The Operational Programme “Environment” (OPE) for the period 2007–2013 is funded from the European Community’s budget and co-financed from national sources. It supports various building and non-building environmental measures. The OPE includes eight priority areas (so-called axes) aiming at individual components of the environment.
Nature conservation and landscape protection measures have been supported from the Priority Area No. 6 which is divided into six sub-areas. The financial support is available for almost everybody, covering a huge range of private and public applicants. The applications are submitted in calls publicly announced by the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic each year. It has been clearly defined which measures should be supported by the Government: therefore, types of projects to be subsided in the individual areas are listed in the Implementation Plan. Furthermore, priorities were set-up within these measures: this is reflected in the OPE Assessment Criteria.
The priority area No. 6.1. aims to support providing background for declaration of the Sites of European Importance approved (pursuant to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on the Protection of Nature and the Landscape, as amended later, the term for Site of Community Importance, SCI under the Habitats Directive) as well as those supporting monitoring schemes pursuant to the European Community´s legislation. Therefore, mainly projects focusing on Sites of European Importance declaration have been submitted.
The priority area No. 6.2. target is to support maintaining and improving biological diversity and includes a huge range activities incl. wildlife protection measures. Its covers various projects on protection of the particular populations of the Specially Protected Species and Red List species as well as management of biologically valuable habitats. Nevertheless, projects on building visitor facilities, fish passes, stations for injured wild animals, forest roads and other building measures (fish pond restoration, to a lesser extent also wetland restoration) have been approved yet.
The priority area No. 6.3 supports measures to restore landscape elements significant for biodiversity conservation and forest management projects, trying to restore and improve forest tree species and age composition and to improve forest soils. Most applications aim at measures to restore tree alleys and Territorial System of Ecological Stability (TSES, a multi-level ecological network) components and at projects for improving of forest tree and age composition.
Within the priority area No. 6.4, watercourse and floodplain restoration measures and wetland and pool restoration or establishing are financially supported by the OPE. Building of water reservoirs which do not aim at fish production, but which provide other functions can also be subsided. Moreover, in the fact 90% of the applications deal with restoration or building of water reservoirs.
Finances from the priority area No. 6.5 can be used for support to greenery restoration in the urbanized landscape, aiming at improving urban habitat diversity. Nevertheless, although urban greenery is being restored, the measures applied in many cases do not improve biological diversity in human settlements.
The last area,i.e.the priority area No. 6.6 is to support measures preventing and eliminating landslides and consequences of mining and non-renewable natural resource assessment. Among applications having been submitted yet within this priority area, hydrogeological surveys on underground drinking water sources to be extracted by municipalities or their parts prevail. Generally, after the announced calls, it has been clear that measures which were set up as priorities for real improving the current state of nature and the landscape have not been preferred by applicants.