Greenpeace International has protested against a decision by a Slovak court
to hold a group of 12 Greenpeace activists, including two Czech nationals,
in pre-trial detention, as they await criminal charges for scaling a coal
mine tower to protest the use of "dirty coal".
The 12 protesters – from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Finland – were taken into custody in Slovakia on Wednesday, after climbing a tower of the brown coal mining company Horna Nitra Mines in the Slovak city of Nováky to fly a banner demanding an "end to the era of coal".
Greenpeace Slovakia says the activists are suspected of "threatening the operations of a public interest facility", a charge that could lead to a maximum jail sentence of five years.
Like all other developed countries, Czechia has a waste problem. Even though Czech households do not, actually, produce half as much garbage as those in the United States, the government is looking for new ways to increase recycling. Ironically, some towns and companies make a lot of money from traditional landfills. So, it is not always easy to change old practices.
Air pollution in the Moravia-Silesia region has worsened, the Czech
Hydro-meteorological Institute reported on Friday. At several monitoring
stations in the region, including Třinec and Český Těšín, the amount
of dust particles in the air has more than twice exceeded permitted levels.
Moravia and Silesia are one of Europe’s most polluted regions due to heavy industry located on both sides of the Czech-Polish border. Air pollution is a problem especially in the winter months, when the situation is aggravated by coal heating.
A bark beetle infestation that has affected spruce forests throughout the
country – said to be the worst in the past 200 years – is likely to
double in 2019, acorrding to a forest management expert at the Ministry of
Due to the infestation, the Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing extensive felling of trees, which could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles.
The ministry is calling for amending the Forestry Act and implementing a crisis plan.
The European Green Belt is a stretch of wilderness running along the former Iron Curtain, which once divided the continent. It has evolved along the border for more than four decades and today is the longest and largest ecological network of its kind not only in Europe, but in the whole world. The European Green Belt is also an ecological initiative that joins 24 states, which were once divided by the impenetrable borderline.
The impact of global climate change in the Czech Republic can be felt more strongly than ever before, suggests a newly-released government report on the state of the Czech environment for the year 2017. One of the most pressing issues highlighted by the report is the alarming state of Czech forests.
Close to one hundred fire fighters fought to contain a fire at a storage
facility for electronic waste in Lety near Prague. The fire broke out in
the evening hours on Saturday and eyewitnesses reported a series of
explosions on the premises. The blaze was brought under control in the
early hours of Sunday.
Although chemical experts failed to register toxins in the air the smoke was dense and people were advised to keep their windows closed until further notice.
The remains of the storage facility will have to be pulled down. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
The European Commission has called on the Czech Republic to bring its
national air quality legislation in line with European norms.
According to the Commission, the Czech Republic has not effectively enacted
provisions relating to limit values of air pollution and some do not follow
the European Air Quality Directive definition.
The Czech Republic has two months to reply to the European Commission’s letter of formal notice.
The notice was published within a monthly package of infringement decisions, in which the Commission pursues legal action against member states for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law.
Forests in the Czech Republic are suffering. Frequent periods of prolonged draught have weakened trees, leaving them prone to harmful bark beetle infestation. Moreover, severe storms in recent months and years damaged large areas of woodland and foresters have had to cut down many more trees than the sawmills are able to process. As a result, the price of wood has now fallen to a half of what it was a year ago. Vít Pohanka met foresters and experts from several European countries at a seminar they held in Czechia.
A smog alert has been declared in much of the Moravian Silesian Region. The
greatest concentrations of pollution have been measured in the Ostrava,
Karviná and Frýdek-Místek areas.
The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute has warned that it may become necessary to also impose temporary restrictions on some industrial facilities in the region.
The Moravia Silesian Region is frequently beset by smog in the winter months.
“Paneláks” – home for many Czechs, but what does the future hold?
Number of foreign workers in Czech Republic increases to over half a million
Prague Christmas markets expected to attract thousands of tourists
Czech purchasing power rising with GDP growth, firming koruna
Old Town Hall tower vantage point for biggest ever photograph of Prague