Biosphere reserves are "learning environments for sustainable development". They are environments for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing change and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and biodiversity management. They are places that offer local solutions to global challenges.
Gašper Hrastelj, Secretary-General of the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO
The exchange of practices and experiences is essential, as the municipalities of the Biosphere Region face similar issues and challenges. Being part of the Triglav National Park and part of the Julian Alps Biosphere Region means confirmation and support for our efforts to develop a municipality with a clear focus on the preservation of our outstanding natural and cultural heritage. Bohinj is first and foremost our home and it is, therefore, our responsibility to preserve it. With more than 650 000 daily visitors a year and over 150 000 overnight stays, it is no longer just residents who shape the image of our environment. To preserve natural and cultural heritage for the future, both, visitors and locals need to understand the incremental need for responsible actions every step of the way.
Jože Sodja, Mayor of the Municipality of Bohinj
In the future, we expect tourism products to be integrated with each other, and we see this as a great business opportunity. We hope to see more joint ventures and success stories derived from the interconnection of various holders of the TNP quality label certificate. And we would like to see more providers joining this initiative. Together we can create a powerful and impactful business model, serving both, local economy and visitors, by ensuring only high-quality service and products.
Camp Danica, Bohinj
Participation in the project is definitely valuable for our school - for students and teachers alike. Raising awareness of the importance of biodiversity, nature conservation and a healthy living environment is a goal that we are achieving by working together within the Community of Schools of the Julian Alps Biosphere Region. We integrate a lot of activities in the classroom and in extra-curricular activities. We have a raised garden bed on the school grounds, we planted a fruit tree, students receive the Community of Schools newspaper, we held a technical day called Triglav Treasury, we took part in a competition for the name of a lynx, we hold outdoor lessons, we visit nearby places, we organised an exhibition in the Triglav Rose Centre, etc. These are just a few of the activities and we are far from running low on options. We are proud of the quality label we have been awarded, which is an incentive for us to keep working. Thanks to all the TNP professionals who encourage us and carry out activities that help us to raise children's awareness about protecting and respecting nature.
Mojca Brejc, Headmistress of Gorje Primary School, recipient of the TNP quality label
Over the last few years, the Julian Alps - Triglav National Park Biosphere Reserve has strengthened the cooperation between tourism and nature conservation. This is good and right. The results are there and visible. To mention just the new Juliana hiking trail, which has become the cornerstone of our cooperation. The solidity of this foundation will make it easier for us to respond to the pressing issues of the age in which we live. That is why I would like us to measure the success of this path in a different way than we are used to. At least by tourism professionals. For example, how many more hectares of land is used for farming, how our attitude to the importance and conservation of biodiversity has changed, how many people, individuals and families have chosen to stay in the region, how many new public transport lines we have managed to introduce, etc. A great challenge, indeed. Especially when we know that maintaining a balance between tourism and development on one hand, and the preservation of nature and culture, on the other, is like walking on a tightrope high above a precipice. Even if it is hard and intense, we still need to make sure we always seek this balance, establishing a perfect relationship between nature, culture and people. Managing the "sacred space" of the Julian Alps Biosphere Area, which is "a welcoming home for locals and an oasis of surprises for visitors", is, therefore, a demanding, puzzling, but also an honourable job. To better understand the complexity of managing this space, at a certain point I started to compare it to a living room, which we arrange in a way that suits us and those closest to us. Naturally, if we are happy, we want to share this feeling of well-being, so we invite friends, colleagues, acquaintances, the "curious seekers, those who are capable of genuine experiences, the dreamers and the adventurous". The relaxed atmosphere of wonder, respect and exchange give birth to a wealth of new ideas, which reinforce my conviction that this space, this living room, is in fact "a neatly curated boutique of unique and quintessential treasures, that are not even for sale"
Klemen Langus, Director of Tourism Bohinj and Coordinator of the Julian Alps Community
With its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the Julian Alps Biosphere Region has been attracting those who want to enter paradise in their lifetime since the time of Kugy. Our snow-white peaks, with their grandeur, have awakened the people who have lived in this part of the world for millennia and, with their steep cliffs, have been essential in awakening the national consciousness at a time when the Slovene people were slowly realising what a rich culture and beautiful language they had inherited from their ancestors. It is no surprise, then, that this extremely sensitive area accounts for almost a third of all tourist overnight stays in Slovenia, and its beauty surpasses anything else on the blue planet.
Matjaž Podlipnik, Head of the Slovenian Alpine Museum, President of the Dovje-Mojstrana Tourist Board and long-time tourist guide
I am a herbalist, a young owner of a family farm and I work under the name Pehtra.si. In my work, I try to act as sustainable as possible and with care for the environment in which we live. My wish is that our descendants will know the diversity of the surrounding mountains and meadows at least as well as I do, or better. The cooperation with TNP and the inclusion in the TNP Quality Label is an additional motivation for my work, as it is one more confirmation that I am on the right track, as well as the whole community working within this framework.
Mojca Benedejčič, PEHTRA, recipient of the TNP quality label certificate