Geography of Slovenia
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The research programme “Geography of Slovenia” is a continuation of the joint research programmes Regional geography of Slovenia and Social geography of Slovenia. It encompasses basic analysis and synthetic research work about Slovenia, its landscape components and regional units, geographic comparative studies, development of geographic terminology including geographical names and furthermore the development of geographical methods, techniques and the geographic information system, including thematic cartography. Geography is important for many spatial and other sciences since its understanding of landscapes, their characteristics and their principles offers basic knowledge for research in certain scientific fields as well as for expert, political and particularly developmental decisions. Its presence is furthermore valuable in the education system as it is an interesting subject in primary and secondary schools. However it is important for the general educational level of citizens as well since it helps to better understand regional, political, economic, social, religious, cultural and other problems in Slovenia and the rest of the World. The predominant element in Slovene geography is complexity and it’s ideal implementation would be the (regional) geography of Slovenia. In the past few years there has been a raising interest for “United Geography”, particularly in english, german and french geographical litterature. Several debates are associated with the expression “New Regional Geography” and/or “École de la régulation”. Modern geography teaches natural and human landscape structures, processes and spatial social-group behaviour. Besides the complexity and interconnectivity of geographic features and processes it further considers the effects of economic progress, technological innovations, economic integrations, globalization, cultural identity and the effects the physical environment has on the landscape.
The research programme is of fundamental and national importance since it is the sole scientific discipline that studies Slovenia in a complex and geographic approach, its regional units and the interaction between components that make up Slovene landscapes (rock, surface, water, climate, soil, flora, fauna, population, settlements, economy etc.). This diversity of Slovene landscapes is one of the country’s biggest treasures. “Geography of Slovenia” is a multidisciplinary project combining results of related sciences into a new synthetic scientific whole. Furthermore it is important for education as it facilitates understanding of regional, political, economic, cultural and other principles at home and elsewhere. The starting point of the research programme is mainly a systematic evaluation and formation of an environmentally friendly spatial management, based on standardized evaluation procedures, equivalently considering natural and social landscape components. One of the aims is the setting up of theoretical and practical models of a coherent regional development and wise land use. It will be founded on modern comprehension of the limits of natural resources and human and economic potentials. On a theorethical and model-based level the programme will illustrate the opposing development-concepts of globalization and regionalization which are related with a balanced competition, economic and social interaction and protection of natural resources.
The programme deals with the research of natural and social components of Slovenia and its landscapes with particular emphasis on their interaction and their importance for the formation and development of Slovene regions. The focus is therefore on the research of those particular geographic features which combine natural and human factors, e.g. natural disasters, land use, environmental problems, cultural landscapes, environmentally friendly development and research of modern social problems, e.g. in agriculture, population, social welfare, urbanization, national identity.
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