Thanks to the project the invasive weed Reynoutria should be reduced to only 10 % of its current occurrence in the Morávka river basin within four years. The name of the project is „Preservation of alluvial forest habitats in the Morávka river basin“ and the Moravian-Silesian region is the only one in the Czech Republic that succeeded in getting EU support. The EU financial contribution will be CZK 20 mil., that of the partners and Moravian-Silesian Region will be another 8.

The European Commission chose only 127 out of seven hundred projects from the whole of Europe applying for support last year, the project by the Moravian-Silesian Region being the only Czech one among them. The name of the EU program is LIFE-Nature.

The aim of our project is to preserve valuable natural territories in the Morávka river basin – or, to be more specific, between the Morávka dam and the town of Frýdek-Místek. The territory covers not only the protected landscape area (PLA) of Beskydy, but also a proposed Site of Community Importance (pSCI) within the NATURA 2000 network. The Moravian-Silesian Region co-operates with a number of major partners – with the state enterprises, Lesy ČR and Povodí Odry, the Administration Authority of the PLA Beskydy, the Agency of Nature Preservation and Landscape Protection of CR /AOPK CR/, the non-state non-profit organization Salamandr and Pivovar Radegast, the Nošovice brewery. „A crucial precondition of successful completion of the project is elimination of Reynoutria, an invasive, non-native and aggressively spreading plant species. It has been growing out of control in recent years, spreading to valuable habitats along the Morávka river. It gradually eradicates native species of plants and animals, annoys both local inhabitants and tourists who come to see the area. The planned duration of the project shows that the fight against Reynoutria shall not be easy. And it won’t be cheap, either. The European Commission has earmarked €700,000 /CZK 20 mil./ for it. The project partners have contributed, too, so the total project budget is now over CZK 28 mil.,“ Pavol Lukša /deputy president of MSR/ said. Reynoutria presently grows approximately on 350 hectares surrounding the Morávka river and dam. How shall it be eradicated? By repeated spraying with a special chemical substance that will not harm other plants or animals. It is not harmful for humans, either. Competent EC experts must have approved of its use, of course. In susceptible areas situated in the protection zone of the Morávka dam an even more friendly method of manual removal shall be used. The project will also create jobs for tens of people. „It will be very important to properly inform the public about what is going on. We will publish leaflets for local people, there will be information panels installed right in the project site, further info will be available on special web sites or sent electronically. Prior to the start of terrain works, the project team will organize a public meeting for local inhabitants, supplementary seminars and educational visits for schools or any possible interested groups are planned. Thus the public will have enough opportunity to express their opinions on the project which should make the decision making regarding specific steps during the project implementation easier for the team. Co-operation with the public and key entities involved will definitely improve the awareness and knowledge of the requirements regarding protection of Special Protection Areas /SPA/ and proposed Sites of Community Importance /pSCI/ of the Natura 2000 network,“ Tomáš Kotyza /project coordinator, MSR, Division of Environment/ said. The project team may benefit from the fact that it includes experts from different fields – they fully understand the problems and requirements of the forestry development, nature preservation, landscape protection and development of tourism, but they also recognize the local citizens‘ and visitors‘ needs. The opening ceremony is held today but the project team has already been working at maximum rate for some time. The Moravian-Silesian Region wants to involve local municipalities, landowners, entrepreneurs and other groups in the co-operation.

Elaborated by: Šárka Swiderová, press officer of the MSR and Roman Barták, project manager

Project launch ceremony – Nošovice, 28.2.2007:

(c) 2007 ZLSPM, financováno z Evropské unie programem LIFE-Nature