Geography of Slovenia - national research programme

Basic Info


The Geography of Slovenia long-term national research programme has been implemented by the Anton Melik Geographical Institute ZRC SAZU since its foundation in 1946. It involves basic and applied geographical research focused on Slovenia and its regions and landscapes, includes the preparation of basic geographical publications on Slovenia as a country and as a part of the world, as well as on the development of scientific terminology, advanced research concepts, techniques and methods, geographic information systems and digital thematic cartography.

The research group involved in the programme will focus mainly on:
- publishing the Acta geographica Slovenica journal, which has achieved the highest impact factor among Slovenian science journals in 2011 (, and the Geography of Slovenia (26) and Georhythm (22) scientific monograph series. Individual volumes in the GIS in Slovenia (GIS v Sloveniji) series are published on even years, volumes in the Regional Development series (Regionalni razvoj) are published on odd years, and volumes in the Natural Hazards series (Naravne nesreče) are published every third year;
- organisation of three traditional scientific symposiums and a number of other scientific meetings;
- training junior researchers;
- promoting exchange of researchers from Slovenia and abroad;

In this new period, the goal of the programme will be to encourage research excellence, mobility, knowledge exchange and interdisciplinarity through international and bilateral cooperation, and to boost the scope of the programme by including projects funded by the EU – and vice versa - as well as increase our publishing activities abroad.

Up until now, our programme has been famous for its input of knowledge in solving social challenges (assessment of agricultural land ratings, mapping of risks caused by natural hazards, innovative strategies of municipal development, involvement in the national border arbitration procedure). In addition, our know-how has been applied in several policy-making documents such as the Strategy of Development of Slovenia 2014-2020.


Significance for science: 

Geographical studies of Slovenia, based on modern methods, are important both on European and global levels due to Slovenia's outstanding landscape diversity. This programme is designed to produce new knowledge and improve our understanding of Slovenia's geographical characteristics and thus promote the application of the latest research methods in geography in order to strengthen and encourage interactions between human and physical geography and help implement modern approaches to geography. 
The programme will provide new information by:
- adding to our understanding of Slovenian landscapes as one of the country's most important natural resources,
- identify the key natural elements forming Slovenian landscapes,
- build up on our understanding of processes in the complex system of landscapes and their quantification,
- specify the key socio-economic elements that are important for the understanding of landscape functions in Slovenia, with particular emphasis on regional planning,
- determine locations in Slovenia where maximum frequency of natural hazards should be expected,
- determine appropriate land use for individual parts of Slovenia in relation to other landscape components,
- defining the importance of protected areas with less modified natural landscape for research work,
- upgrading our knowledge of the laws of interaction among the natural components of landscapes,
- collecting, evaluating and verifying the quality of data related to relief, lithology, climate, water, pedology and vegetation in Slovenia,
- transforming programme results, e.g. thematic maps, into applicable scientific resources for further research in this area.

In addition, our work will contribute to the development of methodology in geography by developing and promoting quantitative methods (geographic information systems, statistical methods, machine learning) and evaluation in order to:
- improve, expand and upgrade the methods of analyzing the main content categories,
- promote a scientific debate on essential topics from geography and geographical methodology, terminology and concrete results provided by this programme,
- implement new geographical methodological solutions and models,
- use innovative applications of geographic information systems, thus providing for the visualization and public availability of results,
- strengthen the importance of field work as the key factor for verifying the results of quantitative analyses and
- contribute to a better presentation of Slovenia's geographical characteristics abroad.

The results of this programme will be important for geography and related sciences in basic and applied areas as well as in tourism, regional planning, preservation of rural areas, agriculture and population, planning of effective land use, landscape ecology, preservation of natural and cultural heritage as well as solving regional conflicts and other political decisions. Thus, the Geography of Slovenia programme promotes the principle of humanity and contributes to increased tolerance among people both in Slovenia and abroad.


Significance for Slovenia

Geography is crucial for social development because it is based on a comprehensive understanding of spatial, regional, political, historical, economical, cultural and other laws of landscape. The results of this programme will be important for spatial sciences as well as for professional, development-oriented and related institutions responsible for national development.
In the light of the general crisis, the development of the Republic of Slovenia so far has shown the need for new forms of spatial organization of landscape in the near future. The proposed fundamental research will point to the importance of (1) taking into consideration the development of the digital world that was largely undreamed of until a few years ago and that allows for a different perception of space and promotes new activities, (2) spatial management and effective planning of land use, especially from the perspective of regional planning, traffic burdening space and protected areas, and (3) landscape management from the perspective of the increasing number and magnitude of "interactions" between natural and social processes related to natural hazards.+ 
This programme will contribute to sustainable economy and promote the strengthening of economic competitiveness and developing new production and service activities by enabling the construction of infrastructure and social systems to be channelled and safely integrated into space by means of various models. In addition, the results of this programme will be beneficial in:
- development and promotion of new tourist destinations,
- registration of areas with a particular social or natural situation that demands a more detailed spatial planning or other special measures, and the establishment of national measures for a more effective management of landscapes and in protected areas,
- coordination of economic development with regards to environmental restrictions and human interference with space (settlement, economy, traffic),
- improved landscape management on all levels by establishing national and municipal measures for planning future development,
- preparation of geographical and other textbooks on any education level,
- implementation of new research methods and typologies into the geographical and related study programmes;
- transforming the population's perception of the value of Slovenian landscapes as our national wealth and an important natural resource, and
- protecting Slovenian natural and cultural heritage.
The results of this programme will be available to other sciences for research purposes, to national public and private institutions and governing bodies both on the national and local level as a guideline for sounder decision-making related to various interventions into space, and to various organizations for promoting Slovenia as a country with exceptional landscape diversity.



1 24301 PhD Bole David Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2020
2 27510 PhD Breg Valjavec Mateja Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
3 30791 PhD Ciglič Rok Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
4 17544   Ferjan Meta   Technical associate 2015- 2020
5 33273 PhD Ferk Mateja Geography / Physical geography Researcher 2015- 2020
6 08467 PhD Gabrovec Matej Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2020
7 35035 PhD Geršič Matjaž Geography / Regional geography Researcher 2015- 2020
8 35706   Goluža Maruša   Junior researcher 2015- 2020
9 13179 PhD Hrvatin Mauro Geography Researcher 2017- 2020
10 07553 PhD Kladnik Drago Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2020
11 21464 PhD Komac Blaž Geography / Physical geography Head 2015- 2020
12 32206 PhD Kozina Jani Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
13 36394 PhD Kumer Peter Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2019
14 35034 PhD Lapuh Lucija Geography / Social geography Junior researcher 2015
15 50215 PhD Lipar Matej Geography / Physical geography Researcher beginner 2017- 2020
16 52012   Logar Erik Geography Junior researcher 2018- 2020
17 23513 PhD Nared Janez Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2020
18 35070   Ortar Jaka Geography / Physical geography Junior researcher 2015- 2016
19 08294 PhD Perko Drago Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2020
20 25646 PhD Pipan Primož Geography Researcher 2015- 2016
21 29392 PhD Polajnar Horvat Katarina Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
22 28438 PhD Razpotnik Visković Nika Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
23 32703 PhD Ribeiro Daniela Geography / Regional geography Researcher 2015- 2020
24 30164   Rus Petra Geography / Social geography Technical associate 2015- 2020
25 16050 PhD Smrekar Aleš Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2020
26 26379 PhD Šmid Hribar Mateja Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
27 38267   Tičar Jure Geography / Physical geography Junior researcher 2015- 2020
28 34591 PhD Tiran Jernej Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
29 08101 PhD Topole Maja Geography / Social geography Researcher 2015- 2016
30 37557   Trobec Anja Geography Junior researcher 2015- 2020
31 17073 PhD Urbanc Mimi Geography Researcher 2015- 2020
32 22245 PhD Zorn Matija Geography / Physical geography Researcher 2015- 2020

Project steps

This programme will include seven different categories (4 main and 3 cross-cutting categories):
- physical geography and natural hazards,
- human geography and regional planning,
- regional geography and land use,
- environmental protection and protected areas,
- geographical terminology and geographical names,
- natural and cultural heritage research (in the next programme period),
- geographic information systems and thematic cartography.


Most important scientific results:

Annual report 2015 & interim report

Most important socio-economic and culture-relevant results:

Annual report 2015 & interim report



Project type

natural and cultural heritage
physical geography
human geography
regional geography
environmental protection
geographical terminology
geographic information systems
thematic cartography