The minister wants to negotiate foreign compensation for the weir at Decin. According to the European Commission, this is not acceptable

22.11.2018 - DECIN
Valley of the Elbe
Petr Zewlakk Vrabec

The Minister of the Environment, Richard Brabec, has negotiated with the German Government and the European Commission for the possibility of international compensation for the destruction of the natural environment and the result of the construction of the Weir at Decin, but there's a catch to it. According to the terms of the European Commission, as well as the Ministry of the Environment itself, the approach to nature protection is unacceptable. Brabec is only making promises that he can't keep. Last Friday, the administration of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park rejected a compensatory measure. The Czech government has a key decision on the national park and the preparatory works for building steps in Decin.

“Minister Brabec wants to negotiate the destruction of the unique natural environment along the Elbe, but will we protect it abroad? It doesn't make any sense at all. Arnika has been pointing out for many years that the natural environment near the Elbe cannot be replaced. We are glad that we are on the same page as the administration of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, and that they will help to protect the most valuable species. commented Nikol Krejčová, an expert on nature protection management.

The natural environment along the lower reaches of the Elbe is protected by European legislation within the European network, Natura 2000 of the natural environment. Therefore, further discussion about the ways to build the weir at Decin has no valid point.

As per the request of the government, the administration of the Bohemian Switzerland National Park is an expert statement on the Water Transport Strategy, which covers the influence of the Weir on the natural environment of the Elbe. It is based on the study of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Masaryk University, the Czech Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, the Czech Botanical Society and the Czech Entomological Society.

The Weir at Decin would not improve the navigability of the lower reaches of the Elbe, something that was also confessed by Vladislav Raska, the Deputy Mayor of Decin, in his announcement. He also added that another weir would be needed in order to improve the navigability of the Elbe. Because of the droughts in the last five years, the Elbe is suffering from an extremely low water level that parallels shipping for the most of the year. Therefore, goods will still be transported by rail.

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