Restoration of post-mining sites in Czech Republic: English version of Workshop report available here
Edited by Klára Řehounková, Jiří Řehounek & Karel Prach (2011)
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, 111 pages
This report summarizes knowledge about restoration methods used in various post-mining sites within the Czech Republic. It is the result of a workshop organized by the Calla NGO and the Working Group for Restoration Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. Download the report as pdf here
In reclamation, it is desired to re-establish the landscape corresponding to that before mining. An exception is for mines scheduled for inundation, where anthropogenic lakes are created. Czech legislation provides relatively powerful laws restricting the loss of land used for agriculture and forestry; hence re-establishment of forest and agricultural land is mainly desired by the authorities. Unfortunately, strict application of these technical reclamations leads in many cases to the destruction of valuable habitats or the eradication of rare and endangered species, which is often in conflict with nature protection laws. Moreover, productivity of such newly created meadows, arable fields, or forests is in most cases low and unimportant.
In the Czech Republic, there is an effort by scientists, non-governmental organizations and occasionally even mining companies themselves to increase the proportion of near-natural restoration measures in post-mining sites, but it is often limited by legislative barriers. Technical approaches lead to establishment of uniform communities with low natural and even economic value. A unique chance to increase the natural value of the landscape is usually missed. Until recently, it was possible to miss the challenge with the argument that there is not enough scientific knowledge about near-natural restoration. However, the negative role of technical reclamations was recently documented in many scientific studies. On the other hand, near-natural approaches are increasingly and successfully used in various restoration projects. Some of them will be further described as examples of good restoration practices.