Photo: Marjan Artnak
Animals in our area are not in danger by endangered species trade, but their greatest threat is, in particular, insufficient consideration of the habitat requirements of the target species in forest management, human disturbances to their habitat, and pollution of the Karst underground world through illegal waste disposal and excessive and uncontrolled use of liquid manure in agriculture.
In the municipalities of Kočevje and Kostel, Komunala Kočevje is responsible for waste disposal and they have been actively and efficiently involved with developing guidelines for waste reduction and recycling for several years. Within the destination of Kočevsko, as much as 82% of wastewater is purified to a secondary level (Slovenian average is 56%) and as much as 63% of solid waste is collected separately for recycling (Slovenian average is 40%). Exemplary waste management and low population density, the high number of area covered in forest and heating of the town Kočevje on biomass have in recent years helped to improve the air quality. There are no airports, high-traffic roads or heavy industry in the vicinity, so no sound pollution occurs and the locals and guests can enjoy the silence and listen to the bird's song.
In addition to rich natural heritage, there are many important historic and monumental buildings in our area. The register of immovable heritage by the Ministry of Culture records 45 units in Kočevje, 2 in Osilnica and 7 in Kostel. The center of Kočevje maintains its bourgeois-look with buildings that were built in the Art Nouveau style and are now mixed with newer buildings from the period after the 2nd world war. In 1942, 12,000 people emigrated from our area, leaving behind many abandoned and uninhabited villages, their fields becoming meadows and the orchards largely left behind. After emigration, forest growth also increased in these areas.