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Ljubljanica Connects

: Restoration of the Ljubljanica River corridor and upgrading of the river’s flow regime: The goal of the project is to enhance the transitivity and connectivity of Natura 2000 sites, by restoring the functionality of the Ljubljanica corridor linking two Natura 2000 sites, i.e. Ljubljansko barge (Ljubljana Marshes) and Sava–Medvode–Kresnice. The project aims will be reached through the removal of fish migration barriers, through the upgrading of the water regime, thus restoring habitats, through upgrading the water infrastructure, water management, and establishment of hydrological monitoring. The earmarked fish species whose habitats are to be ameliorated are Danube salmon (Hucho hucho L.), Danube roach (Rutilus pigus Heckel) and Striped chub (Leuciscus souffia Risso). (University of Ljubljana, 2015). At the outset, the river engineering measures will include the sealing of the weir situated before the railway bridge over the Ljubljanica in Zalog. Thus, during arid conditions, the water level shall not be diminished and the conditions in the oxbows of the Ljubljanica upstream will get better. The fishways at the dam at the Fužine Castle and the sluice gate at the Ambrose Square will be refurbished and repristinated. This will permit the migration of fish, which is now severely hindered. The sluice gate on the Ljubljanica near the Ambrose Square will be refurbished. The existing chain lift mechanism enables a rather rough control of the gate, and, therefore, of flows and water levels, resulting in the immediate emptying of the stream (water levels) upstream. Upgrading or improvement of the gate will enable a more precise degree of control of the Ljubljanica water levels, particularly during low flows and droughts. This is crucial, since maintaining the proper level of the Ljubljanica impacts the entire water regime of the Ljubljana Marshes.
: Slovenia
: Ljubljana
: 274.99 km²
:  292,988 (SURS, 2019)
: 2012
: No Data
: Ongoing
: Yes
: University of Ljubljana 
: 46.1495
: 14.4136
Increased provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Food, water, etc)
Increased infiltration, water retention and flood protection
Yes, a core element of the project is the elaboration of both a hydrological model and a hydraulic model. For project purposes, the models will be adjusted to low flow conditions; nevertheless they will also permit the analysis and operation of flood measures for flood protection, navigation and other provisions on the Ljubljanica. (University of Ljubljana, 2015).
Biodiversity conservation or increased biodiversity
Yes, this project is providing restoration of the river Ljubljanica's  function as a corridor, improvement of water management and  creating better links between Natura 2000 sites. (IUCN, 2019). The diverse hydrological water regime on the Ljubljana Marshes enables the maintenance of a distinct ecological system with high biodiversity protected by, and subject to, marshy lands. Part of the Marshes is protected by Natura 2000. To improve the ecological status in the Natura 2000 Ljubljana Marshes area, it was necessary to ensure the passage on the Ljubljanica for endangered fish species, particularly for Danube Salmon, Danube Roach and Striped Chub. (University of Ljubljana, 2015).
Ecosystem restoration and/or improved ecological connectivity
Yes, the  project has as goals the removal of barriers to fish migration, enhancement and  restoration of habitats and improvement of the water management  infrastructure. (IUCN, 2019).
Increased quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
Yes, the  project foresees the installation of a water monitoring system. (IUCN, 2019).
Sustainable urbanisation
The water regime in the Ljubljanica river and its tributaries impacts the Natura 2000 habitats as well as activities linked to fisheries, tourism navigation, the drainage/sewage system, sound agriculture and, over time, the entire  infrastructure. When water levels dip, excessive drainage and  subsidence of soil occur, lesding to deterioration of the entire  infrastructure. Essentially, the project is multipurpose and  multifunctional. (IUCN, 2019). The Ljubljanica riverbed is one of the foremost archaeological sites in Slovenia. At the bottom of the river bed, artefacts hailing from different periods have been discovered, i.e. from prehistoric to modern times. On account of its archaeological importance, the Ljubljanica river has been safeguarded as a cultural monument since 2003. (University of Ljubljana, 2015).
Education, knowledge exchange and learning
Yes, through project (LIFE10 NAT/SI/000142) visibility and dissemination activities.
Low provisioning of ecosystem goods (e.g. Water, food)
Yes, the project is foced on the Ljubljanica river corridor restoration and upgrading of the river’s flow regime.
Drought and heat risk
The Mediterranean Region is considered as a "hot-spot" of climate change, having been identified in global climate scenarios as one of the most responsive regions to climate change (Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). There is a consensus in scientific literature that average temperatures will rise across most of the Mediterranean Region, and that precipitation will decrease (Ulbrich et al. 2013; Lionello and Scarascia, 2018). Observed annual mean temperatures in the Mediterranean Region are now 1.4 °C higher than the average late-nineteenth-century levels particularly during the summer months (Cramer et al., 2018).
Good health and well-being (SDG3)
Industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG9)
Sustainable cities and communities (SDG11)
Aquatic biodiversity (SDG14)
: Cramer, W., Guiot, J., Fader, M., Garrabou, J., Gattuso, J.-P., Iglesias, A., Lange, M.A., Lionello , P., Llasat , M.C., Paz, S., Peñuelas, J., Snoussi, M., Toreti , A., Tsimplis, M.N., Xoplaki, E. 2018. Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Nature Climate Change.

IUCN. 2019. Nature based Solutions in Mediterranean cities. Rapid assessment report and compilation of urban interventions (2017‐2018). Malaga, Spain: IUCN. 117pp. Lionello, P., Scarascia, L. 2018. The relation between climate change in the Mediterranean region and global warming. In Regional Environmental Change, 2018, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 1481–1493. SURS. 2019. Statistics Slovenia. Information obtained: 2020-09-16. Available at:

University of Ljubljana. 2015. Ljubljanica Connects. Information obtained: 2019-08-26. Available at:

Ulbrich U, Xoplaki E, Dobricic S, García-Herrera R, Lionello P, Adani M, Baldi M, Barriopedro D, Coccimiglio P, Dalu G, Efthymiadis D, Gaetani M, Galati MB, Gimeno L, Goodess CM, Jones PD, Kuglitsch FG, Leckebusch GC, Luterbacher J, Marcos-Moreno M, Mariotti A, Nieto R, Nissen KM, Pettenuzzo D, Pinardi N, Pino C, Shaw AGP, Sousa P, Toreti A, Trigo RM, Tsimplis M. 2013. Past and current climate changes in the Mediterranean region. In: Navarra A, Tubiana L (eds) Regional Assessment of Climate Change in the Mediterranean. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9–52.