Brdy Military Region becomes Protected Landscape Area
The establishment of a Protected Landscape Area in the former Brdy Military Region, and the downsizing of four other military regions came into effect on 1st January 2016 in compliance with Czech Law No. 15/2015 Coll.
The lands, originally divided into five military regions, were acquired and administered by the Ministry of Defence under Czechoslovak Law No. 169/1949, and were principally used for military training needs. The Regional Offices and their responsibilities operated under a different law, No. 222/1999 Sb.
Due to the downsizing of the personnel of the Czech Armed Forces (115 thousand active soldiers in 1990 to the current 21 thousand professional soldiers) the Ministry of Defence has not been fully utilising these military regions, but has been administering, funding and maintaining the infrastructure, as well as supporting the local inhabitants of the region.
The new law not only brings the military presence in Brdy to an end, but will also facilitate the establishment of six new villages at the core of the remaining four regions. Approximately two thousand people will be entitled to permanent residence permits as well as have the right to participate in local government elections. The new villages will be administered by local and state authorities.
The newly designated Protected Landscape Area of Brdy, which will ensure the optimization of the area's resources, was established for economic reasons, but also to improve the inhabitants' living conditions.
"The reason for the dissolution of the Brdy region was due to its current inefficiency, and the much reduced military employment. Training areas in the Czech Republic have been oversized for some time, and do not now correspond to our current requirements," said Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky.
Although the Ministry of Defence is responsible for examining, clearing and removing all of the military materials of the former impact target area by the end of 2017, large parts of this unique landscape, populated by rare fauna and flora, will be open to tourists and for outdoor activities, with the restrictions normally set out under the Protected Landscape Area by-laws.
By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek
January 12, 2016