At the end of October 2023, together with my colleagues from Eurac Research, I embarked on a first trip to the Julian Alps, at the border between Italy and Slovenia where the Prealpi Giulie Natural Park meets with Triglav National Park.


Francisco Javier Romero Caro

Senior Researcher at the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research

21/10/2023, Log Pod Mangartom, Slovenia

With the framework of the 9th edition of the Forum of the Julian Alps Ecoregion, we had the opportunity to present TRANSNATURE and to meet and discuss with the main stakeholders involved in the project.

This fruitful engagement led us to better understand the dynamics of transboundary biodiversity conservation in the area and the main challenges arising therefrom. A first point that emerged was the need for coordinated governance as “we need to avoid having two – not always connected – management plans in border areas but rather to succeed through regulatory changes to arrive at a single management plan for Natura 2000 areas in border regions”. In this regard, the importance of local actors in transboundary biodiversity conservation was highlighted, because “by protecting biodiversity in the local area, we also promote the protection of transboundary biodiversity”.  

The principal challenge mentioned by the participants was pollution. Representatives from both parks presented some initiatives that have been put in place to monitor this issue and its consequences on animals or water. In particular, the impact of tourism was mentioned and how it can be both a potential threat to the natural ecosystem but also an opportunity for the conservation of the area. Some participants expressed their desire to be more involved in the decision-making process of the governance of the park as they fear “the impact that some regulations or decisions could have not only in their daily life, but also in their economic well-being”. The involvement of the youth in the management of the park was another issue that was brought up by some participants. Following a successful Youth Council within the Prealpi Giulie Natural Park, both parks are working to create a transboundary body that would give voice to the newer generations of both sides of the border. 

After a fruitful first encounter with the stakeholders of our case study, we tasted some local products thanks to the hospitality of our Slovenian hosts and we started our way back to Bolzano/Bozen, but not before stopping at the border, as Italy had temporarily reinstated border controls exactly on that day. A reminder that national borders, although normally invisible within the European Union, continue to be a key element when analyzing the governance of a phenomenon such as the protection of biodiversity that transcends them. 

Eurac Research
Institute for Comparative Federalism
Viale Druso/Drususallee 1
39100 Bolzano/Bozen

Project coordination
Federica Cittadino

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Stay up to date with the latest news and updates.

Subscribe Now
follow us
© 2024 Eurac Research - All Rights Reserved

In order to give you a better service this site uses technical cookies. Additionally third party cookies are used for embedded content. If you decline, you will not see content from third parties (such as Youtube videos or Facebook/Twitter content). Privacy policy