Czech Site on the Montreux Record

27/02/1997

Dipl. Ing. Ales Šulc
Deputy Minister
Department of Nature and Landscape Protection
Ministry of the Environment of Czech Republic

Ramsar Convention Bureau
Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland

Prague, 21.02.97
No. 600/976/97

Dear Sir,

On behalf of the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic I am sending you the official proposal for inclusion of the Ramsar Site "Litovelské Pomoraví" in the Montreux Record of Endangered Wetlands.

Yours respectfully,

Enclosures: 2 pages


Proposal for inclusion of the Ramsar Site "Litovelské Pomoraví", Czech Republic, in the Montreux Record of Endangered Wetlands

Name of the Wetland:

Litovelské Pomoraví

Reason for inclusion in the List of Wetiands of International Importance:

The naturally meandering course of the Morava River, with all its manifestations of recent activity in the complex of floodplain forests accompanied by enclaves of meadows, constitutes an unique inland river delta. The floodplain area contains a considerable number of permanent and periodic water surfaces and wetlands, especially of the low moor type. The territory is significant from the standpoint of creation of the landscape, and the high diversity of landscape elements results in the occurrence of a number of rare species of flora and fauna and communities of these species. The territory is also significant for nesting and migrating birds. Criteria la and lb.

The nature of changes in the ecological character and their causes:

At the present time, Litovelské Pomoraví is endangered by withdrawal of water for water-supply systems; empirical information indicates that such withdrawal exceeds the recovery capacity of the natural ecosystem. In the vicinity of water-withdrawal boreholes, the decrease in the water level is leading to a decline in the floodplain forests and, in extreme cases, water withdrawals have led to the disappearance of former streams (e.g. the Cerlinka Stream). The reasons for these changes lie not only in the unlimited, disproportionately high water withdrawals from the area, but also in the lack of any compensatory measures in the landscape, in spite of the fact that there are no serious impediments to the implementation of such measures.

A further inadequacy lies in the absence of objective assessment and quantification of the impact of ground water on the production ability of the floodplaln forest, and the impact on water courses in the landscape and on the natural components of valuable floodplain ecological systems.

Under these conditions, discussions on the EIA process were carried out in connection with the highly important "Vodovod Pomoraví" super-regional water-management construction project. The boreholes for this water supply system, which is intended to supply an extensive area around Prostejov and Olomouc, are partly located in the immediate vicinity of the boundary of the Protected Landscape Area and partly in the floodplain of the Morava River lying above the Protected Landscape Area in the Šumperk District. As the source of drinking water for the boreholes is to be the relatively shallow Quaternary floodplain sands and gravels, it is highly probable that the following changes will occur.

    a) the flow rate of the Morava River will be decreased with consequent catastrophic impact on the river and floodplain ecosystems

    b) the groundwater level will be decreased in the vicinity of the water-collection area.

The EIA process has been closed at the present time by the standpoint of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic of April 2, 1996, which approved a more environmentally acceptable variant of the Pomoraví water supply scheme. The conditions established by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic are, however, too general and will be difficult to implement.

Consequently, it is proposed that:

    a) Litovelské Pomoraví be included in the Montreux Record;

    b) a system of permanent study and monitoring of the withdrawal of water for water-supply purposes be introduced;

    c) a study be carried out to assess the water regime in the Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area with a proposal for the necessary compensation measures in the alluvium taking into consideration the present and proposed water-supply exploitation of the area.

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