SABA and municipality Bistrica ob Sotli

Bistrica ob Sotli is a settlement in eastern Slovenia. It is the seat of the Municipality of Bistrica ob Sotli. The settlement lies on a river terrace above the right bank of the Sotla River. The area traditionally belonged to the region of Styria and smaller Kozjansko and Obsotelje region. It is now included in the Lower Sava Statistical Region; until January 2014 it was part of the Savinja Statistical Region. The settlement includes the hamlets of Čehovec, Koče, and Marof.

Municipality Bistrica ob Sotli is SABA first municipality member. Mayor Franjo Debelak and Gostilna Šempeter with family Kunst active participated in SABA project “Gostilna Slovenija in US”.

Kozjansko and Obsotelje Biosphere Reserve is marked by a closed chain of pre-Alpine hills, unconnected areas of tertiary lower hills and a chain of lowland fields.

Until the end of the 19th century, the area was characterized by traditional agriculture, craft and (river) transport routes. The construction of new mains of transport (coming of the railway) and industrialization gave rise to the area gradually lagging behind behind other parts of Slovenia economically.

There are 11 local communities in the area of the Biosphere Reserve. Number of inhabitants in Biosphere Reserve is 20,765. In 2007, the natural growth rate was negative in all municipalities which have the majority of the population in the proposed Biosphere Reserve (Kozje, Bistrica ob Sotli, Dobje), with the natural growth being below -7 % in all of them, and similar the municipalities of Podčetrtek and Radeče have a great deal more negative growth than the Slovene average.

Employment in primary activities (agriculture and forestry) only rarely predominates, generally in small settlements in hilly parts.

Prevailing employment in non-agricultural activities appears in settlements that are more distant from employment centres or have a significant number of jobs in these activities. Employment in the service sector predominance closer to major employment in service activities prevails for the most part in settlements in the hinterland of employment centres or high migration to more distant centres and also the share of self-employment is not negligible.

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