Czech Republic

As highlighted in the Czech Republic’s Development Co-operation Strategy 2018-30, climate and environment are crosscutting priorities of the Czech development co-operation programme. The do no harm” principle is systematically applied and assessed across all programmes and projects. New methodology for mainstreaming crosscutting priorities is being prepared; it will include clear targets and indicators to be followed throughout the project cycle.

In 2020, the Czech Republic became a member of the United Nations (UN) Group of Friends on Climate and Security calling for tangible action and requesting the UN Security Council to create tools necessary to prevent and resolve conflicts driven by the adverse effects of climate change.

The Czech Republic was also one of ten members in the Preparatory Committee on the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and actively promotes its implementation, including in a specific programme devoted to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Resilience. In the context of the post-pandemic recovery, the Czech Republic has taken up DRR and climate change as well as the link between humanitarian – development – peace nexus as its foreign policy priorities during the upcoming Czech EU Presidency in 2022. They also actively support the European Union’s “Building Back Better and Greener” approach, including by their anticipated participation in several Team Europe Initiatives focused on the external dimension of the European Green Deal.

Climate security of their neighbourhood is supported by an active engagement in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Group of Friends on Environment. The Czech Republic was a founding Member of this Group in 2019 and is the second biggest donor in the OSCE project on Climate Security in the Western Balkans.

In 2018, the Czech Republic approved a strategic framework, Czech Republic 2030, which was prepared by the Government Council for Sustainable Development and provides a holistic vision for implementing the sustainable development agenda, both on domestic and international levels. The set of indicators included in this strategy serve to measure the progress in meeting specific objectives and provide a basis for regular assessment reports. Data collection and definition of indicators is ensured by relevant Committees of the Government Council for Sustainable Development. In this strategic framework, the Czech Republic reaffirms its commitment to global development, acknowledges its global responsibility and emphasises the need to pursue international co-operation in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally. The impact of domestic policies on developing countries, including in the area of environment and climate, is regularly assessed within this framework.

Beside other financial contributions, the Czech Republic contributes every year to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the Ministry of Environment (in 2020, approximately USD 2.7 million).

As mentioned above, according to the Development Co-operation Strategy 2018-30, climate and environment are considered crosscutting priorities. In particular, the Czech Republic will maintain its commitment to sustainable use of natural resources, and to environmental protection and biodiversity. It will continue to focus on increasing the resilience of partner countries to the negative impacts of climate change and natural disasters, while promoting the development of national, regional and global mechanisms for effective climate change management and capacity building.

As highlighted in several official documents, disaster risk reduction, preparedness and resilience are among the main thematic priorities of the Czech Republic's humanitarian efforts abroad. Climate and DRR are also reflected in the priorities for Czech Republic's EU Presidency in the second half of 2022.

As a member of the Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS (the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Office for Project Services) for the 2020-22 period, the Czech Republic pays special attention to the implementation of the Strategic Plans of these organisations, including the UNDP work through environment signature solutions. The Czech Republic also has a bilateral partnership with UNDP via a specific Trust Fund, focusing on sharing expertise and generating innovative solutions for achieving SDGs in partner countries. One of the main objectives of this partnership is to support the sustainable management of natural resources and “smart cities” (SDGs 6 and 13).

The Czech Republic's action on environment and climate is based on SDGs and relevant global and European strategies in the area of development, climate, environment and biodiversity, and is supported by national policies and tools. As a crosscutting priority of the Czech development programme, environmental and climate concerns are taken into account across the whole project cycle, from programming, through identification and implementation to monitoring and evaluation.

In co-operation with experts from the Ministry of the Environment, the Czech Development Agency organises thematic workshops on mainstreaming environment and climate resilience objectives into development programmes, both for project managers from the Czech Development Agency and for implementing partners. A user-friendly toolbox on the mainstreaming of climate and environment as a crosscutting issue is under preparation in the form of checklists for all stakeholders across the whole project cycle. A toolbox on OECD DAC Policy Markers, including the Rio Markers for Climate, is being prepared by the Czech Development Agency in the form of a set of one-pagers aimed at relevant stakeholders (e.g. project managers, implementing partners, reporting analysts).

Climate and environment are crosscutting aspects in the monitoring framework as well as in all evaluations. Currently, a new methodology for mainstreaming crosscutting priorities (including climate and environment) is being prepared, which will include clear targets and indicators to be followed throughout the project cycle and should thus enable more systematic evidence-based monitoring and evaluations.

Partner countries’ national development priorities are reflected in bilateral country programmes and in identification of bilateral projects. The Czech Republic supports the development of national DRR strategies, both in co-operation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and UNDP (financial contributions and expertise on demand targeted at implementation of the Sendai Framework), and with local governments and civil society organisation (CSO) partners (awareness-raising, early warning, adaptation in agriculture and water, sanitation and hygiene [WASH]).

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, transition from coal to biomass energy sources is promoted, in particular for the public sector. They focus on increasing energy security in rural areas across the country by sharing Czech technologies and implementing projects aimed at replacing coal-powered heating systems by biomass. Furthermore, they aim at strengthening the legislative framework, creating action plans for biomass management and applying effective business models. The project contributes to job creation and the economic development of the regions involved.

In all six priority countries, they promote “smart cities” and other innovative approaches through targeted SDG programmes, in co-operation with the UNDP.

In the area of bilateral development co-operation, projects with primary or secondary impacts on environment and climate protection are mainly focused on: water resources protection, rehabilitation; water policies and water management that take into account environmental and socio-economic constraints on sanitation; waste management practices that bring environmental benefits; infrastructure projects designed with comprehensive and integrated environmental protection and management components; activities promoting sustainable use of renewable energy resources; sustainable management of agricultural land and water resources, including adaptation to climate change in vulnerable regions; combating land degradation and deforestation; sustainable use of sensitive environmental areas for tourism; and development and use of approaches aimed at biodiversity protection.

Due to the limited scope, most of Czech official development assistance (ODA) projects do not focus on infrastructure but rather on know-how and management issues.

  • Supporting small businesses to transition to solar energy in Cambodia

    • The goal of this four-year project is to enable micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to switch from unsustainable energy sources to solar energy, and thus help to improve consumer habits in rural areas of Cambodia. The project will also support sustainable and inclusive economic growth by reducing environmental impact of selected businesses and their energy consumption. In total, the project will help over one million Cambodians primarily from rural areas. It will also help Cambodia meet its targets for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Energy Co-operation Action Plan 2016-2025, in which ASEAN countries aim to achieve an overall higher share of renewable energy by 2025.

  • Helping to develop an integrated approach to farming in Zambia

    • This project’s goal is to increase agricultural production and productivity by small and medium-sized farmers through the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. The project contributes to this goal through the intensification and diversification of agricultural production and the introduction of an integrated farming approach with the interconnection of plant and animal production, all with the maximum possible use of farm resources, while considering the available natural resources and the social aspects of rural development. Moreover, the approach to increasing agricultural productivity will take into account local natural resources and possible climate change impacts.

  • Implementing the principles of sustainable landscape management around Lake Awassa

    • The objective of this project is to improve the environment around Lake Awassa through the implementation of sustainable landscape management principles and reduction of pollution and clogging of the lake. Participative spatial planning will be realised, and the project will improve landscape management by introducing innovations in agriculture and forestry. A protective dam will be built on the lake, and degraded areas will be rehabilitated through afforestation and anti-erosion activities. Sustainable landscape management will be further promoted by building the capacity of local officials and raising awareness within the local community.

Czech development co-operation is primarily focused on six priority countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Zambia) and does not provide specific programmable support for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Nevertheless, SIDS are supported in their efforts to address climate change and environmental issues through the instrument of Local Small-Scale Projects implemented by Czech embassies, or through humanitarian assistance with an integrated DRR aspect in response to, and recovery from, disasters.

In 2020, a project in Belize focused on clean and affordable energy for all was implemented. The main objective was to provide a mobile solar-powered supply unit to 150 low-income households. Beneficiaries received complementary education sessions where they learned about the operation and care of the units installed. The session also covered a brief overview of the SDGs, with particular emphasis on SDG 7.

In 2021, the Czech Republic is supporting a project in Cuba focused on increasing the agricultural production of organic farming.

The Czech Republic did not report activities in this area.

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