Threatened Peatlands of the World
Prírodná rezervácia Rojkovské rašelinisko
Rojkov Fen Nature Reserve, Slovak Republic
Site size: 2.88 ha
Site location: N 49° 08‘ 55”, E 19° 09‘ 18”, elevation 435 m a.s.l.
Land ownership: municipal (?)
Administration: Municipality of Stankovany, district of Ružomberok, county of Žilina.
Nature Conservation Authority: District Office of the Environment at Ružomberok.
Management: Administration of the National Park Veľká Fatra at Martin. The site is a part of the Natura 2000 site (SAC) SKUEV0238 Veľká Fatra.
Site description: One of the last surviving Inner-Carpathian travertine spring-fed fens. Protected since 1950 as a rare instance of co-occurring fen, mire and bog biocoenoses within a small area. So far 17 vegetation units and 160 vascular plant species have been found here (Klika 1934; Bosáčková 1965, 1967; Háberová & Fajmonová 1995), some of them at a single known site in the SAC (Carex diandra, Drosera rotundifolia, Ledum palustre, Stellaria palustris, Trichophorum pumilum, Triglochin maritima), some with abundant populations (Gymnadenia densiflora, Menyanthes trifoliata, Pinguicula vulgaris, Salix rosmarinifolia), with scientifically unique genotypes or otherwise important (Carex viridula and C. dioica, a noteworthy glacial relic – Kliment et al. 2008). Of many other rare animal species the site hosts, e.g., snails Pupilla alpicola (a relic from the Late Glacial) and Vertigo angustior (a species of Community importance). Five habitats of Community importance were reported, most of the site being covered by the type 7230 Alkaline fens.
Rojkov Fen is the oldest known fen in Slovakia (age of c. 17,000 calibrated years BP – Hájek et al. 2011), highly specific or unique in terms of evolution, biogeography and ecology. Its outstanding biological, paleontological, conservation and cultural significance reach far beyond the borders of Slovakia and central Europe.
Ecological value of the site: A fine and vulnerable mosaic of fen, mire and bog biocoenoses within a small area with complex hydrology and disturbance history. 17 vegetation units and 160 vascular plant species found so far, many of them rare, endangered or biogeographically important (relics).
Social value of the site: Formerly small-scale peat extraction for therapeutic purposes (now abandoned), local mineral water use, haymaking, traditional herbal medicine; now mostly scientific research and environmental education.
Scale of ecological and social value: The site is at least of continental importance.
Conservation status of the site: The site is protected as a Nature Reserve according to national Nature Conservation Act No. 543/2002. It is also included in the Natura 2000 site SKUEV0238 Veľká Fatra.
Current threats: The most severe risks poses the project of D1 motorway Turany – Hubová. The tunnel opening is planned extremely close to the site with complex and extensive construction works at its margin (building site equipment, building pit, soil & debris depositories, associated communications, tunnel boring and lining, groundwater control measures, risk management etc) that would influence the hydrological, nutrient and other regimes. Some operations were already carried out in 2009–2010 (deforestation near the SW boundary, drilling and other hydrogeological surveys, associated communications), some of them even illegally in April 2010 (excavation of a trench, shrub removal and fencing along the N–NW boundary). Their indirect effects include, e.g., increased abundances and dispersal rates of some expansive (Cirsium arvense, Tanacetum vulgare) and invasive species (Fallopia japonica) at the disturbed site margins.
But the second "iteration" of so-called additional appropriate assessment (Roth et al., July–October 2012) under the Article 6.3 of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC concluded that the project will not affect the integrity of the Natura 2000 sites (including Rojkov Fen) provided that additional mitigation and technical measures are adopted. The European Commission at an informal technical meeting on 6 December 2012 acknowledged the quality and the conclusions of this assessment. However, during the public consultations on 15 August and 19 November 2012 and afterwards, public and experts have raised many serious objections to the conclusions of Roth et al. Most of these objections were not adequately treated and resolved (see e.g. the letter of SOS/BirdLife Slovakia & Botanical Garden of Comenius University of 4 December 2012 and further enclosures). Unless the European Commission and Slovak authorities resolve these objections on their merits and in necessary detail, we maintain that the assessment by Roth et al. is not fully compliant with the legislative requirements and that additional mitigation measures do not ensure that no significant negative effects will occur. The judgment of the European Court of Justice of 11 April 2013 sufficiently substantiates our position (see e.g. the Article 44).
Responsible personalities and administrative bodies:
- Ing. Ján Počiatek, Minister of Transportation, Construction and Regional Development (http://www.telecom.gov.sk/index/index.php)
- Ing. Peter Žiga, Ph.D., Minister of the Environment (http://www.minzp.sk/en/about-us/ministry-environment/minister/)
- Ing. Milan Gajdoš, General Director of the National Motorway Company (http://www.ndsas.sk/company/44967s)
- RNDr. Petr Roth, Ph.D., private adviser leading the appropriate assessment team (roth(dot)petr(at)centrum(dot)cz)
- Janez Potocnik, Commissioner at European Commission (DG Environment
The site has been experiencing a long and complex disturbance history. Its modern events/processes comprise, e.g., the Rojkov village development, small-scale agriculture, peat extraction and water supply, road I/18, illegal track ballast depository several years ago (in E part of the Nature Reserve itself!) and management of secondary succession.
Activities: two complaints to the European Commission (in 2009 and 2011), several expert opinions (the first is enclosed – Topercer et al. 2009) and letters, negotiations with national authorities (including ministers) and EU officers (including Commissioner for the Environment), appeal of scientists to Commissioner Janez Potočnik (May 2010), public hearings, collaboration with environmental NGOs, research articles, press releases, blog posts etc.
Name of contact person: Jano Topercer e-mail: jano(dot)topercer(at)gmail(dot)com
|D1 Answer European Commission to Huba||downloads: 281 | type: jpg | size: 1 MB|
|The importance of impacts of the proposed motorway D1 Turany - Hubová on species, habitats, Natura 2000 sites and landscape||downloads: 561 | type: pdf | size: 1 MB|
|Environmental risks of the motorway D1 Turany – Hubová construction to the Rojkov fen||downloads: 676 | type: pdf | size: 93 kB|
|Rojkov Letter||downloads: 506 | type: pdf | size: 69 kB|
|D1 motorway Turany – Hubová economic analysis||downloads: 345 | type: pdf | size: 122 kB|
|D1 Motorway Turany – Hubová (Slovakia): Overview of Basic Arguments||downloads: 372 | type: pdf | size: 118 kB|
|D1 letter by SOS to European Commission||downloads: 334 | type: pdf | size: 677 kB|
|D1 First Letter by Huba to European Commission||downloads: 360 | type: pdf | size: 121 kB|
|D1 Second Letter by Huba to European Commission||downloads: 442 | type: pdf | size: 123 kB|