Friday, 25 April 2014

Chamber backs Šumava National Park bill

13 February 2013

Prague, Feb 12 (CTK) - The Czech Chamber of Deputies yesterday supported in the first reading the bill on the Sumava National Park (NPS) submitted by the Plzen Region six months ago.

Critics say the legislation will destroy the NPS.

However, the bill has made it through the vote and was sent to the environment and agricultural committees.

The opposition criticised the government over having been unable to submit any bill on the Sumava despite its promises.

Last August, the Environment Ministry sent its bill for comments to the Chamber of Deputies.

Environment Minister Tomas Chalupa (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) said yesterday he understood the demand that a quality law should be drafted.

He said he wanted to have it passed as soon as possible.

Communist deputy Katerina Konecna said both experts and the Government Office had described the ministerial proposal as unviable.

The bill was also rejected by deputy Viktor Paggio (LIDEM).

He said it would widen building plots within the NPS.

"The proposal would mean the destruction of the national park," Paggio said.

Similar views were voiced by environmental activists earlier.

However, the proposal to reject it was short of three votes in the first reading.

The drafters of the bill say it wants to protect the NPS against the bark-beetle whose outbreak often plagues the trees in it.

The bill proposes the fusion of three no-intervention zones and the creation of the fourth within the NPS as well as the foundation of an NGO in charge of its financial management.

In the first zone, no-intervention is to be applied under the law on nature conservation.

In the second and third zones, the measures suggested in the forest law are to be applied, which means the felling of the timber attacked by bark-beetle.

Besides, the law is to allow hikers to use routinely the trails in the first zone of the park, now banned.

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