Development Agency Kozjansko
Ulica skladateljev Ipavcev 17, 3230 Šentjur
Person responsible for project implementation: Mag. Andreja Smolej, Agency Director

About the Project Partner

Development Agency Kozjansko is a public institution. It was founded in 1999 as LPC Kozjansko by the municipalities Dobje and Šentjur with the purpose of developing business initiatives, providing counselling and expert advice to existing and potential entrepreneurs and preparing and implementing development projects in rural areas. Local Development Centre (LPC) Kozjansko was, based on a Decision of the Celje District Court, on 22nd July 2005 renamed to Development Agency Kozjansko. It is the legal successor to LPC Kozjansko and continues with the implementation of its activities.

The Agency is the core institution of the joint Rural Development Programme of seven Municipalities (Dobje, Dobrna, Oplotnica Slovenske Konjice, Šentjur, Vitanje, Zreče), as a part of which intensive preparations are being carried out for application to the call for proposals for selection of Leader regions, which would enable this region to use EU structural funds intended for the Leader Initiative as a part of the national Rural Development Programme.

In the field of regional development, the Agency is part of the joint Networking Development Agency Kozjansko (made up of RA Kozjansko and RA Sotla) and is carrying out the official tasks of the regional development subject for Municipal Development Partnership Obsotelje and Kozjansko, which is also officially registered at the Office for Local Self-government and Regional Policy. It includes the following municipalities: Dobje, Kozje, Podčetrtek, Rogaška Slatina, Rogatec, Šentjur and Šmarje pri Jelšah.

Video Presentation

Video transcript

Development Agency Kozjansko is a public institution that was founded in 1999 as LPC Kozjansko by the municipalities of Dobje and Šentjur with the aim of developing business initiatives, offering counselling and expert help to the existing and potential entrepreneurs and for preparation and implementation of development projects in the countryside.

Mag. Andreja Smolej, Director of RA Kozjansko: I can say that already years ago we started doing projects that were somehow connected not only to countryside development – in the sense of creating infrastructure – but also projects with softer contents, which we often forget about or for which local communities find it harder to procure certain resources.

Development Agency Kozjansko participates in a number of projects both at the national level as well as in cross-border cooperation and international projects within Central Europe. It is also one of the project partners in the project for establishing implementation conditions for experiential learning.

Elena Zupanc, RA Kozjansko professional associate: As it is evident from the project title, we create experiential conditions or certain conditions in nature, which we then show to various target groups to teach them with nature, about nature, from nature… In short, natural methods with which to heal wounds that were given to nature by man. Among such methods are ecoremediations with plant-based purification plants.

At Ponikva for over twenty years a plant-based purification plant has been successfully operating, which imitates nature’s self-purifying ability for cleaning waste waters. Soon a new purifying plant will be built in the Kozjansko region.

As a part of the project, educational trails have also been set up, which try to bring the natural and cultural characteristics of Ponikva closer to hikers and visitors.

Zlatko Zevnik, President of the Tourism Society Ponikva: We’re standing in front of the signs for two hiking trails. One is the Stanko Buser water karst learning trail, which mostly covers our natural treasures, like our water world, the purifying plant, various sinkholes and water springs, as well as our pasque flower, a protected plant species. The other trail is the Three Ponikva Men trail, which leads down the west part of the Ponikva settlement past the birth house of Anton Martin Slomšek, the Zaganjšek homestead to the Blaž Kocen house, who is our third important citizen.

Mag. Andreja Smolej, Director of RA Kozjansko: The task of Development Agency Kozjansko as a project partner is to raise awareness of the population and visitors to the area which it covers in regard to waste treatment and in regard to establishing conditions for learning with the aim of achieving sustainable development effects.

On Earth Day, 20th April 2011, Development Agency Kozjansko signed a declaration for sustainable development of the Savinja region, emphasizing even stronger its commitment to adopting sustainable development principles.

Janez Jazbec, Director of the Savinja Region Development Agency: Implementing this declaration means a way of coexisting, a way of working for people in the Savinja region and considering the fact that a number of institutions have already joined and that there is much interest in it, I am an optimist and I believe that in the future we will hear much more about the Savinja region as a sustainable development region.