Topic Archive Nature

Animal welfare groups pushing for concerted action against puppy farming

11-12-2014 16:11 | Daniela Lazarová

Illustrative photo: archive of Radio Prague Czech animal rights activists have been ringing alarm bells over the horrific business of puppy farming within which dogs are bred in abominable conditions in Central and Eastern Europe and transported for sale wherever there is demand for them. A petition for the Czech authorities to clamp down on this illegal business has now been signed by 16,000 people and NGOs are pushing to raise awareness of the problem among the public. I spoke to Martina Načeradská, a Czech vet who is actively involved in the fight against puppy farms, about the problem.  More

Wolf patrols ready to come out with the first snow

27-11-2014 16:14 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: Bernard Landgraf, CC BY-SA 3.0 Europe’s large predators were hunted into extinction in the early 1900s, but due to changing conditions and better protection wolves, bears and lynxes are slowly returning to countries across the Old Continent. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature the number of wolves in Europe have quadrupled in the past three decades to an estimated 25,000 animals. To find out which of these predators have returned to the Czech Republic I spoke to Josefa Volfová of Friends of the Earth.  More

Prague opens first package-free shop

26-11-2014 15:06 | Ruth Fraňková

Photo: archive of Bezobalu Last week, the governments of EU countries, including the Czech Republic, unanimously approved a new law to cut down the number of plastic bags by 80 percent within the next ten years, with the aim to curb litter on land and in seas. A small non-profit organisation in Prague, called Bezobalu or Unpackaged, is already doing its share in the fight against excessive use of plastic. The group has recently opened a shop in the centre of Prague, where you can only buy unpackaged goods and take them home in your own containers.  More

Tackling the Czech Republic's poor air quality

20-11-2014 15:19 | Dominik Jůn

Photo: František Tichý November saw the release of an annual government-commissioned report on the state of the environment in the Czech Republic. While the gist of the report maintained that a number of factors continued to improve, including water quality and canalisation, air quality was found to be a major problem. It found that in 2013, 55 percent of Czechs were still being exposed to above-average levels of the toxic chemical benzopyrene. Additionally, many cities suffer from smog and ground level ozone, while heating plants were found to account for 41 percent of dangerous PM10 particulate matter being inhaled by Czechs. Last year, the government spent more than 27 billion crowns on improving the environment. Since joining the EU, the country has been able to source around 120 billion crowns from EU funds to this end – but has only utilised 43 percent of total allocated funds for the 2007-2013 period. So is the new government doing enough?  More

Government report gives Czech Republic low marks for air quality

13-11-2014 14:48 | Dominik Jůn

Photo: František Tichý A newly-released government report on state of the Czech environment for the year 2013 has underscored the continued issue of poor air quality across the Czech Republic. The report also highlighted other pressing issues such as the poor condition of forests, risks of erosion and excessive use of land for construction of roads and buildings.  More

Wild boars cause millions of crowns in damage in agriculture sector

22-10-2014 15:53 | Jan Velinger

Wild boar, photo: archive of Radio Prague Uprooted earth, ruined fields, leftover bits of corn, beetroot and wheat gobbled up: each year, wild boars in the Czech Republic cause extensive damage. Legally, game keeping associations are responsible for the regulation of population levels; in the case of wild boar, many argue, new steps need to be taken. Last year, 185,000 specimens were hunted, yet damage remains in the millions of crowns.  More

Dvůr Králové Zoo spearheading international efforts to save northern white rhino from extinction

25-09-2014 16:07 | Daniela Lazarová

White rhino in Dvůr Králové Zoo, photo: Barbora Kmentová Zoos in a number of European countries burned rhino horns on Sunday on the eve of World Rhino Day, in order to highlight the plight of the endangered species. Dvůr Králové Zoo, which has for years spearheaded international efforts to save the northern white rhino from extinction was among them. I spoke to Jan Stejskal, in situ projects coordinator at Dvůr Králové Zoo, about the zoo’s conservation efforts and the chances of saving a species on the brink of extinction.  More

Czech astronomers create country’s third dark skies reserve in western Bohemia

18-09-2014 15:53 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: CTK As of this week the Czech Republic has a third dark skies reserve in the Manětín region, in western Bohemia. Its opening on Monday attracted amateur astronomers from around the country as well as the mayors of the ten villages located in the area. I spoke to one of the country’s leading astrophysicists Jiří Grygar about why this particular region was chosen and what has put the Czech Republic at the head of this trend on the European and world scale.  More

Czech scientists searching for ways to remove toxins from drinking water

09-09-2014 15:08 | Daniela Lazarová

Illustrative photo: CTK Detergents, painkillers and contraceptives are things we use daily. What most of us don’t realize is that all of them contribute to the presence of toxins in our rivers and even drinking water. A special research team at Brno’s Masaryk University is now working to ascertain what toxins pass through water treatment plants and how they could be more effectively eliminated. I spoke to the head of the team prof. Luděk Bláha about the problems involved.  More

Czech firm develops technique to turn water hyacinths into paper in Kenya

26-08-2014 14:35 | Ian Willoughby

Michal Gorec, photo: CTK After being contacted by a Czech aid worker with links to Kenya, a craft paper producer in North Bohemia has come up with a method under which locals on Lake Victoria will be able to turn water hyacinths – an aquatic plant causing great environmental damage – into high-quality paper. I discussed the unlikely sounding collaboration with Michal Gorec, owner of the Papyrea hand paper mill in Zdislava.  More

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