The Ministry of Agriculture as of April will have enhanced powers to
regulate timber harvesting and afforestation if necessary to minimize
damage by the ongoing bark beetle calamity.
President President Miloš Zeman signed into law an amendment to the Forestry Act, saying it has become clear that existing extraordinary measures are insufficient, his spokesman told the news agency ČTK.
The bark beetle infestation affecting spruce forests throughout the country in 2018 was said to have been the worst in the past 200 years.
Due to the ongoing infestation, the country’s largely coniferous forests are facing extensive felling of trees, which could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles.
On the eve of World Water Day, which falls on March 22, the Czech branch of the environmental organisation Greenpeace published an alarming report on the presence of micro-plastics in Czech rivers. According to the study, plastic fibres were found in all ten samples taken from the Vltava and Elbe Rivers. I asked Jan Freidinger of Greenpeace for more details:
Nine out of ten samples of water from the Vltava and Elbe rivers contain
micro-plastics, the environmental organisation Greenpeace said on Thursday.
The samples were taken last September in Prague, Ústí nad Labem and
Hřensko and sent for analysis in a Greenpeace lab in Britain’s Exeter.
The highest concentration of micro-plastics was recorded in the water released by the water treatment plant in Neštěmice on the Elbe River. The average concentration of micro-plastics, 3.7 particles per litre, corresponds with the results from similar studies abroad.
High school students across the Czech Republic joined the global student
strike on Friday aiming to raise awareness of the need to fight climate
In Prague, students gathered on Malostranské náměstí and marched to the Office of the Government. Students in Ostrava, Olomouc, Liberec and other Czech towns and cities also took part in the protest.
The students have received support from over 100 Czech scientists and academics and from the environmental groups Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.
Thousands of high-school students across the world are preparing to take part in a big protest against the lack of action being undertaken to stop climate change. The movement, known as Fridays for Future, also has a Czech branch, which has attracted over a thousand of students and a hundred academics.
Over 100 Czech scientists and academics have signed a proclamation in
support of the global student strike aiming to raise awareness of the need
to fight climate change.
The proclamation says that given how significantly the Czech Republic still contributes to pollution, for instance by coal burning, its inhabitants cannot pretend that the problem does not concern them.
The global appeal launched by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg under the motto Fridays For Future has won support from young people around the world.
Over 2,500 Czech secondary school students from Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and other towns and cities plan to take part in the strike this Friday.
The protest actions will have different forms including pro-climate gatherings and marches.
Prague City Council has agreed to introduce free public transport,
including trains, during smog alerts. The cost to the budget would be
approximately five million crowns per day.
In recent years, Prague City Hall has considered implement a range of regulations to be enforced during periods when the city is hit by particularly bad air pollution.
These include requiring factories to temporarily reduce output during periods of high smog barring trucks from entering the city.
The Czech Republic is failing to meet the targets for improving the quality
of air, suggests a report released by the Supreme Audit Office on Monday.
It warns that the Czech Republic may not be able to fulfil the goal of
reducing greenhouse emission by 20 percent by the year 2020.
According to the auditors, one of the problems is that the state doesn’t ensure that the state-subsidised projects to reduce air pollution are effective. Out of the 23 measures designed to improve air quality, seven had not been met by the end of the September 2018, the report says.
These include for instance support for the use of alternative fuels in truck transport or reducing the share of fossil fuels in local heating.
Czechs offer restoration experts to help France rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral
“We will remember them”: Trevor Sage, the Englishman cleaning Prague’s Holocaust memorial plaques
The Czech “koruna” celebrates 100th birthday
Czech Easter traditions explained
Czech “breastfeeding guerrilla” mums stage “feed-ins” over incident at Austrian bank