Sustainable Development at the National Level

Sustainable Development

The sustainable development concept represents an alternative model of societal development to the dominant industrial economy. It reflects the natural environmental limits to economic growth; policies based on the concept promote the harmonisation of economic and societal development with the ecosystem capacities, conservation of natural values and biological diversity for the present and future generations. The classic 1987 definition in the UN World Commission on Environment and Development Report (so-called Brundtland Report) says: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and without detriment to other peoples.”

The human right to a favourable environment is anchored in the Environment Act of 5 December 1991 (17/1992 Coll.). Section 6 of the Act defines sustainable development as development that preserves the capacity of present and future generations to satisfy their basic necessities of life while not reducing the natural diversity and preserving the natural functions of ecosystems.

The historically first Sustainable Development Strategy of the Czech Republic ( CR SDS ) was approved by Government Resolution no. 1242 of 8 December 2004 as a long-term framework for political decision-making in the context of the international commitments made by the Czech Republic in connection with its membership in the EU, OECD and UN, while respecting the specific conditions of the Czech Republic. It was the starting point for the development of strategic materials (sectoral policies and action programmes), for strategic decision-making in state administration and territorial public administration, and for their co-operation with stakeholders. By adopting the SDS, the Czech Republic fulfilled its commitments derived from the conclusions of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, and acknowledged the conclusions of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the UN Millennium Development Goals, and the 2003 conclusions of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (particularly its International Multi-annual Action Programme until 2017).

An SDS update was scheduled for 2007-2009; it was inspired by the Renewed EU Sustainable Development Strategy (2006), among others. After almost three-year intensive work of the Government Council for Sustainable Development, its Committees and Working Groups and a drafting team of experts, the Draft Updated Strategy was submitted to the Government for adoption.

In its session on 11 January 2010 the Government adopted by its Resolution No. 37 the updated Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Czech Republic under the title "Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development in the Czech Republic". An implementation plan for the Strategy is under preparation and is to be submitted to the Government before 31 May 2010.

In consequence to the SDS, Progress Reports are made under the auspices of the Government Council for Sustainable Development with the objective to map the fulfilment of the SDS goals and inform both politicians and the public about the state and development of the Czech Republic in respect of sustainable development. For the year 2011, the Fourth Progress Report on the CR SDS is being prepared.

Czech Government Council for Sustainable Development (CGCSD)
The Government Council for Sustainable Development (the "Council") was established by Government Resolution No 778 of July 30, 2003 as a standing advisory, initiative and coordinating body of the Government of the Czech Republic in the domains of sustainable development and strategic management. The first Statute of the Council was adopted by Government Resolution No 836 of August 6, 2003. The present Statute was adopted by the Czech Government Resolution No. 1111 of 27 September, 2006.

According to the present Statute, the Prime Minister holds the office of the Chairman of the Council. Minister of the Environment acts as an Executive Vice-Chairman, the two Vice-Chairmen of the Council are Minister of Industry and Trade and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs. The members of the Council are representatives of central and local government authorities, social partners, NGO’s and academics.

The proposal to establish the Council originated from the need to create a body that would deal with the issue of sustainable development on a systematic and long-term basis, serve as an umbrella for the present efforts promoting sustainable development, and efficiently coordinate all related activities.The activities of the Council are specified in the Statute and Rules of Procedure.

CR Government Council on Sustainable Development (CGCSD)
Ministerstvo životního prostředí České republiky
Vršovická 65
100 10 Praha 10 - Vršovice
Czech Republic +420 267 122 221
Fax no.: +420 267 310 200

Secretary to the Council:
Jaroslav Blažek