Zajíček P.: The Moravský kras/Moravian Karst Landscape a Century Ago and Nowadays
The Moravský kras/Moravian Karst formed by Devonian limestones is the largest and most important karst area in the Czech Republic. It has gone through a long geological development. Therefore, there are a lot of above- and belowground karst phenomena: almost a half of all the caves registered in the Czech Republic are located there. During the last centuries, the landscape was significantly shaped and modified by human activities there. Due to an archive of more than a century old photos, we can compare how the Moravský kras/Moravian Karst shape has changed in the course of such a negligible period of its existence.
Dolejský V.: The National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan of the Czech Republic – We Are Coming up with Developed European Countries
The landscape in the Czech Republic has been suffering from crisis caused by its long-term unfriendly use and hard transformation. After 1948, hedgerows, balks, field boundaries and margins covered by vegetation and grasslands were ploughed away, river were channelized, most wetlands were drained and fields were ameliorated. Rather bad state of the landscape has been amplified by climate change negative impacts. On January 16, 2017 the Government of the Czech Republic approved the National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan. The policy document includes more than 150 tasks, aiming at improving the Czech Republic´s ability to effectively deal with climate changes, i.e. to minimalize climate change impacts by adapting both nature and human society to the change to the greatest extent possible, maintain good conditions for living and as the case may be, to improve economic potential for the next generation.
Balek F., Dobrovský P. & Valda S.: Provodín Sandpit Reclamation – A Chance not only for the Natterjack Toad
Due to sand and gravelous sand extraction, sandy, water and littoral habitats suitable for rare and threatened wildlife species are often created. Thus, both State Nature Conservancy authorities and a respective mining or reclamation company should have a clear idea on details on measures to be taken during the reclamation as well as on species to be supported there. In the Provodín region (northern Bohemia), where sand and peat have been extracted for centuries, at the same time populations of in the Czech Republic the rarest, in some cases even endemic plant species have been surviving. In addition, amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies inhabiting water bodies and other wetlands also occur there. Therefore, reclamation in sandpits where extraction has finished is of utmost importance for nature conservation in the area. Among wildlife species supported by the reclamation, the Natterejackk toad (Epidalea calamita) should be mentioned.
Havelková S.: Compensations for Property Damage and for Ecological Damage in the Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, State Nature Conservancy authorities should distinguish in a proper way between ecological damage and property damage, harm and loss. Ecological damage is defined as the loss or impairment of the natural functions in ecosystems, caused by damaging their components or disturbing their internal relations and processes as a result of human activity. Ecological damage is a damage to public values despite tenure or ownership of the land here the damage was done. The only subject which can ask for compensation for ecological damage is the State, doing that through the State Nature Conservancy authorities. In principle, the ecological damage is non-material. Thus, it is difficult to quantify it as a monetary value.
In addition to ecological damage, lawful activity can also cause to a land owner property damage. Claim for compensation is a private one and it should be handled by the relevant civil court. Moreover, the injured person has the right to add his/her claims for compensation for the damage to an administrative delict procedure. Thus, the claim should be decided by the State Nature Conservancy authority during the administrative delict procedure. If the injured person claims in addition to compensation for material damage also that for non-material damage, harm or loss or for ecological damage, the State Nature Conservancy authority has to refer to the injured person to a court for compensate such claims.
Hejda R., Kříž K. & Pašek O.: Will the Operational Programme “Environment” Stop a Decline in the Hermit Beetle?
The Hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremita), also known as the Russian leather beetle, is a typical saproxylic insect preferring tree holes and inhabiting almost the whole of Europe. Selecting particularly old solitary or alley trees and open deciduous broad-leaved forests as habitat, it has been threatened from the late 19th century, due to degradation and loss of such habitats, replacing deciduous broad-leaved forests by coniferous plantations and more generally, by forestry intensification. On the other hand, overgrowing of the open landscape has been causing shading old trees and lack of young solitary trees. In the Czech Republic, declining in the Hermit beetle numbers and distribution has not been slowing down, but on the contrary it is expected that it will be accelerating due to loss of host trees. This will be particularly the case of the insect populations related to some woody plants, especially to willows being cut off, together with lack of suitable plantings from the second half of the 20th century. Within the efforts to stabilize at least a part of the sites/areas inhabited by the Hermet beetle, projects funded by the Operational Programme “Environment” have been under preparation, e,g, those in the town of Vlašim and its vicinity or at village of Hředle, District of Rakovník, both in Central Bohemia).
Cudlín P., Pechanec V., Purkyt J., Štěrbová L. & Cudlín P.: Assessing Habitats in the Agriculture-forest Landscape under Climate Change using GIS Models
Several GIS tools were used to assess and predict the changes in biodiversity in the forest-agriculture landscape within the Vysočina Region, the Czech Republic. Firstly, GIS layer, composed of national habitat mapping outputs had been developed. Consequently, 24 habitats found there were assessed from a biodiversity point of view using the Biotope Valuation Method (BVM) developed by Seják et al. (2003). For identifying the current habitat patterns the modified model GLOBIO 3, involving five basic biodiversity loss drivers (land use, infrastructure, spatial fragmentation, atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change) was applied. In the study area, the MHV (Mean Habitat Value) coefficient reached the highest values in floodplain forest remnants and for small beech forest fragments. The last GIS layer, provided by the model Marxan, allowed to delineate areas which have not been protected yet but displaying high biodiversity as swell as remarkable habitat naturalness. Thus, floodplain and beech forests, some rock habitats and several segments of wet and mesic meadows were proposed for future protection. The selected forest stands could be considered as forests for special purpose or genetically important forests with close to nature management.
Dolejský V.: On Implementation of the European Union´s Legislation on Invasive Alien Species in the Czech Republic
Invasive alien species definitely are one of the most topical and hottest nature conservation and biodiversity management issues. Moreover, it is always necessary to strictly differentiate between non-native species and invasive alien ones. The Czech Republic´s current legislation defines a non-native species as a wild animal or plant intentionally or unintentionally introduced outside its original natural distribution range. Pursuant to the acquis communautaire (the European Union legislation), an invasive alien species is a non-native species threating through its introduction or spread biological diversity and related ecosystem services or having serious adverse impact on them, as well as having other social and economic impact. At present, the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic has been preparing an amendment to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection, as amended later, reflecting the relevant EU regulations and fully taking into account national needs, being included into the national invasive alien species list. The deadline to submit the amendment to the Government of the Czech Republic, after consulting it with all the relevant stakeholders, is the end of 2017.
Plesník J.: Global Biodiversity Issues Were Negotiated in Cancún
The UN Biodiversity Conference was held from 2-17 December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico, attended by more than 4,000 delegates. The Conference opened with a High Level Segment under the theme “Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Well-being.” The meeting featured plenary sessions and roundtables on agriculture, tourism, forests, and fisheries and aquaculture and adopted the Cancun Declaration. The main part of the event included the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the 8th meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the 2nd meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. On the conference´s agenda, there were issues traditionally dealing with biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of its components, e.g. protected areas, forest, marine and coastal biodiversity, invasive alien species, sustainable wildlife management or ecosystem restoration. Moreover, a lot of attention was paid to emerging technologies, namely to synthetic biology including gene drive or digital sequence information on genetic resources.
Suldovská O.: Cave Protection as seen by 2016 EuroSpeleo Congress Participants
In 2016, the 5th EuroSpeleo Congress was held in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the United Kingdom. At the beginning, the host country presented cave and karst phenomena protection which has been implemented there since 1947. In Switzerland, karst covers 20 % of the country´s territory and approx. 9,000 caves are registered there. In Slovenia, a half of drinking water resources is located in karst springs. Caves are often palaeontological finding sites in France. Fritz Oedl from Austria highlighted the fact that almost every cave needs a specific approach to its protection which cannot be covered by single universal legislation. Jean-Pierre Bartholeyns (Belgium) dealt with cave monitoring in relation to making caves accessible to the public (show caves) and stressed that in addition to an economic view, there should be also an ecological/environmental one. The meeting of speleologists, cave managers and karst conservationists from the whole of Europe provides a valuable experience exchange as well as an opportunity for establishing or continuing the co-operation among various bodies.
Danielová B. & Šoltysová L.: Protected Areas in New Mexico
At first sight, New Mexico, a U.S. Far West state, resembles a dry, arid and dirty country sacrificed to mining companies, military bases and research laboratories. On the territory four times larger than the Czech Republic only two million inhabitants live. A valley of the most principal and biggest river, the Rio Grande, deep canyons and high mountain ranges harbour ancient towns built by Puebloan ancestors with thousands of petroglyphs. Maybe this is why the Sun, a pictogram of the Zia Indian tribe, has become a state´s symbol. Natural and cultural heritage conservation and management are of extremely high quality there. The protected areas located in New Mexico and managed by the U.S. National Park Service are visited by
1.7 million tourist annually.
Pešout P.: Nature Conservation in Kyrgyzstan (I.)
The Kyrgyz Republic can be called a mountainous country inhabited by humans. Local people have maintained nomadic way of life, allowing grazing of numerous horse and livestock herds there all the year round. Unique Kyrgyz nature is a part of the Mountains of Central Asia global biodiversity hotspot. Nature conservation basis was established when Kyrgyzstan was one of the Soviet republics. While protected areas are declared by the Government, the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyz Republic is in charge of other nature conservation issues. In collaboration with neighbouring countries, some measures have been implemented for conservation of the Snow leopard (Uncia uncia) and its preferred prey and habitats. Despite of a lot of positive steps, activities and decisions, nature conservation has not been sufficiently effective there.