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National Activities: Czech Republic

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Report Submitted by Czech Republic to the Fourth International Workshop on the CSD Indicators of Sustainable Development
Hosted by the Government of the Czech Republic in Prague
19-21 January 1998


The international process of testing the sustainability indicators is seen as a part of a broader process of building up a national comprehensive information system on sustainable development. This process is lead by environmental institutions as the Ministry of Environment (MoE), Charles University Environmental Center and the Czech Ecological Institute (CEI); a small expert Working Group on Sustainability Indicators was established at the onset of the project. A designated Focal Point - currently at the Charles University Environmental Center - has been working in close cooperation with other institutions, namely the Czech Statistical Office. In order to get a political mandate for the forthcoming phases of the project, the Focal Point might be transferred to the MoE.

The Working Group has worked and submitted to the MoE a draft list of sustainability indicators including the reference to the basic CSD indicators, information on the applicability of proposed indicators, relevance to the Czech Republic context, and data availability. A debate on the sustainability indicators has not received broader attention so far - it remains a domain of the experts from various mostly environmental organizations. More activities and broader interest can be observed at a local level - a few municipalities have launched their strategic planning efforts that include sustainability indicators in some cases.

  1. The Working Group on Indicators created at the beginning of the project has been serving as an expert base for the work;
  2. A draft proposal of sustainability indicators for the Czech Republic based on the CSD list has been worked out;
  3. Data needed for counting the indicators are mostly available and their quality has been significantly improved since 1990;
  4. MoE has recently granted the IBM Company to build up a comprehensive information system using the sustainability indicators that will be operated by the MoE and widely accessible via the Internet; the debate on the contents, formats of outputs, users, etc., is under way.
  1. The debate on the sustainability indicators has not reached other important sectors (transportation, industry, agriculture, etc.); there is no multisectoral body that would coordinate and make decisions at the top political level;
  2. The testing process has not made a great deal of progress yet - an evaluation of usefulness of the indicators, assessment of the aggregation and linkages between different aspects of sustainability, etc., are the most pressing topics to be done;
  3. Any effective work to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the process has not been done;
  4. The entire testing process is still driven more by the international commitments of the Czech Republic than by the real effort of the Czech citizens (both the politicians and the public) to measure and embark on the sustainable development path.

For more information, please contact:

Mrs. Tereza Votockova
Czech Environmental Institute
Vrsovicka 65, 100 10 Praha 10
Czech Republic
Tel. no.: (42-02) 6712-2678
Fax no.: (42-02) 7173-7721