Tonne of waste removed from Ljubljanica on Earth Day
Ljubljana, 22 April - A tonne of waste was removed from the Ljubljanica as around 40 divers explored on World Day the river's bed in search of items that should not have ended up there in what was just one of a number of events taking place around the country to raise awareness about environmental risks on the planet.
The weather was good and water clear for the Ljubljanica 2023 ecological clean-up, Miro Potočnik, head of the Vivera underwater activities association, told the STA.
He said "trends" of dropping big waste items in the Ljubljanica are changing, as there were more bicycles in previous years while this year scooters started to appear.
Nevertheless, the trend is positive in that there is less waste than before; eight years ago, four and a half tonnes were brought out of the river, but Potočnik said "this is still too much".
Among the big items found in the river were scooters, bicycles, traffic signs, several mobile phones and many coins, as well as bottles and tin cans.
The Slovenia Forestry Service meanwhile organised guided tours on 14 educational trails and opened a renovated one in Podturn near Dolenjske Toplice, south-east.
Through forest trails, it raises awareness and educates the general public about the importance of forests and forestry serices and their role for tourism in rural areas.
It has also invested in an website featuring all educational forest trails in the country available at https://mapzs.pzs.si/gozdneucnepoti and https://mapzs.pzs.si/gup.
The Ministry of Natural Resources stressed the role of biodiversity in a statement, saying that the Natura 2000 protection area is key to its preservation in Slovenia.
Within this area, plant and animal species and habitats important for Slovenia, Europe and the world are being safeguarded.
Various business and social activities are allowed there, while farmers and forest owners whose business is limited can benefit from a compensation.
The Slovenian Beekeeping Association said climate change is a threat to thousands of plant and animal species, including the Carniola bee (Apis mellifera carnica), and stressed the great economic role beekeeping plays.
At a special ceremony, Culture Minister Asta Vrečko handed to its head Boštjan Noč a facsimile of the inscription of Slovenian beekeeping on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. "We must keep in mind that bees and our attitude to nature determine our lives," the minister said in Radovljica.
IKEA Slovenija join Earth Day with an installation of furniture in Ljubljana to raise awareness about circular economy as it aims to become fully circular by 2030.
The Statistics Office said that 16.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (measured as if all were CO2) were generated in Slovenia in 2021, down 9% from 2012.
The figure translates into 6 tonnes per resident, which compares to the EU average of 6.4 tonnes. Malta did best (3.8 tonnes), while Luxembourg fared worst (13.4).
In the same year Slovenia generated 1.1 million tonnes of municipal waste or 518kg per resident, up 47% from 2012, but the amount of sorted waste rose from 46% to 74%.
Earth Day 2023's theme is Invest In Our Planet, continuing on the same theme from 2022, with over a billion people worldwide expected to take part in various events.