The Gorenjska region FLAG is in north-western Slovenia, on the border with Austria in the north and Italy in the west. The FLAG area is characterised by its natural assets (such as the Julian Alps with the highest Slovenian peaks, and the Sava river basin), cultural heritage, accessibility (the central Slovenian international airport of Ljubljana is located here) and the events and activities it offers. It is an important tourist destination visited by almost 700.000 tourists a year.
The area is rich in water resources, beginning at the foot of the Julian Alps and the Karavanke Mountains. The rivers have a snow-raining river regime, with high waters most often occurring in the spring and in autumn, and low water in winter because of the snowfall. For these reasons, the area is also suitable for producing fish. In addition to rivers, there are also several lakes (important from a tourist point of view): Lake Bohinj, Lake Bled and Triglav Lakes are typical glacial lakes, while in the LAG territory we can find three water reservoirs for hydroelectric power plants in Završnica, Moste and Mavčiče.
Fishing activity has been present in the area for many years. In the past, there was commercial freshwater fishing and the fisheries in the area are traditional and focus only on the production of freshwater fish, there is no diversification of activities. The aquaculture area covers the whole of the LAG territory and represents five fish farmers with seven production plants. There are also eight producers who are not fully registered and six family-run farms with hatcheries and pools for fattening fish, who are considering the possibility of branching off into the production of fish for food. Since the area is rich in water resources, the activity of freshwater aquaculture has great potential for development, one of the challenges being the long-lasting procedures for acquiring the various permits needed to start or upgrade these activities.
More than 50% of the FLAG’s area is protected. This includes the Triglav National Park which is a Natura 2000 protect area.
The FLAG strategy responds to the area's specific challenges by empowering potential start-ups and SMEs for the development of value chains, innovation and new entrepreneurial opportunities, trying to develop basic services through the integration of the area's cultural and natural heritage, protecting the environment and contributing to the empowerment of vulnerable groups in fisheries.
The strategy has the following key objectives:
Project examples and ideas include:
The FLAG makes one annual call for projects. More information can be found on the FLAG’s website.
The FLAG has diverse experience in preparation and implementation of development projects in fields such as entrepreneurship, tourism, culture, vulnerable target groups and environmental issues. The FLAG is interested in cooperation projects in these fields, with partners from across Slovenia and internationally.
The public sector in the FLAG membership is represented by its municipalities, the Slovenian Forest Service, local tourist organisations and the Adult Education Institute. amongst others. The private sector is represented by several local companies, a development cooperative and one fish farm. There are also several NGOs in the membership including a local fruit farm, a beekeepers’ association and an association for lifelong learning.