanced management of Natura 2000 in Slovenia, on the occasion of European Nature Day. “Many biologists, nature protection experts, foresters, hunters and others who also participate in the LIFE-IP NATURA.SI project have also left their mark on Wild Slovenia. In 8 years, a total of 15 experts from the fields of biology, forestry, agriculture and water management have connected to protect nature.”

In addition to the so-called umbrella project in Slovenia on 50 Natura 2000 sites, 11 major projects co-financed from the EU cohesion policy funds and national funds are being carried out. They are designed to preserve and improve species and their habitats in Natura 2000. The projects bring together more than 50 organizations, including local communities, regional development agencies, private institutions, research institutions, ministries, protected area managers and others. More than 200 experts from various sectors take part and take care of the preservation of Slovenian nature on a daily basis.

Wild Slovenia – natural science documentary

Wild Slovenia presents the very diverse fauna and flora of Slovenia. We get to know its characteristics in each region. We discover the secret life of some animal species. Even those who live in the immediate vicinity of people, often even in an urban environment, but can almost never be seen. We are witnessing individual interactions between humans and animals. A special stamp is given to the film by a very rich ecosystem diversity, shots of rarely seen scenes, accompanied by a picturesque narrative of scientific findings. Through the 80-minute film, we learn stunning details from the animal world, combined into engaging and instructive stories depicted by exceptional videography. The documentary features more than 50 animal species, 39 of which are also presented through stories that we follow over a period of one year and are shown in various roles as dictated by their life cycle – feeding or hunting, fighting for females, mating, care for their offspring. For the species we see more often, their lesser-known peculiarities are presented. The documentary will be released in 80-minute Slovenian and 52-minute English versions in September 2021. The documentary is co-produced with TV Slovenia and co-financed by the Slovenian Film Centre.

LIFE integrated project for enhanced management of Natura 2000

LIFE integrated project for enhanced management of Natura 2000 (LIFE-IP NATURA.SI) is one of the largest nature conservation projects in Slovenia. It has been coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning since 2018. There are 15 partners in the field of nature protection, forestry, agriculture and water management included in the project. The basic purpose of the project is to contribute to the improvement of Natura 2000 management in Slovenia. In addition to improvements at the national level, partners in eight Natura 2000 sites are also implementing concrete actions such as: restoration and maintenance of favourable habitat status, prevention of overgrowing, removal of invasive species, and others. The LIFE-IP NATURA.SI project is co-financed by the European Union from the LIFE program, the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and partners.

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