Imported fir trees from Poland are taking an increasing share of the
Christmas tree market in the Czech Republic, forcing prices down, iDnes.cz
A representative of the Association of Christmas Tree Cultivators told the news website that large growers from Denmark had established new plantations in Poland some years back and the trees were now ready for sale.
Firs have long been the most popular Christmas trees in the Czech Republic, winning out over spruce and pine trees. However, if Czechs are keen to buy local the latter should be easier to find, iDnes.said.
The current hot and dry weather has created ideal conditions for the spread of the bark beetle, one of the biggest threats to the Czech Republic’s forests. Experts from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences are now testing a new method involving sniffer dogs to detect the infestation in its early stages. I spoke to the dean of the faculty, Marek Turčáni, who is in charge of the project, and asked him how serious the beetle infestation is this year:
Štepan Vashkevich is a student at the Palacký University of Olomouc who is one of the founders of a student association at the school focussing on the environment and sustainability, launching projects such as Out of the Bin, to get the student body to cut down on needless waste. Further, he and fellow members iare trying to make a difference by launching this year the first student-run Free-Shop, where students can donate, take, barter, and borrow items absolutely free.
MPs have overturned a presidential veto on new rules for the Czech Republic’s four national parks: Krkonoše, České Švýcarsko, Podyjí and Šumava. President Zeman had refused to sign the legislation, which had strong backing from environmental groups, saying it did not acknowledge the particularities of the Šumava national park. The Ministry of the Environment says the bill provides stability in that no changes can be made to a new system of zones in national parks for 15 years. The state is also now barred from selling off any of the land.
President Miloš Zeman has vetoed the bill on care for the country’s national parks. The lower house of parliament earlier this month approved the original version of the law, rejecting Senate proposals that would have watered down the rules for national parks and given local councils and inhabitants more room to push for development. The proposed upper house changes were backed by just 28 lawmakers with 109 opposed. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the original rules offered sustainable development for parks and increased the role of local authorities. Mr Zeman said earlier he would veto the original version of the law.
The lower house of parliament has rejected Senate proposals that would have watered down the rules for national parks and given local councils and inhabitants more room to push for development. The proposed upper house changes were backed by just 28 lawmakers with 109 opposed. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the original rules offered sustainable development for parks and increased the role of local authorities. The original version of the law backed by the lower house will now go to president Miloš Zeman. He repeated Wednesday he would veto the law.
The lower house has postponed the vote on a controversial bill on care for the country’s national parks. The Senate-proposed bill includes changes predominantly backing the interests of villages located inside nature reserves, plans for local development and the tourist industry. Some of the country’s leading academics and four former environment ministers have protested against the amendment arguing that the proposed changes would severely restrict possibilities for environmental protection and would have far-reaching consequences for the country’s national parks. Their view has been supported by more than 47,000 people, who signed a petition against the Senate-proposed amendment. President Miloš Zeman visited the lower house on Tuesday to speak in support of the Senate-proposed bill. He warned against “green fanaticism”, arguing that increasing the number of non-intervention zones in the Šumava national park will lead to its further devastation. Mr Zeman has previously said that if the lower house doesn’t approved the changes proposed by the Senate, he will veto the bill.