SINGLE COUNTRY PROFILE
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
The first NSDS was adopted by the Czech Government in December 2004.
On 11 January 2010, the Czech Government adopted the Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development in the Czech Republic, however the intended follow-up in the form of implementation plan focusing on mechanism of policy coordination and coherence wasn’t adopted. Fulfilling of the Strategic Framework remained only on the voluntary basis (e. g. at municipal level).
The situation has changed in 2015 when the government decided to update the Strategic Framework and align it with 2030 Agenda. The main reference document outlining the national vision of the SDGs in the Czech Republic was adopted by the Government in 2017 and is entitled the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 (hereinafter „Czech Republic 2030“). It serves as a tool to implement the SDGs in to the national context, i.e. as framework for other strategic documents on national, regional and local levels areas that are decisive for long-term and sustainable development of the Czech Republic.
In 2018 followed two other important documents adopted by the Government: Implementation plan of the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 (hereinafter „Implementation plan“) which includes 277 measures and more than 300 recommendations for fulfilling 97 specific goals and simultaneously Implementing the 2030 Agenda in the Czech Republic. Implementing Agenda 2030 assesses the relevance all of 2030 Agenda 169 targets and set responsibilities for each relevant target in internal and external dimension. It also defines interlinkages between the 2030 Agenda and the Czech Republic 2030 and sets out the key (and general) measures for fulfilling of the SDGs in the Czech Republic that are beyond the Czech Republic 2030 scope.
The strategic framework defines long-term objectives not only in the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development, but also covers governance, global development and regional and urban development. It sets forth 27 strategic goals and 97 targets aimed at improving people’s wellbeing, while respecting the principles of sustainable development. The document serves as an overarching framework for sectoral strategies and is intended to inspire regional and local strategies. For the adoption of specific measures are responsible the relevant public administration bodies which are accompanied by the (voluntary) activities of non-governmental stakeholders.
The division of the Czech Republic 2030 into six thematic clusters (People and Society, Economy, Resilient Ecosystems, Regions and Municipalities, Global Development and Good Governance) is based on combination of participation and an expert analysis, which was carried out in the initial stage of the preparation of the document.
Since 1st April 2018, the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) is responsible for the sustainable development agenda. The Sustainable Development Unit at the MoE coordinates the implementation of the Czech Republic 2030 at the governmental level and provides also technical and administrative support to ministries.
The Minister of the Environment chairs the Government Council for Sustainable Development of the Czech Republic (hereinafter „GCSD“ or “the Council”), the government’s permanent advisory, initiating and coordinating body for the areas of SD, strategic management and long-term priorities of the state and is involved in the process of Agenda 2030 and Czech Republic 2030 implementation.
In 2019 a network of focal points covering all ministries was established. The aim of this network is to connect persons responsible for the coordination and communication with the Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of the Environment which is the leading institution in the sustainable development agenda.
The Czech Republic 2030 replaced the 2010 Strategic Framework for Sustainable Development in the Czech Republic. Its preparation was significantly influenced by the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 SDGs in September 2015 and of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Czech Republic 2030 serves as a basis for evaluating the development of the Czech Republic and its global responsibility.
Public consultations on the initial proposals started in May 2015. Hundreds of experts were involved in drafting of the document and it was consulted with more than a hundred civil, private and academic organizations and institutions. It involved 6 roundtables, an electronic consultation, a presentation of the draft in both chambers of the Parliament and discussing at the GCSD. Nine expert committees of the GCSD provided significant support in this process. The final version of the Czech Republic 2030 was adopted by the Government in April 2017, followed by adoption of Implementing the 2030 Agenda in the Czech Republic document in October 2018. The drafting of the Implementation plan started in February 2017 through a broad participatory process (consisted from 8 round tables in regions and discussing in GCSD committees) to ensure the engagement of all relevant actors in the discussion on its form, then it was also adopted in the fall of 2018.
At the end of 2020, the first evaluation reports, both on fulfilling of the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 and the 2030 Agenda implementation in the Czech Republic, will be available. Based on outcomes of the first one, the Implementation plan for the next three years will be updated. The Czech Republic 2030 is going to be updated in 2023.
The Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030, adopted by the Government in 2017, is the main reference document outlining the national vision of the SDGs in the Czech Republic. It guides the work of the Council and the SD Unit; it defines long-term objectives in the social, environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development, as well as in governance, global development and regions and municipalities. It sets out 97 specific goals aimed at improving people’s wellbeing, and it serves as an overarching framework for sectoral, regional and local strategies.
In 2018, the Government adopted other two important documents. The Implementation plan of the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 includes 277 measures and more than 300 recommendations for fulfilling of the 97 specific goals. The aim of the document is to ensure the coherence of the Czech Republic 2030’s objectives with other strategic and conceptual materials and to introduce the measures and recommendations through which its vision will be put into practice. Implementation of the Czech Republic 2030 as an overarching strategic document is not linked exclusively to this Implementation plan, but its objectives must be reflected in the follow-up strategic documents at all levels.
The second 2018 document, Implementing the Agenda 2030 in Czech Republic, in turn, assesses the SDGs’ relevance in internal and external dimension, sets out responsibilities to the relevant targets (at ministerial level), defines interlinkages between the Agenda 2030 and the Czech Republic 2030, and sets the key (and general) measures for the fulfilling of the SDGs in the Czech Republic that goes beyond the Czech Republic 2030 scope.
Civil Society Organisations (hereinafter „CSOs“) have been involved closely throughout the planning and design of the SDG process. The drafting of the Czech Republic 2030 has been carried out in close cooperation with ministries, local and regional authorities, parliamentary representatives and a wide range of other stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, academia and the labour unions (See Participation below).
The process of implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national level is coordinated by the Sustainable Development Unit at the MoE and continuously consulted at the Government Council on Sustainable Development. The Council is chaired by the Minister of the Environment and made up of 38 representatives of ministries, parliament, the private sector, trade unions, academia, civil society and regions and municipalities, and is divided into thematic expert committees. The Council’s main tasks are to find consistency over long-term priorities and to assess key trends in SD at both national and global levels.
Administrative and technical support is provided by the Sustainable Development Unit at the MoE. One of its essential tasks is to coordinate the activities and meetings of the Council and its Committees and Working Groups. Other tasks of the SD Unit are to guarantee interdepartmental cooperation and coordination of the implementation and reporting of SD policy and the coherence of strategic documents with the Czech Republic 2030. It plays important role in the context of strengthening of international cooperation (esp. EU, OECD, UN) and international relations.
The SD Unit also ensures the popularization and communication of SD. For this purpose, the Sustainable Development Forum and the Sustainable Development Week are organized annually. In addition, the SD Unit communicate its activities and share the information regarding SD in the Czech Republic on the website. The website includes information about the meetings of GSCD and the reports of the Committees and information about all above mentioned strategic documents. One section is dedicated to voluntary commitments by which everyone – individuals, municipalities, NGOs, private sector etc. – can contribute to the fulfilling of SDGs and national goals. Furthermore, the SD Unit actively uses the Facebook webpage which is aimed to popularize the topic of SD.
The GCSD was established by the Government Resolution No. 778 of 30 July 2003 as a permanent advisory, initiating and coordinating body of the Government of the Czech Republic for sustainable development and strategic management. In 2006, the Council was transferred to the MoE of the Czech Republic and after 2010 faced significant capacity constraints.
Hence, in 2014, the GCSD was transferred to support its political mandate back to the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.
In April 2018, the government decided to shift the performance and coordination of the SD agenda back to the MoE. At the same time, it approved a new Council Statute, according to which the Minister of Environment is the Chairman of the Council with the Minister of Regional Development as its Co-Chairman.
Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of the Environment.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Ministry for Regional Development of the Czech Republic and all other ministries of the Czech Republic.
Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of the Environment.
- Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030
- Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030. Appendix 2: Development Analysis
- Implementation plan of the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 (in Czech)
- Implementing the 2030 Agenda in the Czech Republic (in Czech)
- Voluntary National Review of the Czech Republic 2017
Czech Republic 2030 sets national priorities of the sustainable development, together with the principles and goals of the Agenda 2030 and other international obligations. It is an overarching strategic framework from which to base strategies at the sub-national level (but it isn´t compulsory).
The support of the local governments and municipalities in the implementation of the Czech Republic 2030 is provided by the MoE and the Ministry for Regional Development. In particular, there is a need for methodological support for emerging approaches and initiatives based on voluntary search for solutions that are consistent with the principles of sustainable development. It seems meaningful to develop existing tools used by cities, municipalities and regions and it is important to further develop Local Agenda 21 (hereinafter „LA21“) as the most developed sustainability assessment tool at local level so far.
The LA21 Working Group of the GCSD is an advisory body, platform for the discussion and the setting of rules for the evaluation of LA21, moderated and coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment. The members are different stakeholders – representatives of the different resort organisations, towns and regions, municipal associations, NGOs and universities. CENIA, the administrator of LA21, is also a member. CENIA, Czech Environmental Information Agency is an agency funded and financed directly by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. Dealings and information are open for all interested parties. Minutes and records from the meetings are collected and published on the website, from as far back as the year 2004.
LA21 as a tool for SD implementation – methods and evaluation (criteria, indicators) settled from national level, cooperation on the stakeholder platform (see Horizontal Integration below). It is updated in accordance with global and in a European context and challenges and cooperates with many different experts. LA21 is realized at regional and local level. Advanced municipalities work with data and factor it into their current situation. Analysis (in the form of audits) in 10 areas of SD (according to the Aalborg Commitments). Experts make up the opponency with recommendations. LA21 in the Czech Republic is a long term voluntary system, free of charge for these who are interested in it. The Coordinator is the Ministry of the Environment, the advisory body is the LA21 Working Group (see below). In the system over 85 municipalities are involved, a further over 100 are registered as interested. There are also 61 subjects registered (e.g. NGOs) but, they don’t adhere to the criteria (which are only for municipalities).
The Czech Republic promotes global implementation of international commitments on sustainable development, their implementation at EU level and their incorporation into activities of international organizations and fulfills these commitments. It supports the fulfillment of SDGs, specifically the SDG 16 at global and EU levels and is actively promoting the monitoring and implementation of policy coherence at EU level, in the EU’s external policies and at global level.
The Development Cooperation Strategy of the Czech Republic (2018) and the Foreign Policy Concept of the Czech Republic (2015) are linked to the Czech Republic 2030. In general the SDG 1 and SDG 17 are relevant for the Czech development assistance respectively the external dimension of Agenda 2030 implementation.
In addition the Czech Republic is active in the Working Party on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the Council of the EU.
MoE (respectively the SD Unit) fulfills a number of functions in the implementation process. MoE (SD unit) cooperates with other ministries and actors on selected issues and, at the same time, through its own analytical capacity, acts as an opponent negotiating with all stakeholders.
Since 2019 the MoE (SD Unit) also co-ordinates respective ministries through a so-called focal points network – persons responsible for intra- and interdepartmental coordination and communication with the MoE on issues relating to the implementation of the Czech Republic 2030 and sustainable development agenda at all.
It ensures the activity of the GCSD and participates in activities of a number of other advisory and working bodies that enable cross-sectoral cooperation, coordination and feedback. Representatives from Parliament, all ministries, NGOs, municipalities, industry, agriculture, trade unions, research, academic society and other stakeholders are members of the 8 Committees of the Council and many working groups.
The Committees of the Council are the following:
- The Committee for Socio-Economic Development
- The Committee for Landscape, Water and Biodiversity
- The Committee for Sustainable Transport
- The Committee for Sustainable Energy
- The Committee for Sustainable Municipalities
- The Committee for Education for Sustainable Development
- The Committe for Foreign Policy Coordination for Sustainable Development
- The Committee for Sustainable Development Indicators
Compliance of other sectoral and regional strategic documents, programs and measures with the Czech Republic 2030, its fulfillment, the application of the principles of sustainable development, improvements in wellbeing and quality of life and progress on the national goals will be monitored and evaluated in an evaluation report (Report on the Quality of Life and its Sustainability), which is going to be submitted to the Government in three-year intervals.
The core of the report will be an analytical part, which will evaluate fulfilling of the Czech Republic's 2030 goals through specific measures and recommendations from the Implementation plan. The source for elaboration of the report will be reports from the responsible ministries on activities to implement the measures and recommendations of the Implementation plan, which will be submitted to the MoE in three-year intervals (the first reports will be submitted by the responsible ministries by 31st March 2020). The report will be build on 192 indicators of Czech Republic 2030 designed to operationalize its 97 specific goals/targets, and parallel set of indicators measuring progress in wellbeing. It will include recommendations for policies, strategic documents, concepts, programs and measures based on the compliance assessment results. Other parts of the report will take into account the level of public engagement in implementation, methodological support for municipalities and developing tools for sustainable development. Together with the report will be submitted also a proposal for the Implementation plan update to match the results of the analysis, the development of quality of life indicators, new trends and expertise.
Data will be collected and indicators prepared by the respective Committee of the GCSD under the auspice of the Czech Statistical Office. A draft report will be then prepared by the Sustainable Development Unit (MoE) and accordingly consulted with the relevant Committees, approved by GCSD, will undergo interdepartmental consulting procedure and will be submitted to the Government. At the end of 2020, the first evaluation reports will be available, both from fulfilling of the Czech Republic 2030 and of the Implementing the 2030 Agenda in the Czech Republic.
Voluntary National Review (VNR)
The Czech Republic underwent VNR for the first time in 2017, at which time the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 was only recently adopted. The results in the 2017 VNR were based on the OECD Study Measuring the Distance to SDGs Targets. The Czech Republic will submit its second VNR in 2021.
The role of the Czech Statistical Office is to provide the MoE with assistance in monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Czech Republic 2030, co-ordinating collecting data from respective ministries and other responsible institutions. In May 2017, the availability of data in the Czech Republic on selected indicators from the global indicator framework began to be assessed. Indicators were selected based on their data availability and methodological maturity. The aim was to identify those indicators from the global set to which the Czech Republic can prove the data. Therefore, potential responsible authorities were identified and asked to assess the availability of the data for these indicators. At the end of 2018 is relevant for the Czech Republic 123 indicators from 244.
A national indicator set of 192 indicators was developed to monitor the fulfillment of national priorities defined by the Czech Republic’s 2030 objectives. These indicators will primarily be used to measure progress at the level of 97 specific objectives of the Czech Republic 2030 and have therefore been set with regard to the national context. There is the will to apply the global indicator framework for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of SDGs as much as possible.
140 well-being indicators will be further developed and position policies outcomes in broader context of social trends and take into account the distribution of outcomes through the society.
The Indicators report is planned to be submitted together with the assessing report of the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 and Implementing 2030 Agenda every three years (starting 2020).
Partnership and stakeholder engagement are one of the guiding principles, which run through all priority areas of the Czech SD strategic framework. The Czech Republic 2030 is a result of a participatory process lasting more than a year, mostly on the platform of the GCSD. It involved hundreds of experts from different sectors, including the work of the nine GCSD Committees and several working groups, a series of round tables formed around the key areas, CSO platform consultations, discussion in both chambers of Parliament. Experts from various ministries and committees of the GCSD were also involved in the preparations of the Implementation plan and 8 round tables were organized in regional cities with the participation of dozens of representatives from the public and non-governmental sectors at the regional and local level. The aim of the round tables was, in addition to introduction of the goals of the Czech Republic 2030, mainly to obtain suggestions for the implementation document that would take into an account the specifics of the regional and local levels and to create a network of future co-workers who could help to implement, monitor and evaluate the fulfillment of the Czech Republic’s 2030 goals. Such an integrated approach, where all relevant sectors are included, is vital for addressing such a complex agenda successfully.
The Minister of the Environment is responsible for ensuring the involvement of all relevant actors, both generally in the implementation process and in the case of evaluation reports.
In terms of outreach and communication, the MoE has an internal communication strategy focused on raising awareness on sustainable development issues and the SDGs in particular, including the Czech Republic 2030. Stakeholder engagement has to-date been promoted by membership in the Government Council for Sustainable Development and its 9 committees and also by the activities (such as regional consultations and regional round tables) of the SD Unit.
The Czech Republic has been inspired by the Finnish crowdsourcing model to create the concept of voluntary commitments to individual objectives of the Czech Republic 2030, with the possibility of non-governmental entities and individuals to support the implementation of the framework. Individual commitments, including the date of their fulfillment and indicators, are made public and recorded on the website. This platform also helps to share good practice in relation to the Czech Republic’s 2030 implementation and is administered by the SD Unit within the MoE.
In order to ensure communication and popularization of sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Forum and European Sustainable Development Week are organized by the SD Unit annually.
Apart from the official multi-stakeholder coordinating bodies, the MoE is partner of “SDGs Awards” organized by the Social Responsibility Association, which helps companies and general public to raise their awareness of sustainable development and the SDGs.
A number of development strategies of cities and municipalities is based on the principles of sustainable development. This is explicitly imposed by the Act No. 248/2000 Coll., on regional development (in § 18, paragraph 14) to large cities - Brno, Ostrava, Plzen, Ústí nad Labem, Pardubice, Olomouc and the City of Prague. Some other cities, such as Havirov, Kladno, Prague 8, also developed their own sustainable development strategies, too.
A special item are the Smart City strategies, which contribute significantly to the achievement of SDG 11. In this sense, not only the Smart City strategies of a number of cities in the Czech Republic (at present approximately 30 strategies) have been published, but also the SMART Czech Republic/ Sustainable Czech Republic Strategy of the Union of Towns and Municipalities of the Czech Republic is under preparation. This strategy is being developed in close cooperation with the Ministry for Regional Development and a number of partners.
Special local initiative is a LEADER approach represented by Local Action Groups (LAGs). There are 179 LAGs, 167 of them are members of The National Network of LAGs in the Czech Republic. They represent local partnership of municipalities, entrepreneurs and NNOs. Their mission is support of sustainable and balanced development of rural areas. And it is based on the bottom-up approach. LAGs realize 178 Strategies of Community–led Local Development altogether; 106 of them contribute to fulfilling to the selected goal of the Operational Programme Environment 2014-2020. It means there is a strong regional support for chosen aims in nature protection (typically tree planting either in urban areas or in countryside) which covers 53,35 % of The Czech Republic area.
LA 21 initiatives:
In addition to several partial ways in which the state supports sustainable development at local level (especially methodically and financially), there is a system/comprehensive tool in the Czech Republic: Local Agenda 21 (hereinafter LA21). The Sustainable Development Progress and Assessment system came from Chapter 28, Agenda 21 and has been continuously updated. At present, the starting document is Agenda 2030 and aims to fulfill SDGs in a way that is relevant at local level. The plan is to declare the interconnection also in the title under the new concept: "Local Agenda 2030". Within the vertical interconnection there is also a systemic cooperation with regions.
In addition to the vertical interconnection of the different levels of public administration, there is also a horizontal interconnection. The Working Group for LA21 of the Government Council for Sustainable Development is a platform for stakeholder discussion, but also a systematic setting of methodology and evaluation. The LA21 system is coordinated by the Ministry of the Environment, administered by CENIA - www.ma21.cz. Representatives of ministries, the academic sphere of NGOs and municipal associations meet in the Working Group. The LA21 represents 10 areas of sustainable development (according to the Aalborg Commitments) and cross-cutting themes such as participation, education and awareness and strategic planning. The state finance expert opponents of so-called audits in all 10 areas for advanced cities, including expert recommendations for further development.
The basic set of indicators is contained in the ‘Criteria for LA 21’ and serves the purpose of moving up on the scale of categories D, C, B, A when fulfilled. This set is open to development and modification and customized for different types of municipalities (small villages, urban districts, LAGs).
Currently, 83 active entities and approximately 108 municipalities and 63 cooperating entities (e.g. NGOs) are registered in the system. At the top of the quality rating within the Agenda are two medium-sized towns, followed by two other towns and one small municipality. In the Strategic Framework Czech Republic 2030 the qualitative and quantitative increase of LA21 is one of the specific objectives. The LA21 system was assessed in detail by the OECD and its further support was recommended. LA21 is a voluntary instrument - for this reason its use and success depend on the will of the political leadership of the municipality. It is a long-term concept that goes beyond one term.
The Healthy Cities of the Czech Republic is a municipal association with over 130 member cities/regions dealing with topics of sustainability, quality of life and health support. Actively supports local administration in SD topics including indicators, strategies and its management, evaluation and public participation. Runs a Good Practice Database and a nationwide database system with national / regional / local strategies with possible linkages to SDGs and SD topics. With university experts develops a portal with SD indicators, standards and methodologies. Participates in the activities of the Czech Governmental Council of SD.