Primorsko-notranjska statistical region, Slovenia
NUTS 3 – Primorsko-notranjska statistical region lies in the southern part of Slovenia. According to self-assessment of satisfaction with life here live one of the happiest people in Slovenia. Region has 52,538 inhabitants and stretches over 1,456 km2. It is one of the smallest regions in Slovenia. The region comprises an area of six municipalities: Bloke, Cerknica, Loška Dolina, Ilirska Bistrica, Pivka and Postojna. It is predominantly rural region with the lowest population density in the country - 36 inhab./km2.
This region is part of Alpine biogeographical region and a part of Dinaric landscapes that consist of two subtypes: Dinaric plateaus and Dinaric lowlands. Sedimentary rocks known as limestone and dolomite led to special shapes created by waters in the fusible stone – karst phenomena (karst caves, potholes, karst springs, disappearing lakes, original karst poljes, sinkholes). Influence of men caused diverse cultural landscape - clustered villages, churches, mills, sawmills, stone crosses and preserved castles (castle Predjama).
The region is from an environmental point of view well preserved. More than half of the region is part of the Natura 2000 network. The largest protected area is Notranjska Regional Park. There is also a lot of natural heritage here. The flora and fauna of this region is diverse – birds, large carnivores, bats, butterflies, plants, flowers. There are many endemic species, which ranks the region between t. i. “Hot spots” of biodiversity for underground karst world.
71 % of the region is covered by vast forest area – Illyrian Fagus sylvatica forests. Wood is the most abundant and the most important natural resource in the area. More than 200 km2 present utilized agricultural area, with 92 % of grasslands. Most farms are therefore engaged in livestock, particularly cattle, sheep and breeding horses. 20 % of the region is grassland – dry karst meadows, pastures and also wetlands. Region has a lot of water resources, mainly because of karst aquifer and springs. A special position has The river Ljubljanica (river through Ljubljana). It is supplied with water from many karst influent streams belonging to two main catchment areas: Cerknica and Pivka. It vanishes into the ground and comes to the surface many times along its course, each time with a different name. So, the river is poetically said to have seven names.
Beside provisioning ecosystem services (like fuel wood and drinking water) these ecosystems offer regulating ecosystem services (relevant for AlpES) such as filtration, erosion control, CO2 sequestration and also possibilities for outdoor recreation. Different species and landscapes have symbolic value for locals and visitors. The Green Karst is for example the tourist brand of the region that gathered all main touristic destinations – typical Karst features, historical and cultural monuments.