Basic Information

International relations in nature protection

Especially during the 1990s the Czech Republic became involved in the environmental activities of many international organisations. After entry to the European Union, which plays a leading role in international environmental processes, the Czech Republic gained the opportunity to become more deeply involved in international dialogue in the fields of environmental protection and sustainable development and in the mechanisms of international cooperation. The Czech Republic now has the possibility to take part in solving existing problems in the wider context of international environmental politics by way of activities on its own territory and by supporting projects in other parts of the world.

The Czech Republic participates in the activities of the following international organisation:

  • United Nations (UN)
  • UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD)
  • UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
  • Council of Europe
  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
  • European Thematic Centre for Biological Diversity (ETC/BD)
  • World Conservation Union (IUCN)
  • European Environmental Agency (EEA)
  • EUROPARC Federation
  • Eurosite

The Czech Republic is also a treaty partner of many international treaties which completely or partially concern nature protection.

Within the realms of the UN the following treaties concern nature protection:

  • The Antarctic Treaty – the Czech Republic has been a treaty partner of the Treaty on Antarctica since 1993 following on from the membership of Czechoslovakia since 1962. The Treaty on Antarctica codifies the international legal standing of Antarctica, peaceful scientific cooperation and demilitarisation of this continent, forbids the building of military bases, nuclear testing and military manoeuvres on its territory.
  • The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling – the aim of this treaty is to ensure sufficient quantity and protection for whales and to ensure the development of the whaling industry. The treaty came into effect for the Czech Republic on 26th January 2005.
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – binds the signatories – developed states – to provide help to affected developing countries in the form of projects in the fields of soil degradation, hydrogeology, hydrology, forestry and so on, especially within the realms of their overseas development aid. The treaty is valid for the Czech Republic from 24th April 2000.

On the basis of the UN Programme for Environmental Protection (UNEP) the following binding treaties have been closed

  • Convention on Biological Diversity – the aims are to protect the biological diversity of plant and animals species, sustainable usage of elements of nature and to divide the benefits of the utilisation of genetic resources, including current advances in biotechnology in a fair and just manner. The Czech Republic acceded to the convention on 1st January 1993.
  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – it’s aim is to regulate and monitor the international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants. It subordinates the international trade under the joint control of all of the world countries and ensures that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. The Czech and Slovak Federative Republic was a party to the Convention from 28th February 1992, the Czech Republic has been a party to the convention since 1st January 1993.
  • Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn Convention) – the aim of which is to protect endangered bird species and other migratory terrestrial and aquatic animals throughout their range and especially on their migrations. The Czech Republic is bound by the Convention since 8th February 1994.
  • The African – Eurasian Waterbird Agreement forms the legal basis for coordinated protection in states, the territory of which is a part of the distribution of all migratory water birds and their populations. The Czech Republic acceded to this Agreement in April 2006.
  • The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats ensure the protection of bats which occur on the territories of 48 states by means of legislation of member states and countries which have not yet joined. The treaty also forbids the deliberate catching, holding and killing of bats without prior agreement. The Agreement became valid for the Czech Republic on 26th March 1994.
  • The Convention on the protection and sustainable development of the Carpathians – the purpose of which is to support cooperation between the member states to ensure protection and sustainable development in the Carpathian region. The aims are to improve the quality of life, strengthen local economies and communities and to protect natural values and cultural heritage. The treaty concentrates on a wide variety of themes from protection and sustainable usage of biological and landscape diversity, territorial planning, sustainable water management, sustainable forestry and agriculture, transport and infrastructure through tourism, industry, cultural heritage, maintaining traditional knowledge, includes EIA issues and monitoring and lost but not least increasing public awareness education and public involvement. The Czech Republic has been a Convention partner since 28th July 2005.

The Czech Republic is a treaty partner of the following treaties closed within the realms of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and which relate to nature protection:

  • The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention), the aim of which is to ensure the widest protection and sensitive usage of wetlands and their resources. The Convention became binding for the Czech Republic on 1st January 1993, although the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic had been a member since 2nd July 1990.
  • Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage ensures the protection of cultural and natural monuments of exceptional value and these monuments are declared a part of the world heritage. The Czech Republic’s membership follows on from the membership of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic and we are a Convention partner from 1st January 1993.

Within the realms of the Council of Europe the following treaties have been closed:

  • The European Landscape Convention – the principles of which are protection, care for planning and usage of landscapes as wholes, protection of all types of landscapes in Europe. This includes natural, rural, urban and suburban territories. The Czech Republic is a member state from 3rd June 2004.
  • Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Berne Convention) which aims to protect wild plants and wild animals, to protect their natural occurence, place emphasis on species and localities, the maintenance of which demands the cooperation of several states and to support cooperation between states. Special emphasis is places on endangered and vulnerable species and migratory species. This Convention came into validity in the Czech Republic on 1st June 1998.

 International categories gained by the Czech protected areas