published: 20.01.2014, 13:18 | updated: 20.01.2014 13:46:17
Prague - The extension of the wilds in the Czech Sumava National Park (NPS) is economically advantageous, shows a new international study worked out by the Economics for the Environment Consultancy (EFTEC) prestigious British company, which its authors and environmentalists presented today.
Socio-economic arguments connected with the NPS have not been assessed yet. They should serve as arguments to persuade those who do not agree with the wild´s extension.
"This is why we have asked our colleagues in the EFTEC firm about their expert opinion," said Michal V. Marek, director of the Centre of Global Change Research of the Czech Academy of Sciences (AV), for which the study was worked out.
The British study compared three different scenarios of care for the Sumava park: the continuation of the present state; the bill that then environment minister Tomas Chalupa submitted last year, and the scientists and environmentalists´ proposal for the extension of the wild to cover a half of the park along with a considerate economic exploitation.
According to the study, tourism in Sumava annually brings almost two billion crowns. However, the total economic profit of the park is higher, amounting up to 44 billion crowns, including the ecosystem services, such as water retention, its quality improvement and the climate regulation.
The study´s results show that if the minister´s bill were adopted, the value of the park as a popular area with the wilds would drop and the ecotourism development would be harmed.
Under Chalupa´s bill, the strictest protection first park zone would cover 27 percent and the areas left to spontaneous development only 22 percent.
On the other hand, the nature protection supports the demand for tourism but it could be used better, the study concludes.
Environmentalists, the Environment Ministry, the NPS management and local inhabitants have long been in dispute about the preservation or reduction of the wild zones in the Sumava park.
Researchers and environmentalists plan to send a letter to the government coalition parties, the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), in which they will warn of the NPS´s commercialisation. They will also submit the British study to the new environment minister - probably deputy Richard Brabec (ANO) who has been proposed for the post.
The NPS, the biggest of the Czech Republic's four national parks, spreads in the Sumava mountains along the country's southwestern border. It is one of the largest European parks.
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