Potentials of natural and cultural heritage


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Biodiversity and ecology (3rd Cycle)
Paleobiology and sedimentary geology (3rd Cycle)
Regional studies (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DI008
Year of study: without

Course principals:
Assist. Prof. Mateja Ferk, Ph. D.
Assist. Prof. Aleš Smrekar, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 40 hours, seminar 20 hours, individual work 120 hours.
Course type: common elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, field work, tutorial work, work on individual research topics, e-learning


Course syllabus (download)


Second-cycle Bologna degree in the relevant track or a university (level VII) degree.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • history of environmental protection and cultural heritage,
  • types and the register of natural monuments and cultural heritage,
  • national and international aspects of protected areas and the legal protection (national, EU, global),
  • the symbolic role of natural and cultural heritage,
  • management of protected areas,
  • conflict of interest in protected areas,
  • challenges in establishing a balance between exploitation (several levels of degradation) and use (several levels of conservation) of natural and cultural heritage,
  • identification, evaluation, and interpretation of natural and cultural heritage,
  • dynamics of geodiversity – co-occurrence of destructional and morfogenic processes,
  • methodological approaches.



  • Advancing the National Park Idea. National Parks Second Century. National Parks Conservation Association. 2009. Washington DC.
  • Berginc, M., Kremesec Jevšenak, J., Vidic., J. 2007. Sistem varstva narave v Sloveniji. Ljubljana.
  • Gray, M. 2004. Geodiversity, valuing and conserving abiotic nature. London.
  • Komac, B., Zorn, M., Erhartič, B. 2011. Loss of natural heritage from the geomorphological perspective – do geomorphic processes shape or destroy the natural heritage? Acta geographica Slovenica 51, 2. Ljubljana.
  • Smrekar, A., Šmid Hribar, M., Tiran, J., Erhartič, B. 2014. Interpretacija okolja na primeru Ljubljanskega barja, Georitem 24. Ljubljana.
  • Veverka, J. 2011: Interpretive master planning. Edinburgh.
  • Stepišnik, U., Trenchovska, A. 2018. A new quantitative model for comprehensive geodiversity evaluation : the Škocjan Caves regional park, Slovenia. Geoheritage 10, 1.
  • Veljavni zakoni in drugi predpisi s področja varstva okolja in urejanja pokrajine


Objectives and competences:

The main aim of the course is to present the challenges of researching natural and cultural heritage to students. It involves the understanding of changeable systems of natural conditions and human impact on the landscape, and the exposure to variable public perception of natural and cultural heritage. Students will gain profound knowledge and management skills in working with the heritage. They will be familiarized with common conflicts of interest in protected areas and potential protected areas as well as with methods to identify these potential areas.


The students will receive following skills:

  • knowledge about the perception development of evaluation and natural and cultural heritage protection;
  • capability to identify strategic advantages of individual approaches of natural and cultural heritage protection;
  • to distinguish the motives of different interest groups;
  • capability to individually valuate natural and cultural heritage;
  • competency to define the time-economic most efficient methodological approach for researching these topics.


Intended learning outcomes:

  • profound knowledge about the theoretical background of natural and cultural heritage,
  • up to date knowledge about the current state of natural and cultural heritage,
  • understanding of EU and national policy strategies formation,
  • gain experiences in theoretical and practical methods of natural and cultural heritage preservation,
  • gain experiences in theoretical and practical methods of natural and cultural heritage management,
  • complex evaluation of heritage in the regions,
  • assessment of individual research plan in the field of the course,
  • carry out a research from the field of the course.



Oral exam (75 %), work on individual research topic (25 %).