Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR)

Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR)

Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) is a governmental body established by the Ministry of the Environment. It was established on March 1st 1995 as a successor of the former Czech Institute for Nature Conservation. The main aim of NCA CR is to protect and conserve nature and landscape on the whole territory of the Czech Republic.

Company details

130 23 PRAHA 3, Kališnická 4-6 , Krystal , Czech Republic
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Business Type:
Government agency
Industry Type:
Environmental Management
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)

The NCA CR’s scope of operations includes namely:

  • monitoring the status, changes and trends in selected habitats and their types and populations of the endangered, specially protected wildlife species,
  • technical and expert support of the State Administration performance including methodological and expert activities,
  • performance of the State Administration in nature conservation and landscape protection within the Protected Landscape Areas as well as on the rest of the Czech Republic’s territory, under the Act on the Protection of Nature and the Landscape,
  • administration of the Nature Conservancy Central Register and the central governmental documentation on nature conservation and landscape protection; operation of a specialised library and an administrative archives,
  • design, development and management of the Nature Conservancy Information System,
  • implementation of practical measures to conserve nature and to protect landscape in the 24 Protected Landscape Areas and 208 National Nature Reserves and National Nature Monuments on the whole Czech Republic’s territory,
  • administration of national subsidy programmes as well as some European Community funds serving to conserve nature and to protect landscape,
  • payment of financial compensations for the damages caused by specially protected animals and for loss of property in agriculture, forestry and fishpond management,
  • state property management in the Czech Republic’s Specially Protected Areas,
  • awareness raising and communication and education in nature conservation and landscape protection; consulting and education,
  • international cooperation in nature conservation and landscape protection; NCA CR is a Scientific Authority of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in the Czech Republic.

Expert activity in the context of the Headquarters of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic is provided by three divisions:

Division of Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection

Division of Nature and Landscape Documentation

Division of Informatics

and a Public Relations Unit

Conservation of protected areas is included in Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on the nature and landscape protection and its delegated regulation No. 395/1992 Gazette. Special territorial conservation is divided into two parts: large-size protected areas and small-size protected areas.

Large-size specially protected areas are divided into following categories:

  • National park (NP)
  • Protected landscape area (PLA)

Small-size specially protected areas are divided into these categories:

  • National nature reserve (NNR)
  • National nature monument (NNM)
  • Nature reserve (NR)
  • Nature monument (NM)

National parks are large areas that are unique on either a national or international level. Most of them consist of natural ecosystems or ecosystems little influenced by man, whose fauna, flora and abiotic nature are of exceptional scientific and educational significance. Authorities of national parks are not parts of ANCLP CR. There are four national parks in the Czech Republic with their own independent authorities (Krkonošský NP, Šumava NP, České Švýcarsko NP, Podyjí NP). Šumava NP and Šumava PLA are administered by a single organization, the Vimperk-based Authority of Šumava NP and Šumava PLA.

Protected landscape areas are large areas of landscape formed in a balanced way, with characteristic relief, a significant portion of natural forest and permanent graminaceous vegetation ecosystems, a large portion consisting of woody species and in some cases conserved historical settlement monuments. The Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic executes state administration in nature conservation through 23 regional offices - PLA Administrations. The most recent one, Český Les PLA, was designated in 2005. Apart from administration of  PLA areas, the PLA Administrations are also responsible for management of national nature reserves and national nature monuments lying even outside the PLA area, according to their territorial competency (outside national parks and military areas).

National nature reserves are defined as small-size areas of exceptional value, unique ecosystems of national or international significance in combination with natural relief and typical geological features.

National nature monuments and nature monuments are defined as small-size natural features. They are especially landforms or geological features, mineral resource localities or areas where rare or vulnerable species occur in the remnants of ecosystems. Where there is an ecological, scientific or aesthetic significance on either a national or international level, the area (even an area formed by man) is designated a national nature monument.

Nature reserves are small-size areas where natural rarities are concentrated and a typical and significant ecosystem of the geographical area is present.

According to act No. 114/1992 Gazette, there are some restrictions regarding specially protected areas. These restrictions depend on the protected area category and, in the case of national parks and PLAs, also on their zoning. The state body responsible for designating can establish additional, more detailed protection conditions. This is in practice a list of activities that can be carried on only with a prior permit issued by the competent nature conservation authority. The designation decree of each protected area defines these detailed protection conditions.

According to regulation No. 395/1995 Gazette, specially protected areas are marked by:

  • a plaque with the large national emblem of the Czech Republic together with the definition of the protected area category (in cases of NP, PLA, national nature monument and reserve)
  • a plaque with the small national emblem of the Czech Republic together with the definition of the protected area category (in the case of nature reserves and nature monuments)
  • border marking by stripes on columns or border trees (in the case of national nature reserves and monuments, nature reserves and monuments and the core zone of NP). This consists of two 5cm-wide red stripes 5cm apart. The lower stripe delineates the non-protected area, while the upper encompasses the whole girth.

Role of the NCA CR

By means of the 24 Protected Landscape Area (PLA) administrations, NCA CR carries out state administration  in nature and landscape conservation within individual PLAs (except the Sumava PLA).

NCA CR ensures the preparations and implements management plans for the 24 PLAs and 701 National Nature Reserves, Nature Reserves, National Nature Monuments and Nature Monuments on the Czech Republic’s territory. It also monitors and assesses their status in the long-term perspective. Together with local partners, NCA CR’s offices prepare and implement the management plans for areas and localities.

An important part of modern nature conservation is the conservation of plant and animal species occurring in the Czech Republic.

General protection of species

General protection (§ 5) establishes protection of all plant and animal species from destruction, damage, collection or capture, which leads or might lead to endangering the existence of these species or to their degeneration, to impairment of reproduction ability of the species, to extinction of the population of the species or to destruction of the ecosystem of which they form a part. Intentional dispersion of crossbreeds of plants or animals into the landscape shall be possible only with permission of the nature protection authorities as some species may be endangered by the effect of non-indigenous species in our country.

Birds occupy quite a special position in general protection, which results from EU legislation (Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds 79/409/EEC). While general protection is focused on whole species populations, general bird protection relates to each individual of the wildlife species group occurring in the European Community territory (§ 5). The following activities are prohibited: deliberate killing, collection or capture, deliberate damage to, or destruction of (except for specified bird species,  and carried out in accordance with regulations concerning hunting and with this Act), their nests and eggs or removal of their nests, taking their eggs in the wild and keeping these eggs, deliberate disturbance of these birds, in particular during the period of breeding and rearing. This broadening of general protection, which is valid from April 2004, is a significant tool for protection of all individual wildlife birds .

Special protection of species

In the Czech Republic, plant and animal species that are rare, endangered, or significant from a cultural or scientific point of view belong to the category of specially protected species, for which the protection regime is stricter. They are further divided into three categories according to their vulnerability (vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered) and the list of species forms part of regulation No. 395/1992, appendices II and III. In contrast to general protection, the species shall be protected in all stages of development. In addition, it is forbidden to collect specially protected animals and specially protected plants, kill them deliberately, capture or utilize them for commercial purpose. Protection of biotopes, the environment of specially protected species as the elementary existential condition, is a significant tool of special species protection.

An exemption from the prohibitions established in special species protection can be granted in concrete cases (for example in the interests of public health or public safety, air safety, prevention of serious damages). The conditions are specified in act No. 114/1992 Gazette on nature and landscape protection. PLA administrations, as nature conservation authorities, can grant an exemption from the general and special protection in the PLA territory regarding all categories of specially protected species. Outside the PLA and national park territory, they can grant exemption regarding endangered and critically endangered species only. For information about territorial competence outside the PLA and national park territory click here.

Preservation programmes

Preservation programmes are prepared for specially protected plant and animal species, whose existence is negatively influenced by man to a large extent. Firstly, the biological and ecological conditions of the specific species are considered as well as current dangerous conditions and the extent of its occurrence. Then measures for creating conditions that would lead to reinforcement of the species population are suggested. To succeed, a basic condition is to provide the species a biotope of good quality and adequate extent. It should be a place where the species can find a breeding site, nutrition and shelter. For already approved preservation programmes see  their list.

NATURA 2000

Implementation of the Natura 2000 network has significantly influenced the current system of species protection in the Czech Republic. Both directives establishing Natura 2000, the Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) and Habitats Directive (92/43EEC) are first of all, beside biotope protection, focused on protection of 'species of European Community interest'. The directives are included in the legislation of Czech Republic through the amendment of act No. 114/1992 Gazette on nature and landscape protection.

The Habitats Directive, despite its title, stipulates wildlife animal and plant species in its two appendixes. Appendix II stipulates species requiring special territorial protection, which is implemented in the form of a so-called special area of conservation. Appendix IV stipulates species requiring strict protection, for which reason they are  to be included in the list of endangered and critically endangered species and provided with the necessary conservation requirements.

The Birds Directive includes two forms of bird protection. Firstly it is concerned with general species protection and secondly it imposes the obligation to designate special protection areas for bird species of European importance.

Economic tools

Species protection does not imply only prohibitions and legislative limitations. Nature conservation bodies support, from various financial resources (Czech State Environmental Fund, landscape programmes of the Ministry of the Environment) activities to promote populations of specially protected species. Specific, practical measures aimed at protecting species as well as biotopes are conducted by various subjects.

Information tools

Information tools form an important part of species protection, although they are often marginalized. The aim is to teach the public about habitats and the ecological functions of specific species in our country. It is a necessary part of protection of those species that can or do cause harm (for example large carnivores). Information tools are therefore focused especially on local people and farmers. They also include educational publishing in regional media, educational stationary publishing, maintenance of nature paths or meetings and lectures on different themes.

Role of the NCA CR

The active protection of endangered wild flora and fauna species is a necessary supplement to the conservation of valuable areas and sites. NCA CR has been appointed to coordinate wildlife species protection at the national level. It monitors the distribution and occurrence of selected priority species and their changes, assesses the drivers of threat, classifies wildlife species, subspecies or populations into Red Data Books and Red Lists according the extinction risk, prepares and implements species-specific conservation measures including recovery programmes/action plans.

By means of the 24 Protected Landscape PLA administrations, NCA CR carries out the State Administration in severely and critically endangered wildlife species protection on the Czech Republic’s territory. NCA CR is a National Scientific Authority of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It issues expert opinions for the State Administration authorities whether the import or export of specimen(s) of a certain species shall endanger its population(s) in the wild and whether the future owners of the imported plants and animals are appropriately equipped to cultivate or breed them in captivity.

NCA CR is a technical supervisor for preparation of expert data about Sites of European Importance and for Bird Areas management.

NCA CR is a contact point and an expert body for providing compensation of damages caused by selected specially protected animals (Act No. 115/2000 Gazette).

CITES is the official abbreviation of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The convention establishes rules governing international trade in endangered fauna and flora species, which is one of the primary sources of extinction of more and more wildlife species.

Till today, 167 member states have signed the convention. The Czech Republic affiliated to the convention on August 25th 1992 as the Czechoslovak Federal Republic. It came into force on January 1st 1993. Since the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union, EU regulations have been applied, which also led to the passing of act No. 100/2004 Gazette.

The object of the convention is control and regulation of international trade in certain endangered species. Currently about 5,000 animal species and 28,000 plant species from all around the world are protected by the convention. These species are divided into three groups, each of which is stipulated in the Appendices (I, II, III). European Community legislation divides them in a different way, into four groups (A, B, C and D). The convention concerns protection of living organisms as well as to all their parts and products derived from them.

In practice CITES works in the following way: the species protected by the convention cannot be exported and imported without a special permit, which has to be issued by the executive bodies of both the exporting and importing countries. In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of the Environment is the executive body and CITES species kept in captivity should be registered with regional authorities, PLA administrations or national parks.

NCA CR is a National Scientific Authority of the CITES. It issues expert opinions for the State Administration authorities whether the import or export of specimen(s) of a certain species shall endanger its population(s) in the wild and whether the future owners of the imported plants and animals are appropriately equipped to cultivate or breed them in captivity.

For certain endangered species of fauna and flora, designing protected areas and legislative protection are not sufficient to ensure their survival in the wild. In such cases it is possible to create and implement an Action Plan. Action Plans are, however, very demanding in terms of funds, logistics and manpower and their implementation is meaningful only after the many specific conditions formulated by the Standing Committee of the Bern Convention and by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have been met. Neglecting these rules usually results in a failure of these projects.
Action Plans are considered to be temporary projects, the purpose of which is to achieve an increase of the population of a given species above the level of extinction threat by an application of different kinds of measures. The level of extinction threat varies in different species as a result of different types of distribution of residual populations, ecology of the species, type and power of the threat factors, etc. An Action Plan is terminated after the given quantitative goals have been achieved. It also, however, can be terminated in the case of its failure (extinction of the species) or in the case of its ineffectiveness proven during the process of its implementation.
Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) was charged by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic with the coordination, preparation and implementation of the Action and Management Plans for critically and strongly endangered plant and animal species. The effort of both institutions aims at the elaboration of good quality, expert-based plans with a high probability of achieving their goals, that means the preservation of a certain species as a living component of our wildlife.

Introduction

Abiotic nature deserves conservation as well as biodiversity. Arguments for the conservation of abiotic nature are:

  • Geology of the Czech Republic is very diverse. It illustrates a continuously changing past over hundreds of millions of years. Changing climate, evolving life, rising and falling sea, mountain building, submarine and aerial volcanism are all parts of the republic¢ s geological history
  • Geology directly influences the character of landscape, habitats and species. The diverse and dynamic geological past has produced the diversity of landscapes we see around us
  • Geology influences climate and soils
  • Geology is cruical for all factors on which the function of ecosystems is based on - climate, landscape, soil substrate, living organisms
  • Gelogy tells us how the environment has changed and reacted to changes
  • To understand ecosystems and better manage our environment we have to bring together understanding of biodiversity and geodiversity
  • Protection and management of geodiversity and biodiversity together is mutually benefitial. Geological heritage and biodiverity often coincide, overlay each other.

Legislative for the conservation of the geological heritage

Conservation of the geological heritage in the Czech republic comes out from the following:

Act No. 114/1992 Gazette, on the nature and landscape protection

Regulation No. 395/1992 of the Czech MoE, implementing certain provisions of nature and landscape protection act

Act No. 71/1994 Gazette, on sale and export of objects which have a cultural value

Act No. 122/2000 Gazette on protection of collections which have a muzeal character

Act No. 183/2006 Gazette, on town and country planning and building regulations (Building act)

Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas designated by the Member states of the European Union on their territory according to common principles. The aim of this network is to guarantee protection of species and habitats, which are most vulnerable, threatened, or have a limited distribution (endemic).

The designation of Natura 2000 Sites is prescribed by the Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (Bird Directive) and the Council Directive 92/43/EC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora (Habitats Directive).

Special Protection Areas (SPA) are designated according to the Bird Directive for the protection of bird species. Sites of Community Importance (SCI) are designated according to the Habitats Directive for species and habitat protection. Both types of Sites form Natura 2000 network.

The management plan for a protected area and its buffer zone (hereinafter “management plan”) is defined in act No. 114/1992 Gazette on nature and landscape protection (hereinafter “act”), section 38, article 1, in the following way: ' The management plan for a specially protected area and its buffer zone (hereinafter 'management plan') is a professional and conceptual document on nature protection, which, on the basis of data on previous development and the present status of the specially protected area, shall propose measures for preserving or improving the status of the subject of the protection in the specially protected area, and for safeguarding the specially protected area against adverse influences from the surroundings in its buffer zone.'

The management plan shall serve as a basis for other kinds of planning documents and for decision‑making of nature protection authorities. It shall not be binding either for individuals or legal entities. Preparation of a management plan shall be ensured by the nature protection authority competent to designate the specially protected area. Preparation of management plans for national parks and protected landscape areas shall be ensured by the Ministry of Environment through the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection and PLA Administrations. PLA Administrations and Regional offices are in charge of preparing management plans for small-size protected areas (all Czech national nature reserves and national nature monuments, nature reserves and nature monuments within PLAs). Detailed information about the management plan content for each category of protected areas is stipulated in Ministry of the Environment regulation No. 395/1992. Furthermore, the Ministry of the Environment is working on methodical instructions to be published in its bulletin.

Section 38 of the Act on nature and landscape protection also sets out handling proceedings. A nature protection authority shall publish the notification on the public administration portal, and shall send it to the concerned municipalities, which shall publish it on their official boards. Before approving it, it should deal with the observations of the owners, municipalities, and regions. The nature protection authority shall approve the management plan usually for a period of 10 to 15 years and appropriate conservation authorities shall provide for its implementation.

Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic is responsible for the management of approx. 15,000 plots in Specially Protected Areas (in all categories - PLA, NNR, NNM, NR, NM)  that are owned by the State. It carries out statutory ownership responsibilities and rights related to the pieces of land, most of which are rented out with the aim to effectively ensure the protection needed. Other land is acquired by purchase or exchange.

Apart from the protection of protected areas according to approved management plans, NCA CR uses a range of other economic tools to conserve nature and to protect landscape.

They include the Ministry of the Environment’s landscape management programmes. Their aim is to support measures preserving the landscape’s cultural status, contributing to species diversity maintenance, improving natural processes in the landscape, strengthening the functions of significant landscape elements and components of the territorial system of ecological stability, etc. There exist these MoE programmes in the Czech Republic:

  • Landscape management programme
  • Programme for the stabilization of the forests in the Jizerske hory Mts. and on Ještěd
  • River systems restoration programme
  • State property in PAs programme

State Environmental Fund of the CR operates the Landscape Enhancement Programme, for which NCA CR is the advisory.

NCA CR actively participates in the preparation of other national/regional programmes and programmes financed through European Community funds (Operational Programme ”Environment”, Flood Prevention Programme II, Rural Development Programme, etc.).

NCA CR also carries out the payment of financial compensations for the burden on agricultural, forestry and fish-pond management due to nature conservation.

NCA CR is a contact point and an expert body for providing compensation of damages caused by selected specially protected animals (Act No. 115/2000 Gazette).

Landscape character

Initial regulation: Full wording of the Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on the nature and landscape protection, as results from later amendments.

Section 12

(1) The landscape character, which is particularly natural, cultural and historical characteristic of certain place or area, shall be protected from any activity reducing its aesthetic and natural values. Interventions into the landscape character, in particular placing and permitting of buildings, may by carried out only with having regard to the preservation of significant landscape components, specially protected areas, cultural dominant points of the landscape, and harmonious standards and relations in the landscape.

(2) Approval of a nature protection authority shall be necessary for placing and permitting of buildings, as well as for another activities, which could impair or change the landscape character. Details of protection of landscape character may be set out by the Ministry of the Environment in a generally binding legal regulation.

(3) For the purpose of protection of the landscape character with significant concentrated aesthetic and natural values, which is not specially protected pursuant to Part three of this Act, a nature protection authority may, through a generally binding legal regulation, establish a natural park, and set out restrictions on such use of the area which would mean destruction of, damage to, or disturbance of the status of this area.  

Landscape character protection is defined as general protection, as such it is valid in the whole territory of the Czech Republic. In landscape protected areas more attention is paid to it as conservation of harmonious image of the cultural landscape and regulation of interference is an important object of PLA administrations work.

What does landscape character protection mean?

Each Administration of PLA within administrative proceedings is competent to grant approval of constructions or not and so does in case of other activities that could harm or change landscape character. The Act does not regulate the assesment proceedings but the first article defines the subjects of protection.

Methodology and assessment process

In reality, two types of assesment are possible. The first one is to asses landscape character of the given area, which is usually devided into smaller parts. The values and character is described for each part. Not only this groundwork serves as aesthetic and natural values assesment, but can be used as well as a preventive expert groundwork[1] (not effectual) for assesment regarding other use and changes in the area. The second way  is based on assesment of concrete plan effect on landscape character, so the effect and form is assesed for the concrete part of the environment.

Methodological recommendation and groundwork for landscape character assesment:

  1. Hodnocení krajinného rázu a jeho uplatňování ve veřejné správě - metodické doporučení (Landscape Character Assesment and its Implementation by State Administration - Methodological Recommendations), Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny (AOPK) ČR 1999, Míchal, I. et al.
  2. Metodický podklad hodnocení krajinného rázu v chráněných krajinných oblastech (Methodology of Landscape Character Assesment in Landscape Protected Areas), SCHKO ČR 1997, Bukáček, R., Matějka, P. a kol.
  3. Landscape character assesment by Doc. Ing. arch I. Vorel, Csc.
  4. Landscape character assesment by Doc. Ing. arch J. Löw
  5. Krajinný ráz. Lesnická práce (Landscape character, forest concept),  Kostelec nad Černými lesy 2003, Löw, J. a Míchal, I
  6. Posouzení vlivu navrhované stavby, činnosti nebo změny využití území na krajinný ráz - metodický postup (Assesment of Effects of Intended Constructions, Activities or Changes in Land Use on Landscape Character), ČVUT, Praha 2004, Vorel, I., Bukáček, R., Matějka, P, Culek, M., Sklenička P.

Some aspects regarding landscape character

The final landscape character assesment results from the quality of individual components. Cultural and historical landscape character reflects settling and life of the landscape. Natural value reflects especially quality and diversity of natural components. All these characteristics including effects of the man and its activities (settlings, isolated buildings, small constructions, paths, farming land, ponds etc.) forms landscape character. When current single patches of land of different shape and colour are put together it results in impression of aesthetic harmony (or disharmony) composed of different qualities. To alleviate subjective evaluation it is good to base it on accustomed knowledge of what is aestetical[2] and what contributes to harmony of the environment (i. e. objective aspect of the assesment).

The landscape character description claims to recognize what are typical features of the landscape area. By recognizing natural or culture features, monitoring mutual relationship and time-spacial chages we get information about system functioning, the value and also about visual aspect of the area. Quality grade (for example high aestehic value of the area) determines another usage of the area. It is obvious that more severe restrictions regarding construction and other activities in the area are implied in areas with a large amount of    

conserved features. Nevertheles, the assesment cannot be based only on knowledge about quality of values without taking into considaration what effect will the intention have on the environment. This way of assessing is an alternative one, by assessing of different scenarios the optimal one is chosen. It is crucial to understand that some intentions have mostly vertical effect (for example wind power

plants can influence localities that are quite far). These construction have to be assesed individually taking into consideration the concrete place and landscape area before approval granting. In this case the assesment cannot be generalized. Views of the horizonts either villages or landscape are one of the frequent ways of describing landscape character beside dominant elements and features.

Territorial system of ecological stability

The Territorial System of Ecological Stability (TSES), as defined in Czech act No. 114/1992 Gazette, section 3, article a), is a mutually interconnected complex of both natural and near-natural, altered ecosystems that maintain natural balance. Its main purpose is to reinforce ecological stability of the landscape by conservation or restoration of ecosystems and their mutual interconnection.

TSES elementsBiocentre

This is defined as a biotope or centre of biotopes in a landscape, which, due to its condition and scope, facilitates the existence of a natural or near-natural, altered ecosystem.

Ecological corridor

This is a territory that does not facilitate permanent or long-term existence of a significant number of organisms, but does provide for their migration between different biocentres, creating a network of isolated biocentres.

Interaction element

This is defined as a landscape segment, which, on a local level, mediates the favourable effect of basic TSES elements (biocentres and biological corridors) on surrounding less stable landscape. Besides this, interaction elements often enable the permanent existence of certain species with limited territorial requirements (besides a range of plant species, these include some species of insects, small rodents, insectivores, birds, amphibians etc.).

TSES categories according to significanceSupraregional TSES

These are vast (at least 1000 ha) landscape units and areas of ecological significance, forming a network providing conditions for the existence of characteristic coenosis together with complete biota biodiversity in the context of a certain biogeographical region.

Regional TSES

These are landscape units and areas of ecological significance (minimum area of 10 - 50 ha). A network of these units must represent a diversity of biochore types in the context of a certain biogeographical region.

Local TSES

These are small landscape units of ecological significance (area about 5 - 10 ha). A network of these represents biogeocoenosis type groups in the context of a certain biochore.

TSES plans

TSES are established by plans that should include in particular the following:

a) a draft map of existing and proposed biocentres and ecological corridors with marked protected areas to a minimum scale of 1:50 000 (supraregional and regional TSES) or  1:10 000 (local TSES).

b) a table and a theoretical section describing functional and spatial factors

c) detailed rationale including outline measures for its conservation or regeneration.

The TSES plan serves as documentation for TSES projects, land consolidations and land replotting, processing of territorial planning documentation, forest management plans, water management documents and other documents regarding protection and restoration of the landscape.

TSES elements are being established in 2005 in almost all PLA territory with a few exceptions.

Monitoring of the status, changes and trends in nature is another important NCA CR’s activity. The mapping of wild plant and animal species occurrence and distribution, monitoring the development in natural habitats as well as in whole ecosystems represents an inevitable prerequisite of nature conservation and landscape protection. The outputs are used for the preparation of Specially Protected Area management plans, specification of state subsidy policies and the formulation of nature conservation and landscape protection state policy. The results of habitat and wildlife species monitoring is a main basis for the reports submitted to the European Commission by the Ministry of the Environment under the European Community legislation.

Monitoring is defined as long-term observation of a feature by a standard method in order assess changes over time and determine their cause.

Inventory (or surveillance) is a single recording of the current state. Most often, inventories are done in small-size protected areas, core zones of PLAs and localities under investigation. It is also possible to do inventories of one species living in a large area (PLA, Czech Republic). Inventories serve as basic documentation for the preparation of management plans for small-scale protected areas. Currently inventories are being done on two levels:

1) Inventories financed from the NCA CR budget - every year a limited sum of money is distributed to each PLA administration. In 2005, 800.000 CZK (26.700 Euro) was distributed according to PLA administrations’ requirements, which, however, were much higher than this amount. In view of other activities (see below), a sum of money is designated for inventories in nature reserves, nature monuments, localities under investigation, and/or special protection areas.

2) Inventories in national nature reserves and monuments. During 2003 - 2005 the inventories in national nature reserves and monuments was in progress within the Ministry of the Environment Research and Development programme (No. 620/2/03). The NCA CR conducted and analysed inventories of national nature reserves and monuments.

NCA CR manages the Nature Conservancy Central Register, collecting documents on establishment and other technical documentation for Specially Protected Areas, Bird Areas and monument trees. The Central Register includes a file of original documents, a reserve protected area book with technical and map documentation for each object (e.g. management plans for specific area, research results, scientific reports, etc.).

The Nature Conservation Information System developed by NCA CR is created established also in the format of a web portal. Most Nature Conservancy bodies provide input to it. The Information System allows collecting and processing the data obtained by habitat and wildlife species monitoring and inventories. It also includes a register of specially protected flora and fauna species, information on the territorial system of ecological stability, the Convention on Biological Diversity information system in the Czech Republic and other data and databases.