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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CZECH REPUBLIC

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for decision-making in the field of international co-operation. Special responsibility for decision-making process for the sustainable development has no ministry or agency.  The Council on Sustainable Development was founded by the Ministry of Environment in July 2000. It is a consultative body to the Minister of Environment. It aims to link economic and social spheres with environmental issues and establish an open approach to cooperation between various social groups and public participation in planning and implementing the development of local areas and society as a whole.

The Council on Sustainable Development was founded by the Ministry of Environment in July 2000. It is a consultative body to the Minister of Environment. It aims to link economic and social spheres with environmental issues and establish an open approach to cooperation between various social groups and public participation in planning and implementing the development of local areas and society as a whole.

Local governments play role in some trans-boundary co-operation projects (e. g. EURO REGION NISA, EGRENSIS, ECOREGION etc.)

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

There are no laws, regulations and directives concerning cooperation for sustainable development at sub-regional, regional, and international levels in the Czech republic. Most of environmental laws work with the term of sustainable development in their general part, but there is no special law for the objective mentioned above.

The environmental legislation began to develop at the beginning of the 1990’s. The legislative framework ranges from Article 7 of the Constitution of the Czech Republic which requires thrifty exploitation of natural resources and the protection of natural assets, through the Act of the Environment No 17/1992 Coll. and the Act on Environmental Impact Assessment (on EIA) No 244/1992 Coll., to encompasses the Clean Air Act, the Act on Waste and related regulations, acts and decrees on nature and landscape protection, the amendments to the Construction Code and its implementing regulations, the Act on Protection of Agricultural Land, etc.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Policy based on the principle of sustainable development is not a policy only for the sectoral competence of the Ministry of Environment. The creation of an environmental policy and fulfillment of its objectives must be based on close cooperation with other economic and social sectors of the national economy, including industry, agriculture, transport and communications, regional development, health, foreign affairs, education and other sectors. In addition, there is continuous cooperation with members of universities, professional institutions, public administrative bodies, nongovernmental nonprofit organizations, sectoral industry associations and business.  

In compliance with the “Foreign Policy Concept of the Czech Republic” and with the “State Environmental Policy”, environmental protection and provision for sustainable development are global issues requiring the joint efforts of all the countries of the world and the preparation of both global and national strategies and approaches. For example, the  memorandum between the Ministry Of Environment of the Czech Republic and the Ministry for Protection of the Environment, Natural Resources and Forestry of the Republic of Poland and the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Reactors Safety of FRG on exchange of immersion data from the Black Triangle and small investments projects to improve the state of the environment at joint borders (signed on September 17, 1996).

In 1991, the Czech Republic initiated the creation of the long-term program “An Environment for Europe” (Dobříš Assessment), which has since become the main forum for pan European conceptual discussions in the area of environmental policy.  As a member of the OECD, the Czech Republic participates in the creation of conceptual supra-national documents prepared in OECD as a starting point for the search for a balance amongst the economic, social and environmental aspects of development in OECD member countries (participation in the project “Environmental Outlook and Strategy”, participation in the “Three-year OECD project for sustainable development”). 

The Czech Republic plays an important role in international preparation of implementation of the Aarhus Convention. It is a leading country in the task force for preparation of Pollution Release and Transfer Registers – PRTR, cooperates in the action working group for developing instruments for implementation of the convention. The Czech Republic plays an important role in the area of development of an international legally binding document dealing with Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

The Council of the Czech Republic for Social and Economic Strategy was established in May 1999. It is the advisory, initiative and coordinating body of the Government. Emphasis was placed on the necessity to create a national economy based on the creation of a stable body for economic strategy and development. It coordinates project concerning Czech social development and cooperation on departmental and regional conceptions.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The creation of an environmental policy and fulfillment of its objectives must also be the result of continuous cooperation with members of universities, professional institutions, public administrative bodies, nongovernmental nonprofit organizations, sectoral industry associations and business. 

Some local governments are involved in the decision making process on international and regional cooperation for sustainable development through their associations (e.g. Union of towns and villages) and through trans-border cooperation programs and projects.

NGOs and other groups can be involved in decision-making processes through e.g. EIA process.  Local authorities as far as NGOs are active in developing of the programs and projects focused on sustainable development – they prepare the projects and try to change some of the conservative ways of the decision making process. The national government mostly co-operate within these projects as a supervisor and co-funding body.

The scientific institutions (the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, universities and research institutes) have their roles in formulating environmental research and development priorities and in the provision of expert support to sectoral programmes.

Programmes and Projects 

The involvement of the Czech Republic in the protection of the global environment and in implementing the principles of sustainable development includes the voluntary contributions to UNEP and GEF and some special projects in bilateral and multilateral development cooperation, financed through the Czech Republic’s programme of development assistance.

Since 1994 the Czech Republic has implemented a number of projects with the support of GEF/The World Bank to promote project based mechanism that would help the country to comply with the international commitments and reinforce national environmental policy.

In  cooperation with GEF the following projects’ objectives were set up:

-        Reduce global concentrations of green house gases and thus minimize the adverse impact of climate change;

The major objective of the project was to decrease the emissions of green house gases. This objective would be achieved by means of increasing the efficiency and reliability of the heat supply to the city of Kyjov, glass producer and regional grid and power supply to the regional grid through intensified use of waste process heat generated at glass manufacturing facility. The project will achieve local and global environmental benefits by reducing the share of coal and lignite in a standard coal fired power plant.

-          Phase-out ozone depleting substances and introduce 3R scheme (Refrigerant Recovery and Recycling)

The principal objective of the project was to assist the Czech Republic in the phase-out of ozone depleting substances in a cost effective manner as mandated by the Montreal Protocol.

-          Protect and strengthen representative ecosystem biodiversity in its Trans-boundary areas

The project was designed to develop a range of activities including management techniques for a variety of representative ecosystems, environmental education and community support for protected areas and sustainable management of forest system, to develop revenue generation mechanisms for the protected areas, interactions with local communities and land managers sustainable development strategies, to support project management coordination efforts between the Ministry of Environment and project areas, training, improvement of infrastructure and the administration of an NGO biodiversity small grant programme.

-          Prepare the National Biodiversity strategy and action plan

The objective of the project was to prepare national biodiversity strategy and action plan for the protection and sustainable use of biological diversity and to prepare the first national report for submission to the Conference of the Parties. The project identified the objectives and mechanisms of cross-sector coordination at the local, regional and national levels.

Major technical cooperation programmes on education for sustainable development include:

Meteorology and hydrology (Central and East European countries, New Independent States, Africa, South America) - Realization of various training courses in meteorology, hydrology and air quality control

Development of sustainable agriculture production (vineyards and orchards) in Republic of Moldova - Introduction of the Czech biological pest control system for vineyards and orchards

Capacity building in cleaner production in Croatia - Establishment of the Croatian Cleaner Production Center, training of local professionals, implementation of demonstration projects in industrial enterprises

Ozone depleting substances phase-out project in Ukraine -Introduction of advanced cost-effective technology and know-how on leakage-free handling of ODS at the cooling equipment service

Geological and environmental works in Mongolia - Environmental risk analysis of a former Soviet army base, hydro geological survey and hydro geological prospecting of ground water resources, geological and geochemical mapping in south part of Zaaltaj Gobi.

Status

On the basis of Decision No. 153 of March 15 1995, the Government of the Czech Republic approved the provision of foreign aid to developing countries and countries in transition: the Ministry of the Environment prepared seven projects of bilateral cooperation (total amount CZK 24.8 million) and eight projects of multilateral cooperation (total amount CZK 25.5 million) especially in the area of hydrology, meteorology and protection of the ozone layer - to be completed in 1997.

The programme areas or issues of Agenda 21 require the most immediate attention for bilateral or multilateral cooperation include: Part I: Chapters 4, 6, 8; Part II: Chapters 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22; Part III: Chapters 24, 25, 26, 30, 32; Part IV: Chapters 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 39.  Other areas (not involved in document o f Agenda 21) are: Transport, Energy strategy, GMO.

It is essential to create economical incentives to bring question of sustainability as a social prestige, promote media interest in sustainable development questions and realize campaigns to increase public awareness about the importance to make development of human society sustainable. On local level organize roundtables with professional facilitators, training for local representatives and officers, to put the sustainable principles as a basic for all sector policy – to ensure integrate approach at national and local level. Differentiate the work according to interests of the main focus groups.

Changing trends over the past five years, in terms of percentage of growth and the nature of cooperation in external financial resources, are as follows:

ODA (bilateral and multilateral)

                                   1996 …..356.5 mil. CZK

                                    1997.…..365.4 mil. CZK

                                    1998…...326.0 mil. CZK

                                    1999…...326.0 mil. CZK

                                    2000…...345.0 mil. CZK

Data only for Ministry of Environment:

ODA projects coordinated by the Ministry of Environment amounts to 30.5 mil CZK (750 000 USD) in 2000. There are 8  projects realized in 2000.                        

Estimation:

Natural resource protection – 10 %

Poverty eradication – 70 %

Capacity building - 50 %

Policy formulation, planning, governance – 10 %

Challenges

The biggest challenge for capacity-building, education, training and awareness raising is the area of co-operation with media at local and national level.  A concept of environmental enlightenment, education and public awareness (hereinafter EEEA) was drawn up in 1998 by the Ministry of Environment. The State Programme of EEEA should be approved by Government this year.  In the sphere of legislation, law No. 123/98 Coll., on public access to environmental information, was approved and came into force.

The participation of the Czech Republic in the activities of OECD involves activities connected with transfer of experience and knowledge to OECD non-member countries (especially to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and to the countries of the former Soviet Union).

Science and technical capacities of the Czech Republic can be used to protect environment and improve its quality in other countries.  It also can be used international seminars and meetings, internet conferences, exchanges experiences, materials and information, information systems, training, more effective use existing administration structures, funding, newsletters, work with lay public, etc.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Czech Environmental Institute prepares and distributes Newsletter “Local Agenda 21 in the Czech Republic” which is concerned on the issue of sustainable development, implementing Local Agenda 21, information about international cooperation in this field, exchange of experiences, reviews, methodologies etc. The Newsletter is distributed by electronic mail to all regional branches of the Ministry of Environment, to all district offices, Administrations of National Parks and Protected Landscape Areas of the Czech Republic and to municipalities, NGOs, high schools, universities and to members of networks working in the field of sustainable development.  Some of these subscribers distribute the Newsletter to the other co-operating organizations and institutions within their regions.

The Czech Environmental Institute organizes workshops and seminars for state and local administrators concerning on implementation of Agenda 21 in local conditions and focused on environmental education and public participation. These workshops had been supported by the British Council for the last three years.  The network of consulting centers in the Czech Republic was founded in 1997. It promotes preventative protection of the environment and participates in defining environmental consulting as a profession.

In the year 2000 Institute for Environmental Policy in co-operation with Via Foundation Czech Republic and Westminster Foundation for Democracy realizes the project “Support of Media Interest in Local Agenda 21 and NGOs´ activities in this field”.  The Czech Republic uses newsletters, seminars, workshops, meetings, presentations etc.to  reach the general population.  

In the sphere of legislation, law No. 123/98 Coll., on public access to environmental information, was approved and came into force.  Nongovernmental organizations  provide services for schools and schooling facilities in the area of environmental enlightenment and education.   Nongovernmental organization and environmental consulting centers organize country-wide and regional enlightment projects (competitions, workshops, etc.). The Ministry of Environment participate on these actions.

In additional to traditional universities in Prague, Olomouc and Brno, a number of others in Usti nad Labem, Plzen, Ceské Budejovice, Hradec Kralove and Ostrava also offer environmental studies. Ecology and environmental protection are included to a far greater degree in the curricula of secondary and junior schools and in preschool education. The range of environmental journals has increased, environmental subjects appear far more frequently in the daily press, radio and television and the interest of the population in the environment is gradually increasing.

In this connection, there’s a marked absence of regular educational programmes on the radio and public television concerned with ecology, the environment and its protection.

It is essential to implement the principle of sustainable development and to incorporate environmental considerations into sectoral policies and into environmental education, training and public awareness.

Areas: training in sustainable development principles, practical steps in implementing Local Agenda 21, international structures and their role, role of local authorities in European and worldwide policy, languages skills, presentation skills, how to work with media, communication skills, Logframe – project management etc.

The measures can be: international meetings, seminars and training, pressure on national government to support these areas, methodological materials, abroad studies, capacity building, networking …

Information 

The Ministry of Environment and civic organizations concerned with nature protection and environmental enlightments issue a number of newsletters, magazines, publications and other special information material on this subject.

Other activities include informing the public through the internet and mass media, issuing of periodical publications, promotion (exhibitions), publicizing of the National Program of Labeling Environmentally Friendly Products. 

Some Internet addresses:

www.env.cz     – Ministry of the Environment

www.ceu.cz – Czech Environmental Institute

www.cizp.cz – Czech Environmental Inspection

www.ecn.cz – Econnect (includes information and references to the web pages of nongovernmental organizations)

www.czp.cuni.cz – Charles University Environmental Center

www.nszm.cz – Healthy Cities

-    Publication of government documents, such as the White Paper;

Laws in force are opened to public on the pages of the Ministry of Interior (www.mvcr.cz). Government bills being debated in the Parliament and the timetable of their hearings can be found on the pages of the Lower House (www.psp.cz). The acts publication surveys, references to ordinances and decrees can be found on www.ekolist.cz

-          Publication of newsletters, bulletins, etc.;

The texts of newsletters and bulletins can be found on the pages of the Ministry of the Environment (www.env.cz). 

-          Open forum for discussion;

Discussion can be administered in the framework of e-mail conference on www.ecn.cz

All governments bills are distributed to NGO’s for their comments, amendments.

-          Other means (please explain).

    The Act No. 123/1998 Coll. on the right to environmental information.            

Research and Technologies 

UNDP Project “Towards Sustainable Development of the Czech republic: Building National Capacities” is being realized – the final goal of this project is to enlarge capacity of institutions and inhabitants of the Czech republic to analyze, understand, evaluate and realize the ideas of sustainable development. The project concentrates on environmental problems and on sustainable development which is oriented toward cooperation of the Czech Republic and UNDP for the period 1997-2000.

To successfully execute appropriate and workable framework for technology transfer, cooperation between the private sector and governments is essential, as is input from academic research communities.

Czech Environmental Institute with support of the British Council realized three year project “Cooperation with British lecturers in implementing the principles of Agenda 21 under conditions prevalent in the Czech Republic” (1997 – 1999). One of the main aims of this project was to create a network of state and local officers who can become trainers and facilitators able to facilitate Local Agenda 21 processes and transfer and disseminate British  experiences and information about Local Agenda 21 processes within their regions/district/community. Training that were realized have had a strong impact to participants activities in the field of sustainable development (more detail information, outputs and impacts of this project, database and a map of the network are available on www.ceu.cz/edu).

Czech Environmental Institute is also involved in IUCN project “Effective Communication for Biodiversity Conservation” which is focused on capacity building of experts in communication within 5 CEEC.

Several people from the Czech Republic are members of the Commission on Education and Communication IUCN which is networking expert of the field over the whole world.

The Czech Republic is involved in MATRA, LEONARDO, TULIPAN, GLOBE, Blue from the sky projects and regional bilateral projects (e.g. Environmental Education in Northern Bohemia).

Financing 

The annual budget provided for the ODA is about 340 mil. CZK (9 mil. USD) which amounts to 0,017 % GDP. The ODA provision is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Line ministries are responsible for appraisal, implementation and assessment of the individual projects in the field of their competence.

The Ministry of Environment annually implements development projects in the financial amount of ca 30 mil. CZK (750 000 USD).

The main areas of the assistance are implementation of global conventions (protection of biodiversity, protection of the ozone layer), cleaner production, sustainable agriculture, geological survey, hydrogeology.

The Czech Republic is now in process of preparation a new development assistance strategy. Within the strategy focus on specific countries/regions and targeted areas (e.g. energy, environmental protection, health, etc.) will be formulated.

There are many opportunities to attend international seminars, training or conference but most of interested people do not have enough money for that especially from state research institutes.

Cooperation

The Czech Republic is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Central Europe Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) and the customs union with Slovakia, UNEP, UNCSD, UNECE, OECD, WMO, WHO, UNIDO, etc. with activities in the sphere of the environment and sustainable development

As a member of the OECD, the Czech Republic participates in the creation of conceptual supra-national documents prepared in OECD as a starting point for the search for a balance amongst the economic, social and environmental aspects of development in OECD member countries (participation in the project “Environmental Outlook and Strategy”, participation in the “Three-year OECD project for sustainable development”).

The Czech Republic as a member of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) started to provide Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 1995. The annual budget provided for the ODA is about 340 mil. CZK (ca 9 mil. USD) which amounts to 0,017 % GDP. In 2000 64 ODA projects are being realized. Czech ODA is predominantly provided on bilateral basis, ca 12 % of the development projects are realized in cooperation with international organizations (UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP, UNESCO, FAO, World Meteorological Organisation).

The ODA provision (as well as provision of humanitarian aid) is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Line ministries are responsible for management of the individual projects in the field of their competence. Annually an ODA Plan is prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in cooperation with the line ministries.  The Czech Republic held the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in September 2000.

The Czech Republic provides technical assistance in the field of geology, meteorology, hydrology and air protection as well as professional training in the framework of official development assistance.

The Czech Republic is a party to most relevant conventions – the UN Framework Convection on Climate Change (including the Kyoto Protocol), the Convection on Biological Diversity, the Vienna Convection on Protection of the Ozone Layer, the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora, the Basel Convection on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, the Ramsar Convection on Wetlands of International Importance and the Bonn Convection on Protection of Migrating Species of Wild Fauna and also a number of conventions negotiated in a European framework.  The Czech Republic has not yet acceded to the Convention on Combating Desertification.  However, cooperation strategy with Countries Affected by Major Drought and/or Spreading of Deserts with Special Emphasis on Africa is being prepared.        

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This information was provided by the Government of to the 5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: March 2001.

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TRADE

No information is available.

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Czech Republic considers the application of economic instruments an extremely important means to change production and consumption patterns, and is exerting constant efforts for their broader implementation.  There are different forms of support given by the State environmental authorities, e.g. eco-labeling, taxing environmentally friendly goods at a lower rate of VAT, and other tax levying. On the other hand, environmentally unfriendly productions are penalized by emission charges and other economic instruments, like tax differentiations.

In addition to economic instruments, an effective instrument has been the negotiation on voluntary agreements between the State administration and pollution producers.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status

After 1989, the transition to a market-oriented system in the Czech Republic was connected with the emulation of traditional consumption patterns of liberal market economics. That is why the State environmental authorities support environmentally friendly goods and combat those that are environmentally harmful.

The country also hosted the CSD Inter-sessional Symposium on Economic Instruments for Sustainable Development in 1995. Through the use of economic instruments, attention is paid not only to the big polluters but also to households. Households are often located in urban areas with higher health risks of air pollution. Households have been subsidized to switch from (brown) coal to (natural) gas or another kind of cleaner fuel.  For example, in 1995, the Ministry of Environment concluded such an agreement with the Association of Manufacturers of Washing Powders for the gradual reduction of environmentally harmful substances from their products. As the first post-Communist country to take such an initiative, the Czech Republic introduced an eco-labeling programme in 1994. In 1995, 90 products had been granted the right to use an eco-label, and several of the responsible companies reported a significant increase in the sales of these products. In the near future, the Czech Republic's eco-labeling programme will be harmonized with that of the Member States of the European Union.

An institutional framework for the Environmental Management System for enterprises was established in 1996.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

Industries are encouraged to develop and introduce low-waste, low-emission, low-power and resource-saving technologies as well as closed production cycles and to manufacture environmentally friendly products. In addition, the manufacturers' responsibility for the life-cycle of their products will be gradually implemented.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information is available  

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The current system of economic instruments is based on the use of charges. There are charges for disposing of waste water in the surface waters; charges for releasing harmful emissions into the air; charges for land filling of waste; charges for the requisitions of agricultural land; and charges for the withdrawal of groundwater. Revenues from these charges are allocated to the State Environment Fund. In addition to these charges, tax relief and allocations from the State Budget are granted for products and activities meeting environmentally friendly criteria.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

The Environmental Remediation Programme was launched in 1993, and in the period 1993 to 1996, 473 projects were supported for a total amount of 372.4 million CZK (about 10.5 mil USD). The main purpose of this programme is to support projects which serve the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) in its decision-making. The MoE also supports projects in the framework of the programme, Science and Research, which began in 1993 with four main branches: (1) environmental risk assessment; (2) complex research of water and watersheds; (3) nature conservation and landscape protection; and (4) geology.

In addition, support is given annually to about 180 NGO projects, chosen from about 600 applications. In 1996, this amounted to approximately 17.1 million CZK (about 0.5 mil USD), ten percent of which was directly linked to the implementation of sustainable development projects.

Status

The costs of compliance with present legal norms for air and water protection and waste management - the three priorities of the State Environmental Policy - are estimated to be at the level of CZK 400 billion. The costs to restore the most seriously damaged sites, including the former Soviet military sites, are estimated to exceed CZK 56 billion. According to the Ministry of the Environment, the total expenditures, both public and private, should remain at the present level until the year 2000, and these levels should reach at least CZK 25 billion per annum (in current prices).

The environmental expenditures from the State Budget soared during the initial transformation and restructuring period (CZK 3.3 billion in 1990; CZK 7.8 billion in 1991; CZK 10.8 billion in 1992), and are now decreasing (CZK 8.5 billion in 1995). Between 1990 and 1994, approximately 45% of all environmental expenditures in the Czech Republic were spent on water pollution control (mainly on the construction of waste water treatment plants), and roughly 40% was spent on air pollution control (on the development and construction of equipment to reduce emissions and towards the reconstruction of power plants, in particular).

Challenges  

Pollution charges, as established under the previous legislation, were determined without a thorough economic analysis of the relevant costs, and no provisions were included to index these charges to inflation. As a result, the revenue derived from pollution charges represents less than 20% of the total annual expenditure for environmental protection. Other types of instruments to promote waste recycling such as recycling premiums or deposit-refund systems have not been adequately utilized.

The tax relief structure to promote environmentally friendly behavior has not been well coordinated with other policies, and as a result, in some cases, it has conflicted with the intended objectives. The Government also faces the problem of making good restituted agricultural properties.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

In the Czech Republic, implementation of environmental policies is funded from the State budget, the State Environment Fund, the National Property Fund, Private and Semi-private funds, and Foreign Aid.  The National Property Fund assists in addressing problems associated with previously damaged sites. In the period 1992-1996, CZK 109.6 billion were guaranteed by the State to privatized enterprises, and CZK 2 billion were paid. In 1997, the same amount of CZK 2 billion was expected to be paid.

The State Environmental Fund (SEF) was established in 1991 as an additional financial resource for environmental protection. It operates in a similar way as in other countries, supporting investment projects through direct allocations and soft loans. The financial resources originate partly from the National Property Fund as well as from fines, fees and other payments. For example, from 1994- 1997, CZK 6.1 billion was transferred from the National Property Fund to the State Environment Fund to support the Air Recovery Programme. This fund supports large projects on air and water protection, waste management, on nature, landscape and soil protection and alternative energy sources. For example, in 1996, the SEF accepted 955 applications for a total amount of CZK 12.1 billion (approx. US$360 million) of which only about one third could be financed (about CZK 4.6 billion, about US$131 million).

Cooperation  

The role of the private and semi-private sector in environmental funding has increased, although the lack of medium and long-term credit and the demand for State guarantees by many international financial institutions still has a negative impact on the potential growth of the sector. Project investments indicate that the total annual expenditures of the private sector will exceed CZK 10 billion annually between 1994 and 1998. In the period 1990 - 1996, foreign aid represented merely CZK 12 billion, of which 7 billion was a World Bank loan to CEZ for emission abatement in coal power plants, and CZK 2.34 billion for PHARE programmes. In the period after 1994, technical aid has been substituted by investments and this trend will continue in the near future.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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TECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In the framework of Phase I of implementation of measures to improve the air quality in the Czech Republic, new, imported air-protection technology is being brought into operation to comply with the requirements set forth by Act No. 212/1994 Coll. on State administration of air protection and fees for air pollution; this technology has been approved by the Czech Environmental Inspection agency for use within the territory of the Czech Republic.

There is wide application of ISO 14 000 and EMAS procedures.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Czech Cleaner Production Centre is a non-governmental, non-profit and independent organization. The Center is playing a catalytic and coordinating role in promoting cleaner production in CR by: providing training, implementing demonstration projects, providing policy advice, providing advice on financing mechanisms and being a source of information.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status

The following technical facilities have been brought into operation:

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information is available 

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is  available

Financing

No information is available 

Cooperation  

No information is available 

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

Decision-making in this area is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Ministry of Health. The Commission for the Environment of the Academy of Science of CR, Society for Sustainable Living and others NGOs also participate in the decision-making.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Methodical guidelines for biotechnology safety mechanisms were prepared in 1994 and they are updated periodically. The law on genetically modified organisms is in the preparatory stage.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

Specific plans to promote the use of traditional and modern technologies are in process.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status

The use of living organisms in any biotechnological processes requires permission from the Ministry of Health, and the rules applied are very strict. Working with any health endangered organisms needs special permission and strict rules must be followed; monitoring takes place regularly.

A bioremediaton working group was established, and a number of private firms have been established dealing with microbial decontamination of polluted waters and soils.

During the last few years the Grant Agencies in the Czech Republic have supported many biotechnologically and environmentally directed projects.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Cooperation takes place primarily through the multilateral initiative, EUREKA.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
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INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available   

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Czech Business Council for Sustainable Development, founded also in 1993, is a body established by a number of Czech industrial companies. Its primary mission is to become a leading business advocate for issues regarding sustainable development, to demonstrate and share progress achieved in environmental management in businesses, and finally, to spread results achieved in environmental protection, energy efficiency, sustainable resource management and to prevent air, water and soil pollution as well as waste production.

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status

The restructuring of the industrial sector, namely outdated plants, has resulted in reduction of emissions. Since 1986, the consumption of ozone depleting substances has decreased by 88%. Current legislation stimulates industry to take remedial measures and to invest in environmental improvements. Emission limits have also been established by law, and the 1998 deadline for compliance with prescribed emission limits is projected to be met by approximately 75% of polluters. However, the provisions concerning air pollution are inadequate for providing sufficient incentives for industries to reduce emissions and/or introduce pollution control techniques.

In addition to economic instruments, an effective instrument has been the negotiation on voluntary agreements between the State administration and pollution producers. For example, in 1995, the Ministry of Environment concluded such an agreement with the Association of Manufacturers of Washing Powders for the gradual reduction of environmentally harmful substances from their products. As the first post-Communist country to take such an initiative, the Czech Republic introduced an eco-labeling programme in 1994. In 1995, 90 products had been granted the right to use an eco-label, and several of the responsible companies reported a significant increase in the sales of these products. In the near future, the Czech Republic's eco-labeling programme will be harmonized with that of the Member States of the European Union.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies

No information is available 

Financing 

The role of the private and semi-private sector in environmental funding has increased, although the lack of medium and long-term credit and the demand for State guarantees by many international financial institutions still has a negative impact on the potential growth of the sector. Project investments indicate that the total annual expenditures of the private sector will exceed CZK 10 billion annually between 1994 and 1998. In the period 1990 - 1996, foreign aid represented merely CZK 12 billion, of which 7 billion was a World Bank loan to CEZ for emission abatement in coal power plants, and CZK 2.34 billion for PHARE programmes. In the period after 1994, technical aid has been substituted by investments and this trend will continue in the near future.

Cooperation  

No information is available

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

Ministries of: Transport and Communications; Regional Development; Finance; and Environment are the coordinating  bodies.  As of January 1, 2001, a considerable amount of decision-making in the area of transport infrastructure is passing to the regional self-governing units, including issues related to transport services.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The following laws have been introduced in relation to aspects of the impact of transport on the environment.

Number of the Act       Name

114/1992 Coll.              on protection of nature and the landscape

218/1992 Coll.            amending and supplementing Act No. 309/1991 Coll., on protection of the air against pollutants (the Clean Air Act)

244/1992 Coll.              on environmental impact assessment

262/1992 Coll.            amending and supplementing Act No. 50/1976 Coll., on land-use planning and the construction code (the Construction Code), as amended by Act No. 103/1990 Coll.

16/1993 Coll.              on highway taxes

212/1993 Coll.            amending and supplementing Czech National Council Act No. 9/1993 Coll., on Czech railways

302/1993 Coll.            amending and supplementing Czech National Council Act No. 16/12993 Coll., on highway taxes, Czech National Council Act No. 337/1992 Coll., on administration of taxes and payments, as amended by Czech National Council Act No. 35/1993 Coll. and Act No. 157/1993 Coll., and Act No. 212/1992 Coll., on the tax system

305/1993 Coll.            amending and supplementing Act No. 47/1956 Coll., on civil aviation (the Aviation Act), as amended by Act No. 40/1964 Coll., Act No. 43/1976 Coll., Act No. 90/1990 Coll. and Act No. 383/1990 Coll.

134/1994 Coll.            amending and supplementing Act No. 135/1961 Coll., on roadways (the Highway Act), as amended, and Czech National Council Act No. 200/1990 Col., on misdemeanors, as amended

158/1994 Col.             amending and supplementing Act No. 309/1991 action of the air against pollutants (the Clean Air Act), as amended by Act No. 218/1992 Coll., and Czech National Council Act No. 389/1991 Coll., on the state administration in air protection and payments for air pollution, as amended by Law No. 211/1993 Coll.

266/1994 Coll.                on railways

38/1995 Coll.              on technical conditions for the operation of highway vehicles on roadways

114/1995 Coll.                 on inland shipping

143/1996 Coll.            amending and supplementing Czech National Council Act No. 16/193 Coll., on highway taxes, as amended

12/1997 Coll.              on the safety and continuity of traffic on roadways

13/1997 Coll.              on roadways

16/1997 Coll.              on the conditions for the import and export of endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and other measures for the protection of these species and  amending and supplementing Czech National Council Act No. 114/1992 Coll., on protection of nature and the landscape, as amended

125/1997 Coll.                on wastes

304/1997 Coll.            amending and supplementing Act No. 111/1994 Coll., on highway transport, as amended by Act No. 38/1995 Coll.

83/1998 Coll.              amending and supplementing  Act No. 50/1976 Coll., on land-use planning and the Construction Code (the Construction Code), as amended, and  amending and supplementing some other Acts

157/1998 Coll.             on chemical substances and chemical preparations and amending some other Acts

352/1999 Col.             amending Act No. 157/1998 Coll., on chemical substances and chemical preparations and amending some other Acts, and some other Acts

353/1999 Coll.            on prevention of serious accidents caused by selected hazardous chemical substances and chemical preparations and amending Act No. 425/1990 Coll., on the District Authorities, outlining their jurisdiction and some other related measures, as amended (Act on prevention of serious accidents)

358/1999 Coll.            amending Act No. 114/1995 Coll., on inland shipping, and Act No. 455/1991 Coll., on small businesses (the Small Business Act), as amended

23/2000 Coll.              amending Act No. 266/1994 Coll., on railways

61/2000 Coll.              on ocean shipping

102/2000 Coll.             amending Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roadways

104/2000 Coll.            on the State Fund of Transport Infrastructure and amending Act No. 171/1991 Coll., on the jurisdiction of the authorities of the Czech Republic in relation to transfer of state property to other persons and the National Property Fund of the Czech Republic, as amended

146/2000 Coll.             amending Act No. 49/1997 Coll., on civil aviation and  amending and supplementing Act No. 455/1991 Coll., on small businesses (the Small Business Act), as amended

150/2000 Coll.             amending Act No. 111/1994 Coll., on highway transport, as amended

303/2000 Coll.            amending Act No. 16/193 Coll., on highway taxes, as amended

Strategic environmental impact assessment, SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) will be employed in evaluating strategic documents adopted by the Government of the Czech Republic in the area of development of transport. The target of implementation of the relevant rules and regulations, including motivation mechanisms, is to ensure environmentally friendly transport.

Regulation instruments:

+ a suitable system of legal regulations and standards

+ a system of taxes and payments, tariffs and prices

+ public budgets, incl. financial assistance

+ state participation in businesses, incl. implementation of a set role

+ obligations following from international agreements.

The public participates in the process in the form of discussion of EIA documents and expert reports, both individually and organized through civic initiatives. In formulating a standpoint on transport projects, the responsible authority (Ministry of Environment, District Authorities) also take into public opinion account.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The strategy of the transport system in CR is uniform and based on the basic objectives of the Transport Policy of CR.  This strategy for freedom of sustainable mobility of persons and materials as a necessary attribute of compliance with the requirements of the Charter of Basic Rights and Freedoms and the requirements of free trade and optimum support for sustainable development through suitable molding of the transport system. The strategy of sustainable means of transport with support environmentally sound means and reduction of unsound means is directed towards this target.

The transport policy of the Czech Republic and other strategic documents related to the development of transport, such as the Development of the Transport Network of the Czech Republic to the year 2010 and the Medium-term Development of Transport, are deliberated in the framework of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in a broad range of civic initiatives, in particular those concerned with the environmental impact of transport. Attempts are exerted to achieve a consensus of opinion in this area.

The basic targets for development of transportation are set by the Transport Policy of the Czech Republic approved by the Government of the Czech Republic and other strategic documents and the system of transport regulations. The district and regional structures and relevant ministries prepare documents in close cooperation.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The most urgent requirement seems to be the need to improve transportation services in Northern Moravia in the regions of Šumperk, Jeseníky and Bruntál. In addition, there is a need for better railway and highway connections in the Jeseníky area, which is a specific area separated from the rest of the country by mountain missives. The private sector participates through the state administration (Districts and, after 2001, the Regions) and the Ministries in these processes related to transport. For example, in the area of highway transport, the Česmad Bohemia association has been created, expressing a standpoint on new legislation related to transport in the Czech Republic and other aspects of transport.

Programmes and Projects 

In 1998, the Government of CR adopted the "State program to support energy savings and utilize renewable energy sources". This also includes the "Program of state support for energy-saving measures in transport". At the present time, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is completing a project (1996 - 2000) entitled "The economic benefits of conversion of automobile transport to gas". On this basis, further development is expected in the existing projects concerned with conversion of bus transport in urban mass transport to gas. For this purpose, internal combustion motors are being reconstructed or newly produced for compressed natural gas fuel.  The operation of cars powered by propane-butane or natural gas is extensive. Recently, tests have been carried out on powering locomotives and track motor vehicles using biodiesel fuel in railway transport and this is being introduced into practice.  Furthermore, extensive use of powering of internal combustion motors using alternative fuels is currently prevented by the tax burden.

In addition to improvement of transport services, facilitating development in a region, and increasing the numbers of jobs, the creation of transport infrastructure is concerned with decreasing the environmental burden through a decrease in the indicators of specific fuel consumption and emission production, greater through-put of vehicles and increased traffic safety.  The Government of CR adopted the "State program to support energy savings and utilize renewable energy sources", which emphasizes technical measures, including construction, to decrease energy intensity and use of renewable and secondary sources.

The Government of the Czech Republic has approved the document “Development of the transport network in the Czech Republic to the year 2010“ to provide for further development in transport services; this document fully respects international and domestic requirements in provision for mobility.  In the area of urban transport, the state supports gradual extension of mass transport through contributions from the state budget to the operation and renewal of vehicles. For example, the Government of the Czech Republic has adopted the "Program of support for renewal of the vehicles of urban mass transport and public transportation lines after 2001". Amongst other things, this includes financial support from the state.

There has been a marked development in transport infrastructure, and railway corridors are being reconstructed and gradually completed, as agreed in the framework of the accepted obligations for construction of the European railway network. A network of super  highways is gradually being built, and currently has a length of about 500 km, which is expected to be doubled by 2010. Support for alternative fuels on the part of MTC, prepared tax systems favoring environmentally sound fuels for internal combustion motors in transport conversion of public and partly individual transport to gas more extensive use of catalyzes: to decrease emissions of CO, NOx, HC. It is permitted to import only those motor vehicles that comply with the conditions laid down by ECE/UN.  support from MTC CR for the use of alternative sources of energy in transport systems, incorporated into strategic and concept documents support for the production of internal combustion motors powered by the currently most commonly available alternative fuels.  Implementation of a network of cyclist routes in large cities and outside them, to be carried out gradually, and support for pedestrian transport.

Status 

Transport services are at a suitable level in urban areas. Nonetheless, they are gradually being improved  in an attempt to reduce individual automobile transport.  Transport services are not sufficiently extensive in some rural regions.  The Government, Ministry of Transport and Communications and the regions are making concentrated attempts to ensure a gradual improvement in transport services.

The extent of the highway and railway network is more or less satisfactory from the standpoint of interconnection of the individual areas. The extent of air transport, concentrated almost exclusively on foreign connections, has a density and volume that corresponds to the needs of the country. At the present time, water transport corresponds to a small fraction of the  total transport volume.  The main difficulty lies in the quality particularly of lower category highway networks. The bodies of the state administration in their entire structure are now concerned with eliminating this problem.

In the transport sector, the number of motor vehicles rose by 30% between 1989 and 1994, and internal and inter-State transport has increased. At the same time, the growth in sales of unleaded petrol, and the reduction in levels of lead in regular petrol have resulted in a reduction of approximately 75% in lead emissions. In addition, 7-8% of motor vehicles were equipped with catalytic converters in 1994.

Automobile petrol - overall consumption continues to increase from 1184 thous. t in 1990 to 2065 thous. t in 1999; however, the consumption of leaded petrol is decreasing and the proportion of unleaded petrol is increasing aviation fuel - decreasing consumption: from 256 thous. t in 1999 to 148 thous. t in 1997; however, since then it has again increased to the current 166 thous. tons. diesel fuel - consumption is approximately the same as in 1990 biofuels, LPG, CNG - consumption has been rapidly increasing since 1995

In the framework of adopted measures and on the basis of a legal regulation, the distribution and sale of leaded automobile petrol was terminated in CR as of Jan. 1, 2001.

Total emissions from transport in 1999

Kind of transport

Pollutant

 

 

CO2

CO

N2O

NOx

CH4

NM VOC

SO2

Pb

PM

 

thous. ton

tons

IAD

4739

175

712

987

57911

1481

49400

588

103

246

Highway public passenger

105

1602

28

2566

39

395

72

0

82

Highway freight

4409

72395

125

105 810

321

18123

2910

11

3321

Mass transport - buses

140

1791

41

2220

56

429

95

0

110

Railway motor

277

3825

435

7077

27

917

202

0

234

Water

31

431

85

798

5

103

23

0

26

Air

273

5397

663

1522

45

326

31

3

0

Total

9976

261 153

2364

177 904

1975

69693

3921

117

4019

                     

The implementation of reduction measures at the level of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the regions has led to a gradual decrease in the specific values for most air pollutant emissions. Nonetheless, the increase in highway transport has led to a slight increase in emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Challenges

The railways and introduction of integrated transport systems that are friendlier to the environment require the maximum attention at the present time to improve transport economics. It is necessary to pay attention not only to optimization and reconstruction of the main railway tracks, but also to direct investments into regional and local tracks that participate in transport services in the regions.  The greatest emphasis must be placed on highway transport in decreasing damage to ecological systems. In this respect, attempts are made to decrease this proportion, especially in the framework of DEA and EIA procedures and elimination of other risks related with traffic.

In relation to economic reasons, the development of more economical transport is prevented by the lack of internalization of external costs to date, in comparison of highway, railway and water transport. More realistic developments of the railway transport network is prevented by conditions embedded in the historical development of the Czech Republic, geographical and navigational aspects of the water ways.

The main obstacle in decreasing emissions is the development of highway transport - both freight and passenger.  The harmful effects of transport are manifested most in the sector of forestry and agriculture and, from the social health point of view, in the health sector.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Various forms of information is shared with the general public on a regular basis with an effort to influence the opinions of individuals towards the use of public transport instead of individual automobile.  Safety and awareness campaigns such as "Days without cars" are organized in relation to risks involved with motorists through the mass media, lectures, meetings with citizens, etc. are utilized to support these steps.  More extensive use of mass transport is encouraged through subsidies on the prices of tickets at the level of the state and regions. The frequency of transport links, extended traffic limitations for automobiles in cities, the use of park-and-ride parking lots, the further construction of bicycle routes and pedestrian zones, etc. are gradually being developed. 

The "Government program for safety in highway transport" has been adopted. The Ministry of Transport and Communications in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Physical Education provides for projects to increase highway safety at schools. The mass media are extensively used and control by state authorities is being increased.  In the framework of teaching at schools, children and youth are regularly instructed, in accord with the teaching program, with emphasis especially on traffic safety and the environmental impact of transport.  In the framework of extra-curricular activities, education of children and youth is carried out through lectures and practical exercises, concerned particularly with the system of teaching and training and the behavior of cyclists. About 600 thous. children and young people attend this training annually. Radio programs are also utilized for this purpose.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications does not organize these programs, but supports them through private organizations constituting the training centers.  In the framework of support from PHARE, a chain of training centers has been created for highway transport, whose program is in accord with the EU Directives. On this basis certificates are issued on professional qualification to drivers in truck transport, passenger transport, drivers transporting hazardous goods (according to the ADR Agreement) and safety counselors.

Information 

The aspect of collection of data on the transport sector in CR is the responsibility at the top level of the Czech Statistical Office and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The Czech Statistical Office provides information of a cross-sectional character, that is necessary for drawing up the national accounts and evaluation of the national economy as a whole. The Ministry of Transport and Communications, through its sectoral statistical statements (pursuant to the Act on the State Statistical Service of 1995) and use of the central register and database, provides all the necessary summary information of a factual nature (infrastructure, transport fleet, transport outputs, etc.). Collection of statistical data on accidents in highway traffic is the responsibility of the Directorship of Traffic Police and statistical data on the transport fleet of highway vehicles are processed in the Central Register of Vehicles of the Ministry of the Interior. Statistical information expressing the environmental burden from the individual kinds of transport is processed by the Center for Transport Research.

Emissions polluting the air, produced by means of transport, are constantly monitored. The values obtained are processed annually in reports on the environment for the Government and Parliament and are published for the information of the general public. In addition, they are also published in the professional journals of the sector and are especially given in the Transport Yearbook.  Signs and information related especially to highway traffic are located wherever required.

Research and Technologies 

The Ministry of Transport and Communications consistently provides support for the development of alternative fuels in means of transport. This trend is in accord with the Transport Policy of the Czech Republic and the State Environmental Policy.

Regulation of the speed of highway vehicles in the residential parts of cities and towns signaling equipment permitting vehicles to drive on a "green wave" new signaling and safety equipment on less heavily used railway tracks, including the possibility of central dispatchers directing traffic conversion to electricity, construction and modernization of current traction equipment (powering and switching stations, compensation lines) on railway tracks that are demanding on traction and heavily used new information, signaling and safety equipment in urban mass transport systems; introducing the right-of-way of trams at controlled intersections, use of remote sensing and control systems improvement of the control and homing systems in air transport.

On the basis of the Government approved Transport Policy of the Czech Republic, the transport sector supports and develops the following priorities in research and development:

+ forecasting trends in transport on the basis of modern methods

+ introduction of advanced transport technology using logistics, remote sensing and control and global navigation systems

+ development of mobile means of transport with very modern and environmentally sound parameters

+ increasing traffic safety and reliability

+ decreased emissions of pollutants, noise, congestion and wastes

+ development and application of alternative fuels and energy, use of renewable sources of energy in transport

+ improving the qualitative parameters of transport routes

+ support for inter-operability of conventional and rapid transport railways

+ development of modern safety systems

+ optimizing of traffic control and development of information systems

+ application and development of economic instruments of transport policy.

Financing 

Approved expenditures from the state budget in the Czech Republic in the year 2000 627 336 000 thous. CZK. 

Expenditures from the budgetary chapter of the Ministry of Transport and Communications 27 294 652 thous. CZK.

 Expenditures for the investment program 13 838 499 thous. CZK

Expenditures for the investment program correspond to about 51% of the budgetary chapter of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and about 2% of expenditures from the state budget

Expenditures for research and development in transport    190 115 thous. CZK

Expenditures for enforcing regulations and standards in transport 11 000 thous. CZK

The following financial sources were available in 2000 to increase the volume of investments in the transport sector

      - Loan from the European Investment Bank     3 646 482 thous. CZK

      - PHARE 1 185 647 thous. CZK

      - domestic temporary credit     7 345 037 thous. CZK

At the present time, consideration is being given to the potential of providing for construction of a super highway section utilizing private capital means.

Cooperation

 The Czech Republic participates actively in international cooperation in the area of the environmental impacts of transport. This is the "Program of joint projects" and other outcomes of the Regional ECE/UN conference on transport and the environment (Vienna 1997) and subsequent deliberations in the framework of the UN. The document "Charter on transport the environment and health" from the third WHO Ministerial conference (London, 1999) is also relevant here. Measures from these documents are gradually incorporated into the strategic documents of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health.

The relevant laws and regulations are regularly updated for the purpose of harmonization with the EU Directives

Emission standards, safety regulations and conditions for operation are set for the individual means of transport (highway, railway, water and air transport) through regulations and standards accepted by international transport organizations. The Czech Republic accepts these rules and modifies them regularly with developments in these criteria and conditions adopted by these organizations.  In the framework of the transport policy of the Czech Republic, a further development of the environmental impact assessment system for transport infrastructure in the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) procedure is expected to include transboundary impacts (Espoo Convention). Thus every international agreement in the area of transport will be assessed beforehand in its strategy and implementation versions and plans for construction or fundamental reconstruction of super highways, highways, railways, cable car routes, water routes including ports for inland shipping and airports will be assessed.

In addition, the transport sector participates in carrying out tasks following from the "Framework UN Convention on Climate Change" and the "Strategy for protection of the climate system of the Earth", adopted by the Government of the Czech Republic in 1999. In this sense, the main tasks of the Ministry of Transport and Communications consist in:

+ development and introduction of means of transport for highway, railway, water and air transport, corresponding to the standards laid down by the relevant international bodies for the area of environmental impact and safety

+ preference for non-motorized kinds of transport through creation of the relevant infrastructure

+ modification of the system of highway transport and development of alternative means of powering vehicles.

Commitments of the Czech Republic in the area of the relation between transport and the environment and human health, related on an international scale to ECE/UN and WHO, have already been mentioned. Another key commitment of the Czech Republic consists in implementing the conclusions adopted by the Conference of European Ministers of Transport (CEMT). The last meeting (Prague, May 2000)  established as basic points in the meeting, amongst others, the aspect of sustainable development in transport, harmonization in transport, integration (including the procedure for implementing the conclusions of the third Helsinki Pan-European Conference) and reform of the railways.

The following conclusions and decisions were adopted in the part related to sustainable development in transport

+ on a sustainable transport policy

+ on the declaration on safety in highway traffic for vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists)

+ and recommendations on water transport over short distances that could replace land transport.

In addition to permanent monitoring of the burden on the environment from transport, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has also prepared a forecast of future trends in relation to the individual components of the environment. The data processed to date cover the time period to the year 2020. This takes into account trends following from newly adopted laws  in the framework of harmonization with EU law and from a set of measures, conditions and standards that have gradually been adopted to reduce the burden on the environment from transport. This respects the targets to decrease the burden on the environment from transport, laid down in international agreements for the European region.

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th and 9th Sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: March 2001.

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available  

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available  

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available  

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available  

Status   

Recreational activities do not yet exceed the acceptable levels, except for the Krkonose National Park. An estimate of the number of visitors to Krkonose National Park is 8 million per year. Eco-tourism is been developed.

The Krkonose and Sumava Biosphere Reserves are taking part in a project financed by the Global Environmental Facility, through the World Bank. The main objective of the project is to develop effective management techniques and model conservation programmes that would effectively address increasing threats, and allow control of the number of visitors.

Challenges  

No information is available 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available 

Information   

No information is available 

Research and Technologies   

No information is available 

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available 

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last update: April 1997.

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