The citizens of Dolní Bojanovice and Němčice are involved in landscaping planning. They want to protect their villages from the effects of climate change

Published: Jun 26, 2023 Reading time: 4 minutes
The citizens of Dolní Bojanovice and Němčice are involved in landscaping planning. They want to protect their villages from the effects of climate change
© Foto: Milan Votypka

In mid-June, we held two landscape planning workshops: one in Dolní Bojanovice, South Moravia, and one in Němčice, Central Bohemia. At both, many active citizens displayed a deep interest in protecting their surroundings from the adverse effects of climate change. We met with villagers to discuss maps and proposals for landscaping. And this is just the beginning of the process.

Climate projects are a recent phenomenon in our country, yet we are not keeping our plans on track. At the moment, two projects are running in parallel. These are being conducted with the cooperation and participation of local residents and through local resources.

Dolní Bojanovice: Let's protect ourselves from flood and drought

Although located in the tornado Hodonín region, Dolní Bojanovice spared the tornado but not the flash floods. Through our SOS Moravia emergency appeal, we fixed the damage caused by flooding. However, upon reflection, we decided it would be worthwhile to work to prevent future flooding through landscape management. Since then, we have been working closely with the municipality. Together with the Krajinohled association, we have prepared a landscape study that will make it possible to better retain water in the landscape. This work will help villagers avoid or mitigate the effects of further destructive floods and strong wind erosion.

At the same time, Nielsen Admosphere conducted a social science survey of the village. Over thirty in-depth interviews were conducted with various important landscape actors during the survey. Those interviewed were village leaders, small and large farmers, winegrowers, beekeepers, foresters, hunters, active citizens, etc. The results were discussed with citizens during two workshops and presented alongside proposals for upcoming measures in the landscape. Finally, the participants of the second workshop in June expressed their preferences through a vote.

We look forward to further discussions with the municipality and actors in the surrounding landscape on solutions for specific measures. Like the damage repair and recovery of the communities after the tornadoes and floods, the SOS Moravia emergency appeal will fund the landscaping.

Němčice: Meanders and tree alleys in an agricultural landscape

Although Němčice is a small village, the villagers take their participation in our LIFE WILL - Water in Landscape and Soil project seriously. They may even become agents of change for an entire region that is heavily farmed and, therefore, highly vulnerable to drought.

The LIFE WILL - Water in Landscapes and Soils project addresses the issue of drought and the impact of climate change on the landscape. It is co-financed by the LIFE programme, a financial instrument of the European Union supporting projects that increase biodiversity and landscape resilience to climate change. The Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and the Government of Central Bohemian Region support the project. In cooperation with Beleco, Sdružení místních samospráv (the Association of Local Authorities) and the Daphne Institute of Applied Ecology in Slovakia, we are launching LIFE WILL in two Czech and one Slovak locations.

As in Dolní Bojanovice, residents of Němčice are involved in deciding what happens to their landscape. Social science research was undertaken by two anthropologists, Markéta Zandlová and Alžběta Wolfová from the Faculty of Humanities of the Charles University, under whose guidance the first participatory planning workshop took place in mid-June.

Participants in the workshop discussed what the local landscape needs and what they need to have in it. Ultimately, like the Bojanovicans, they clarified what was most important to them and where they should start. And just like in Bojanovice, the meandering streams and avenues along the roads play a major role. And here, too, the implementation of selected measures lies ahead.

And that's just the beginning...

We want to implement similar projects in dozens of other municipalities. In the South Moravian "tornado" region, we work with the Nadace Partnerství (the Partnership Foundation) in Hrušky and Lužice. Together, we are creating climate action plans that help municipalities map where and how to better retain water, prevent wind erosion, cool built-up parts of the municipalities, and efficiently manage energy. Next year, climate action plans will be created in Mikulčice and Moravská Nová Ves.

Within the LIFE WILL project, in cooperation with the Association of Local Authorities, feasibility studies on nature-friendly measures to retain water in the landscape and promote diversity should be developed in 30 municipalities.

"Arid and degraded landscapes are much more vulnerable to extreme climate events than landscapes full of water, green and species diversity," says our Director of Czech Climate Programmes, Magdalena Davis, adding: "but small communities often lack the capacity for restoration, which is why People in Need helps them."

Autor: Barbora Vrablíková, Magdalena Davis

Related articles