National Parks Reform Postponed until April of Next Year

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From right, Environment Minister Jan Budaj and Agriculture Minister Samuel Vlcan at a press conference prior to the signing of a memorandum on mutual relations in Bratislava on October 25, 2021 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 25 (TASR) – The transfer of state land in the first two national parks to see a reorganisation of the zones within their territory completed will not take place until April 1, 2022, Environment Minister Jan Budaj (OLaNO) and Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Samuel Vlcan (an OLaNO nominee) reported on Monday prior to the signing of a memorandum on mutual relations.


The reform of national parks was originally supposed to begin in January of next year.
By April 1 next year, state land in the Slovak Paradise and Pieniny National Parks should be transferred to State Nature Protection (SOP). In other national parks, the transfers should only cover areas with the strictest fourth and fifth levels of protection. Meanwhile, the reorganisation of zones within the remaining seven national parks will begin. “I believe that the reorganisation of the zones will be finished by the end of next year, when this process should be completed, and as far as state property in national parks is concerned, it should be transferred to SOP, or the Environment Ministry,” said Budaj.

The minister is convinced that the memorandum will also help to ensure that the reform of national parks will be approved. “I believe that we’ve covered all the objections that Parliamentary Chair Boris Kollar (We Are Family) had and [responses to them] are also incorporated in the memorandum,” stated Budaj.

The two ministries also agreed in the memorandum on a half-kilometre zone between non-intervention areas and commercial forests. “I’m pleased that we’ve agreed on this. By June 30, 2022, the Environment Ministry should submit to us a proposal for reorganising the zones of other national parks. We must reach society-wide agreement on what area of ​​territory we want and can afford to national parks. I believe that we’ll reach a fair agreement,” said Vlcan.

The reform proposal as well as an amendment to the law on national parks should be voted on at the current parliamentary session.