Minister Ťok keeps pushing the weir on the Elbe and the destruction of the natural environment. The illegal Water Transport Strategy is to be approved

1.2.2019 - DECIN
As a result of the construction of the weir at Decin we would lose the most valuable natural area
Petr Zewlakk Vrabec

On Monday, 4th February, the Minister of Transport, Dan Ťok, will submit the Water Transport Strategy to the government for approval. The conception includes the construction of a weir on the Elbe at Decin without any compensation for the destruction of the valuable natural environment. It even casts doubts on the decision of the management of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, which proclaimed that there is no way to compensate for the destruction of the natural environment around the Elbe and stood for its protection. Quite the opposite, the Czech government must respect its crucial decision and stop the preparations for the construction of the weir at Decin. If the government approved the conception it would be in violation of its proper laws and the European ones and this might lead not only to it being penalized by the European Commission, but also to a revocation of EU grants.

Last year the government conditioned the construction of the weir at Decin by the designation of compensation measures for the destruction of a natural environment that is included in the network of significant areas Europe-wide, Natura 2000. It is ordered by the European Directive on the protection of Nature 2000 areas and the Czech Nature and Landscape Protection Act. For state money, the government ordered the elaboration of several expert studies that all resolutely rejected any compensation measures and the devastation of the natural environment.

Besides the destruction of the natural environment of the Elbe, minister Ťok proposes, for example, the construction of a weir at Prelouc which would mean the liquidation of what are called the Slavik Islands. In spite of the fact that the government was tasked to include the area in the Natura 2000 network, it has never proceeded and thus continues to violate European legislation.

Minister Ťok clearly ignores all the rules. Moreover, he got an exception from prime minister Babis for the Conception to be excluded from the comments of other ministries. Therefore the Ministry of the Environment lost an opportunity to express its opinion before the government vote.

Now it is the turn of the minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, to explain to the entire government and to minister Ťok why it is not possible to approve the Conception. The approval of the document including the Decin weir would mean big trouble for the Czech Republic.

“If the government violates its own laws they will admit that they are valid only sometimes and only for selected ones. Neither nature protection nor economic interests are recognizably important for the government. The 5-billion-crown investment into the construction of the Decin weir will destroy precious nature values with unlikely returnability, states Jiří Kaňa from Arnika.

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