Skip to main content


In addition to karstology, cooperation between the Chinese and Slovenian scientists is also expected in forestry

Kunming, 7 November - This year, the Yunnan University and the Slovenian Karst Research Institute mark 20 years of scientific cooperation. On the occasion of today's visit, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Dejan Židan expressed his support for this cooperation and proposed strengthening additional scientific exchanges in forestry as well. The proposal was supported by the Chinese side, too.


(Report by special rapporteur Martina Kolenc, Slovenian Press Agency - STA)


Chancellor of the Yunnan University, Yang Lin, considers their cooperation with Slovenian scientists as excellent. In the field of karstology, an active exchange of professors and students has been carried out for 20 years. Four Slovenian scientists are also members of a 14-member senate of the University. Chancellor Yang hopes for additional cooperation in the future. "The visit from Slovenian political leadership means a new milestone in the scientific cooperation between the two countries. "After the visit, we will identify our counterparts and common interests," Chancellor Yang told the Slovenian Press Agency.


Minister Židan wanted his visit to express his support for the already strong cooperation in karstology. "This is also a foundation to include another area. One of the possibilities is cooperation at the level of research and education in forestry," the Minister told the Slovenian Press Agency. In the Group of 16+1 format of Central and Eastern European countries and China, Slovenia is heading the forestry sector.


Next year, the Slovenian Karst Research Institute will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its operation, making it one of the leading international research and education centres. The Head of the Slovenian Karst Research Institute, Tadej Slabe, explained to the Slovenian Press Agency that the Vice Minister of the Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China asked for assistance in research of the Chinese karst.


"There is 1.3 million of square kilometres of karst in China and an enormous number of questions have been raised since their karst is densely populated. Populations in these areas need a lot of water. However, water in karstic areas is very vulnerable," stressed Dr. Slabe. Over these 20 years the Institute has published all its findings on the Chinese karst in international scientific magazines and two monographs, and a third one is in the works. Two years ago an international centre was for karst research, including a karstology laboratory.


On Sunday, among other things, Minister Židan visited the Stone Forest, a typical karst phenomenon that is also known in Slovenia. The Stone Forest of the Yunnan province has been placed on UNESCO's list of cultural heritage thanks to the Slovenian karstologists who helped their Chinese colleagues in drafting documents required for placement on the list. 20 years ago approximately 400,000 tourists per year visited the stone forests, while there are approximately 5.5 million tourists per year these days.


The Yunnan University estate covers 800 hectares and includes 29 Faculties.  There are 30,000 students at the University, of whom 16,000 are post-graduate students. Today, among other possible areas of cooperation, Chancellor Yang mentioned the protection of nature and natural resources and sustainable forest management.


On Tuesday, the visit of the Minister, accompanied with the political delegation, will continue with discussions in Beijing. There he will meet the management of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the People's Republic of China, and the management of the State Forestry Administration (SFA) of People's Republic of China.


On Wednesday and Thursday Minister Židan will continue his visit in Hong Kong, where he will meet with the Governor of the Hong Kong Province and attend the opening of the International Wine and Spirits Fair, one of the largest and most important fairs promoting wine, alcoholic beverages and food products in Asia. The fair is intended, in particular, for the expert public and sales activities. The Republic of Slovenia will be present at this fair for the first time and will have the special status of state guest.


The economic delegation of Slovenia will be represented by 16 wine growers and, additionally, the Berryshka company and the Kocbek Oil Mill.


*  *  *