The Czech branch of Extinction Rebellion has joined a wave of climate protests organised by the environmental group around the world. Protests calling on politicians to take urgent action on climate change began in Prague on Thursday and will culminate on Saturday with a demonstration and a traffic blockade on Wenceslas Square.
Forest owners in the Czech Republic face damages of up to 40 million crowns this year from an escalating spread of bark beetle, suggests a report by the think-tank Czech Forest, an independent group of experts in the forestry sector. The report warns that in the future, bark beetle infestation could affect up to 50 percent of the country’s forests.
Dvůr Králové Zoo is spearheading an international effort to save the Northern White Rhino which is on the brink of extinction. Last week an international team of experts trying to produce the world’s first test tube baby rhino made international headlines. I asked Dvůr Králové Zoo’s special projects coordinator Jan Stejskal, who is a member of the team, to report on the latest progress.
Another long-term drought could cost the Czech economy up to 80 billion crowns, equivalent to a drop of 1.6 percentage points in GDP, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Life Sciences warn that in order to conserve water for essential use, key industries would be forced to cut production, adding an exponential ripple effect to the surface-level economic impact.
Last year’s infestation of bark beetles was said to have been the biggest to hit Czech forests in 200 years. This year could prove even worse. Among those hard hit is Krkonoše National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site. Park officials estimate 20 percent more trees will need to be felled in the battle against the relentless bug.
The Czech Environment Ministry is up in arms over a decision by the Central Institute for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture allowing farmers to use a highly toxic rat poison in fields, orchards, meadows and vineyards. They claim it will “harm all living things in the vicinity”, a warning that has made the agriculture minister break off his holiday and come back to Prague for emergency talks.
Keeping global warming well below the 2º Celsius target can be achieved only by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors, including land and food, according to a new United Nations report. Among other things, it outlines dire warnings about the effects of global eating habits and farming practices.
A new study carried out by an international team of scientists, including experts from Palacký University in Olomouc, has ascertained that animals are not responding fast enough to the changing environmental conditions. The alarming findings have been published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications.
Statistics show that the number of collisions with animals on Czech roads has increased markedly in recent years. What is more, experts warn that the real figure is actually much higher, due to the limited scope of available statistics. The main reasons include high numbers of deer and current agriculture policy, but potentially also the impact of drought.