The state of the environment in the Slovak Republic has improved significantly since 1993. However further efforts are required to achieve all objectives of environmental protection.
Main themes and sectors addressed in the national State of Environment report
The SOE Report is published annually by the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic, in cooperation with the Slovak Environment Agency in accordance with section 33b of the Act 17/1992 Coll. on environment as amended. The framework structure of the SOE Report is defined in section 7 of Act 205/2004 Coll.
... on the collection, storage and dissemination of information on the environment as amended, pursuant to which the SOE Report must particularly include data on the state of the environment and on causes and consequences of the said state, as well as data on trends of its development and on measures to protect and improve the environment, including international cooperation.
The content of the SOE Report consists of following chapters:
- Components of the environment and their protection
- Urban and rural environment
- Environmental regionalisation
- State of the environment – causes and consequences
- Environmental risk factors
- Selected tools of environmental care and International cooperation.
Within this structure, the indicators that represent a dynamic basis of the assessment process have been defined.
The annual SOE Report has to be published by 15 December of the following year.
Key findings of the State of Environment report
The economy of the Slovak Republic shows a positive development of economic indicators in the long-term horizon. In most cases, the trends for environmental indicators can also be evaluated positively, which is reflected in improvements in the quality of the environment. In most environmental indicators, there is a decoupling of their development in relation to economic growth.
Emissions of air pollutants between 1993 and 2012 were reduced. However, the speed of reduction after 2000 slowed down significantly, or in some cases maintained at the same level. For some pollutants slight annual increases were recorded, especially for solid pollutants due to the increase in consumption of firewood in the households, and for persistent organic pollutants due to the increase in consumption of solvents in the chemical cleaning sector.
Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 36.9% when the years 2011 and 1990 are compared. A slight increase in emissions was recorded after 2009 due to economic recovery.
Figure 1: Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the Slovak Republic
Despite these improvements in emissions, in 2012 the limit values of selected air pollutants (NOx, PM10, PM2,5) at several monitoring stations were exceeded. The reduction of national emissions of ozone precursors resulted in no reduction of ground-level ozone concentrations, which remain at a relatively high level as in previous years.
In 2012, waste water production fell by 47.2% compared to 1994. The number of inhabitants connected to public sewerage systems reached 62.4% in 2012.
Very good and good ecological status was recorded in 70.51% of surface water bodies, and average ecological status in 25.36%. Good chemical status was recorded in 90% of surface water bodies. Good chemical status was recorded in 82.7% of ground water bodies.
In 2012, the share of favourable drinking water analyses for compliance to limit values reached 99.67%. The number of inhabitants connected to drinking water from public water supplies reached 87.0% in 2012.
Excellent bathing water quality was recorded at 23 sites (72% of the total bathing water sites). Eight sites (25%) had good bathing water quality, and one natural swimming pool (3%) was classified as a site of sufficient quality of bathing water.
Approximately 39% of all agricultural land types were threatened by water erosion in 2012 and about 5.5% of the total area of agricultural land types were threatened by wind erosion.
According to the first report on the state of species and habitats of European importance (for the years 2004-2006): 19% of habitats and species of European importance are in a favourable condition, 34% are in an unfavourable condition, and 18% are in poor condition. The condition of 29% of habitats and species of European importance are unknown.
Concerning nature conservation, in the Slovak Republic there are 1 128 protected areas of the national network covering an area of 1 142 151 ha. This constitutes 23.3% of the country area. The NATURA 2000 network is made up of 473 sites of European importance constituting 11.9% of the country's area, and 41 protected bird areas constituting 26.16% of the country's area.
In 2012, 323 kg of municipal waste per capita was generated. There has been a high rate of waste landfilling in total waste disposal (almost 81% for waste other than municipal, and 74% for municipal waste).
Over the years 2006 to 2011, the share of energy produced from renewable energy sources grew by more than 49%. In 2011, the share of the energy produced from renewable energy sources reached 9.7%.
Main policy responses to key environmental challenges and concerns
In the report Orientation, Principles, Priorities and Main Tasks of the Care of the Environment of the Slovak Republic for 2014 - 2020 (March 2013), the following seven priorities for the care of the environment were established:
- Protection and rational use of water and integrated environmental management of river basins;
- Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and flood protection;
- Air and the ozone layer protection, introduction of low-carbon and environment friendly technologies;
- Minimization, recovery and disposal of waste, efficient use of resources and development of green economy;
- Care of biodiversity, natural heritage and landscapes;
- Protection and rational use of the rock environment, elimination of environmental risks and environmental burdens;
- Support to environmental education, science and research, environmental monitoring and informatics, and voluntary environmental policy instruments.
In February 2010, the management plan of the national section of the Danube River Basin District - Water Plan of the Slovak Republic - was adopted. This management plan aims to achieve the comprehensive protection of water quality and water availability throughout the country.
National targets for the share of energy from renewable sources and measures for their adoption were established by the National Action Plan for Energy from Renewable Sources, approved in October 2010.
The Environment and Health Action Plan of the Slovak Republic IV was approved in January 2012. Its basic objective is to minimise environmental risks that can harm or endanger human health - especially children - through the implementation of the proposed activities.
The Waste Management Programme of the Slovak Republic for 2011 to 2015 (February 2012) sets out the waste management strategy. It specifies the objectives and measures to achieve them, as well as funding to ensure compliance with the hierarchy in waste management reflected in the Waste Directive.
In February 2013, the Strategy for PM10 Particles Reduction was adopted. The objective of the Strategy is to achieve and maintain good air quality throughout the Slovak Republic, i.e. scientifically sound air quality levels that do not endanger human health or the environment.
The main objective of the measures taken in Waste Prevention Programme of the Slovak Republic for 2014-2018 (December 2013) is to decouple economic growth from environmental impacts connected with waste generation.
In January 2014, the updated National Biodiversity Strategy by 2020 was adopted. Its objective is to create a policy framework to halt the trend of biodiversity loss.
Priorities for the sustainable growth of society and for employment include the creation of a competitive economy that uses resources in an efficient and sustainable manner, minimises impacts on the environment, and is based on knowledge and innovation.
Country specific issues
The issue of environmental burdens in the Slovak Republic is being solved in a comprehensive way beyond the requirements set by European Union.
In the years 2006 to 2008, a systematic identification of environmental burdens was carried out. Environmental burdens were classified into high, medium and low risk of harm. The Information System of Environmental Burdens accessible to the public was built.
In 2009 an update of the Geological Act was adopted, which defined an environmental burden - a site, where hazardous substance caused by human activities poses a significant risk to human health or to the rock environment, groundwater and soil, except environmental damage - and a potential environmental burden - a site where a presence of contaminated soil is reasonably expected.
In 2010, the State Remediation Programme of Environmental Burdens was approved by the Government, and the regional studies of the impacts of environmental burdens on the environment were developed. The Act on "environmental burdens" no. 409/2011 was adopted, which laid down the conditions for systematic addressing of the issue.
Also, in 2010 methodological documents such as Guideline for the Development of Risk Analyses of Contaminated Sites and the Manual for the Procedure of Financial Forecast for Exploration and Remediation were adopted.
From the Operational Programme Environment 2007-2013, projects focused on the monitoring and research of environmental burdens and risk analyses development, remediation of high risk contaminated sites, completion of the Information System of Environmental Burdens, environmental education and promotion as a support for environmental burdens addressing have been funded.
At the end of 2012, the Information System of Environmental Burdens included 905 potential environmental burdens, 260 environmental burdens and 726 remediated sites.
 MoE SR, 2010, Vodný plán Slovenska (Water Plan of the Slovak Republic)
 Ministry of Economy of the SR, 2010, Národný akčný plán pre energiu z obnoviteľných zdrojov energie (National Action Plan for Energy from Renewable Sources)
 Public Health Authority of the SR, 2012, Akčný plán pre životné prostredie a zdravie obyvateľov SR IV (The Environment and Health Action Plan of the Slovak Republic IV)
 MoE SR, 2012, Program odpadového hospodárstva Slovenskej republiky na roky 2011-2015 (Waste Management Programme of the Slovak Republic for 2011 to 2015)
 MoE SR, 2013, Program predchádzania vzniku odpadu SR na roky 2014-2018 (Waste Prevention Programme of the Slovak Republic for 2014-2018)
 MŽP SR, 2014, Aktualizovaná národná stratégia ochrany biodiverzity do roku 2020(Updated National Biodiversity Strategy by 2020)
 SR, 2009, Act No. 384/2009 Coll. amending and supplementing Act No. 364/2004 Coll. on waters and on change of Act of the Slovak National Council No. 372/1990 Coll. on minor offences as amended (Water Act) as amended and amending and supplementing Act No. 569/2007 Coll. on geological works (Geological Act) as amended by Act No. 515/2008 Coll. (Collection of Laws No. 139/2009, page 2942).
The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.
SOER 2015 country briefings provide an overview of state of the environment across 39 European countries. They are part of the EEA's report SOER 2015, addressing the state of, trends in and prospects for the environment in Europe. The EEA's task is to provide timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information on Europe's environment.
For references, see www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
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