Statement by the Czech Republic to the 2nd Meeting of Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health

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Statement by the Czech Republic

to the 2nd Meeting of Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health
(Bucharest, 23-25 November 2010; item 4 (a) of the agenda)
The Protocol on Water and Health was ratified by the Czech Republic in 2001. The main coordinating and responsible body for implementation the Protocol is the Ministry of Health. In 2002, the Main Hygiene Officer of the Czech Republic from the Ministry of Health established the Task Group for preparation of proposals for the national targets according to the Protocol. The Task Group incorporates representatives of all three sectors responsible for water (the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture). This team submits every year an updated Report on the progress and implementation of targets according to the Protocol to the Czech intersectoral Council for Health and the Environment. In addition the team secures participation in international events in the framework of the Protocol or strengthening of public awareness on the Protocol and its targets.

At the beginning of 2006, targeted letters and articles in the press addressed the professional and laic public with request for national targets suggestions. On the basis of received suggestions and its own proposals the Task Group developed the Document encompassing description of the current state of work in this area, existing political, strategic and legal instruments and proposals for national targets according to the Protocol. The draft Document was several times subject of comments of all interested sectors and stakeholders (including regional authorities). On the basis of received comments and several meetings to settle few different opinions and positions, the document was finally modified and submitted by the Ministry of Health to the Czech Government for approval. The Government of the Czech Republic approved the Document on its meeting held on 9 April 2008 and thus Czech national targets officially entered into force.

The Czech Republic proposes objectives for the majority of the areas identified in the Protocol. Only in several cases, where conditions are considered satisfactory or targets fulfilled, no objectives have been set. Altogether 35 different targets have been set. All targets have clear responsibility identified and most targets have clear timetable to be fulfilled. Where targets of the Protocol are identical with the requirements of other international legal documents, especially EU directives and regulations, the deadlines for achieving the targets are identical with these requirements. For all targets, where it is possible, clear indicators of fulfilment have been formulated.

Cost-benefit analysis was not done as most of the targets are overlapping with the targets (requirements) of the EU directives and our country is obliged to comply with in given time framework. The rest of the targets can be fulfilled through ordinary budgets of the ministries involved. Currently the Task Group has prepared proposal to amend national targets as some of them have been already completed or secured for future by law, and in some other cases the timetable has to be adjusted to new conditions.

Czech Republic sees the added value of the Protocol mostly in two ways:

a) Strengthening of intersectoral cooperation (health - environment, health - agriculture, agriculture - environment), which is supported by EU legislation only in some fields, but not in such broad spectrum as suggested by the Protocol.

b) Some issues suggested by the Protocol are not covered by any EU legislation or initiative or are covered only partially. It is the case of about ten Czech targets.

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