Environmental groups and experts in the field have been ringing alarm bells regarding the sorry state of Czech forests. The country’s largely coniferous forests are falling prey to climate change, bark beetle infestation and devastating wind-storms. Experts claim that measures are long overdue to help forests adapt to climate change. I spoke to Jan Skalík, from Friends of the Earth Czech Republic, about the gravity of the problem and what needs to be done.
The Czech Republic stood out against a ban on a series of pesticides which
was pushed through by other EU states on the grounds that they seriously
The Czech Republic was one of four countries which stood out against the ban of so-called neonicotinoids, alongside Denmark, Romania, and Hungary. Sixteen EU countries voted for the ban on outdoor use of the pesticides with eight abstaining.
The Czech Ministry of Agriculture had specifically been seeking an exception allowing for the use of the pesticide on the sugar beet crop warning that without it production costs and the profitability of the crop would be threatened.
From January next year the pesticide will only be allowed for use in closed greenhouses.
One person died following a leak of phenol from a tanker in Děčín in
north Bohemia on Thursday morning, which occurred at a local chemical plant
producing detergents and various raw materials.
Altogether 16 people required medical treatment, after inhaling the fumes or suffering chemical burns. An investigation has been launched into the release of the dangerous chemical substance.
The Žofín forest in South Bohemia belongs among the oldest protected nature reserves in Central Europe. This unique woodland, which has been protected for more than 180 years, has now become a focus of research carried out by the US space agency NASA. They want to use the data collected in the forest to compare it with measurements taken from space. That could enable them to get a more accurate picture of the Earth’s surface.
Auto associations from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, have met in Prague to compare their responses to crucial European proposals for further curbing emissions of key pollutants. The future emission limits are clearly aimed at paving the way for low emission and no emission vehicles, such as electric cars. And that represents a radical challenge to the sector across the region.
Czechs will join millions of people around the globe in turning off their
lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm local time in a
symbolic show of support for the Earth Hour campaign against climate
Earth Hour will dim some of Prague’s best known landmarks including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square or the Žižkov TV tower.
Prague and other cities around the Czech Republic first marked Earth Hour in 2012. Thirteen cities and eighty towns and villages are expected to join the campaign this year.
Leading Czech scientists and physicians have appealed to lawmakers not to
allow any exemptions from the strict pan-European norms on pollution that
should come into force in 2021.
Individual countries will have the right to ask for a number of exemptions and Czech environmentalists say they have “signals” that coal power plants and other big polluters will try to get them.
In an appeal to the lower house of Parliament the group of scientists and physicians points out that 60 percent of Czechs live in regions where pollution norms are frequently exceeded and 11,000 people a year die of related health problems.
They have appealed for exemptions to the strict EU environment norms to be prohibited by law.