Czech Republic Has its First Natural Site in UNESCO
Starting today, the Czech Republic has the first natural site beeing awarded as the mankind heritage.
There are other 15 World Heritage Sites of cultural importance in the Czech Republic. Recent decision of UNESCO World Heritage Committee to put Jizera Mountain Beech Forest (Jizerskohorské bučiny) on the List of World Heritage Sites adds the the first natural site to the Czech world heritage.
Minister of Environment, Richard Brabec responded: „I am very happy – and I appreciate this global and prestigeous acknowledgement of our nature conservation. Jizera Mountain Beech Forest is a unique forest and the first Czech natural site being part of the mankind heritage. The Czech Republic received a new international credit thanks to Jizera Mountain Beech Forest and previously listed „spa triangle“on the List of World Heritage Sites.“
„This is an extraordinary achievement. The Jizera Mountain Beech Forest belongs now among such jewels of global nature as Yellowstone, Białowieża Forest, Bajkal Lake, African plains in Serengeti, Great Barrier Reef or Iguazú waterfalls on the border of Brasil and Argentina,“ František Pelc, director of Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic comments the UNESCO decision. Nature Conservation Agency discussed the possibility of adding the old beech forest in Jizera Mountains to the World Heritage with state forest company Lesy ČR s.p. and together with other experts prepared all necessary supporting arguments for nomination.
The National Nature Reserve Jizera Mountain Beech Forest is the largest strict reserve in the Jizera Mountains. With its 950 ha it belongs also among the largest reserves in the country and together with its buffer zone reaches in total 2700 ha. The Reserve protects unique beech forest on north-eastern slopes of Jizera Mountains, and part of the Reserve is left for spontaneous development without human influence.
The Czech Republic submitted the proposal to UNESCO together with other nine European countries as an effort to enlarge existing World Heritage Site of Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe in January 2020. Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic used its own data for the nomination but also utilised additional data and experience of long term research in Jizera Mountains done by Mr. Miroslav Svoboda and his team from the Czech University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences. IUCN and UNESCO expert evaluators visited and inspected the site in the field in autumn 2020.
Photo: Jiří Hušek, jr.