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Protected areas in the Czech Republic


Conservation of protected areas in the Czech Republic is regulated by Act 114/1992 on nature and landscape protection, which groups protected areas by size: large-size areas are national parks and protected landscapes, whereas small-size areas include national nature reserves, nature reserves and nature monuments.

National parks are large areas featuring highly peculiar characteristics at the national or international level. Most of their territory consist of ecosystems in their natural state or little influenced by man, and their fauna, flora and abiotic nature own exceptional scientific and educational significance. The territory of a national park is divided in three zones, with the strictest protection rules being applied in Zone I.

Protected landscapes are large areas whose harmoniously shaped landscape includes characteristic relief, a significant portion of natural forest and meadows ecosystems, abundance of woody species and in some cases preserved historical settlements. Their territory is normally divided in four zones, whose borders and usage are defined in order to maintain their ecological function.

National nature reserves are defined as small-size areas of exceptional value, in which unique ecosystems of national or international significance are combined with natural relief and typical geological features. Nature reserves are small-size and high-value areas featuring significant ecosystems which are typical for the specific geographical region.

Nature monuments and national nature monuments are individual natural objects (especially landforms or geological features, mineral resource localities or areas where rare or vulnerable species occur in the remnants of ecosystems) having particular ecological, scientific or aesthetic significance and whose shape is due to both man and nature's work. 

As of 2009, the Natura 2000 Network in the Czech Republic included some 900 sites, covering about 18% of the national territory.

The Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic  - NCA CR (Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny České republiky -AOPK ČR) is the governmental body established by the Ministry of the Environment with the purpose of protecting and conserving nature and landscape on the whole territory of the Czech Republic. The Nature Conservation Agency carries out state administration in nature conservation through 23 regional offices, which are also responsible for management of protected areas according to their territorial competency (except for national parks, which are instead managed by autonomous authorities).

Source: Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic

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