Nature protection and biodiversity (Czech Republic)
Why should we care about this issue
- Nature and biodiversity
High biological diversity is important for healthy ecosystems as well as for human well-being.
The priorities in the Convention on Biological Diversity implemented at the national level were set up in the National Biodiversity Strategy of the Czech Republic.
The state and impacts
More and more biodiversity components in the Czech Republic have been in unfavourable conservation status.
The recently published comprehensive report Nature and the Landscape in the Czech Republic 2009, Report on the State (CZ version) demonstrates that only 17 % of the whole country´s territory is covered with natural and semi-natural habitats.
According to the recent national Red Lists, 34 % of mammalian, 52 % of breeding birds, 50 % of reptiles, 43 % of amphibians, 43 % of fish, 60 % of higher plant and 43 % of moss species have been threatened (click here for more information, CZ version). The above report shows that 878 species have become extinct in the Czech Republic, of them 84 fungi, 27 bryophytes, 118 vascular plants, 627 invertebrates and 22 vertebrates. For more details, see the biodiversity indicators based on the SEBI 2010 outputs (also see Fig. A, Fig. B, Fig. C).
In the Czech Republic, 90 of plant species flora have been classified as invasive alien species. The list of animal invasion alien species in the country has been also published.
The key drivers and pressures
There are the main drivers of biodiversity decline – habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss of some ecosystem function, invasive alien species and contamination of the environment.
Trends in 152 bird species using data collected by the Breeding Bird Monitoring Programme are presented in Fig. here.
The 2020 outlook
If the current trends continue, decline of the biodiversity will be accelerating, moreover the current scenarios expect the impact of the climate change on biological diversity.
Existing and planned responses
Implementing EU directives and national legislation, sustainable use and inter-sectoral approach will improve conservation status of biological diversity components in the Czech Republic.
The nature conservation legislation lists 527 wildlife species or subspecies as specially protected (46 fungi, 436 vascular plants, 147 invertebrates, 17 fish, 28 amphibians/reptiles, 115 birds and 38 mammals). For some of them, action plans have been implemented. Many activities on specially protected wildlife species have been carried out by NGOs (click here for more information).
The concept of a multilevel ecological network, the Territorial System of Ecological Stability of the Landscape, had been developed in the late 1970s. Establishing and managing ecological networks has been included in the nature conservation and landscape management legislation, namely in the Act. In addition, the issue has also been included in spatial planning legislation. Moreover, the TSES is very often considered as only paper or computer work (click here for more information, CZ version).
Nature conservation and landscape protection measures outside and inside Specially Protected Areas, as well as on privately owned land, can be financially supported by schemes, e.g. from the agri-environmnetal programmes or the operation programme ‘Environment 2007–13’ funded by the European Community budget as well as from national landscape management programmes (click here for more information, CZ version).
For improving the biodiversity conservation status in the Czech Republic, the following steps should be implemented:
- Integration of biological diversity conservation into the policies of other sectors. The involvement of the general public as well as all the stakeholders.
- The use of best science available (evidence-based conservation).
- An improvement in communication, education and public awareness.