For your information
Use of the fund:
What are the publically fundraised resources used for?
The funds are used to purchase lands and to cover associated costs (such as land price estimations or land registration fees). As defined by the law, up to 5 % of the collected money proceeds to cover the operational cost of the campaign (such as postage; accounting; promotion). The fund money do not cover the cost of subsequent maintenance of the purchased lands.
How do we know it is not a scam and that the fund is not used for something else?
The collection was authorized by Prague City Council according to Act no. 117/2001 Col. and as such is subject to strict control of resource use. The collection undergoes detailed audit every three years – and have done that twice already (passing with flying colours). In addition, we believe that our good reputation as ČSOP is a good guarantee for itself – having more than thirty years of tradition in nature conservation and almost 10,000 members.
How do we know purchased lands are not sold back after few years when convenient?
Absolute guarantee of inalienability in our legal system does not exist, however, we provide maximum assurance there is – the inalienability of land acquired by the fund is anchored directly in our statutes. In addition, we use our name, our long tradition as ČSOP and results of work conducted for more than 30 years, as a guarantee.
Are you trying use other ways to raise funds for buyouts, or do you solely rely on the public?
To acquire additional funds, we address foundations and international funds or even corporate sponsors. Our goal is to use each donated crown as effectively as possible. Donations from citizens, however, are considered as a priority.
Can I find out what was my money used for?
Of course. You can find timely information on the use of donations on this website, but in case you were interested further, we will gladly provide you with more information (by email; at donors´ meeting etc.) We highly value your lasting interest in the campaign. Donors, who want to know what happens with their gifts contribute to abidance of ethical principles of the fund and its successful long-term development.
How does it benefit me to support the campaign?
First and foremost, we believe that helping our nature can make anybody to feel good about themselves. If you share your address with us, you will receive a commemorative certificate – Donor certificate – from us and information about the use of the funds and the timely status of the purchased lands. By all means, you can also deduct your gift from taxes –the confirmation will be sent to you on your request.
Who does select what lands are purchased?
First of all the locals, who are often involved in our Development Land Trust Program, submit their proposal. Experts from the National Land Trust Council then assess if the site is suitable to be purchased. The final word rests with the management of the Czech Union for Nature Conservation.
What are the criteria for site selection?
There are several criteria. First is the site value for our landscape; plants and animals that live in it. Secondly, imminent or potential danger to the site is considered. Lastly, our ability to provide lasting, long-term care of the site is reviewed (are there collaborators in the area? can we ensure subsequent maintenance financially? etc.).
What is going to be purchased next?
Lands that deserve to be purchased are numerous across the entire country. However, having early negotiations with a particular owner is always a promise of early buyout, therefore it is possible to pre-negotiate only few plots ahead of time depending on the amount of money in the fund. May it not be the best for the owner to find out about our interest in his lands from media, we usually speak about future plans in general terms only. However, some of our plans can be found in the Campaign targets section on the website.
In the past, some ecological organizations bought pieces of land to prevent constructions of intended highways. Do you plan anything like that?
No. Our campaign Place for Nature is solely focused on rescue and restoration of valuable natural sites. Blocking buyouts are not our goal.
Do you also redeem lands that are protected by the state?
We may do so, even though it is not our priority. Especially we may do so in case our ownership may provide better care for those sites, or the current owner may intentionally harm the naturalistic value of the land despite the protection by the law.
I do have a naturally or culturally valuable land and I would like to sell it to you. What should I do?
Please send us a mail or an e-mail (please see the contacts in the right column of the page). We will get in touch with you and evaluate, if the land is suitable to be purchased within the scope of our campaign. Alternatively, we may agree in some other form of cooperation in order to maintain the natural value of the site.
State conservation of nature
Does your campaign compensate for poorly functioning system of state conservation of nature?
No, we are convinced that the state conservation of nature and our campaign complement each other rather than compensate for it. The state is obligated to protect the most valuable and representative areas. The state cannot, however, protect everything – state conservation of nature has inherently a bureaucratic interference with property rights and therefore must consider in advance, whether to protect a site/ a region etc. or not. This is where the role of NGOs and our campaign come to place, as we are based on close collaboration with owners and local residents.
Will you try to achieve law protection for the purchased sites?
No. We believe that as the site owners, we can protect the sites well enough.
Private Nature Reserve:
What does private Nature Reserve mean?
Though not entirely accurate, private Nature Reserve is a term that has been customary. It signifies valuable natural sites that are not protected by law, but by the will of their owners instead. Some of the oldest forest reserves in our country such as Žofín, Boubín and Hojná Voda Forests originated as private ones.
Does anything similar exist elsewhere in the world?
Yes. This promising form of non-governmental conservation of nature is now common in many countries around the world – from the United Kingdom to Chile. „Private Nature Reserve“ can be also found at our closest neighbors – e.g. in the Slovak Republic and Hungary.
What is next?
What does happen to the redeemed land?
We will look after the sites jointly with local land trust so the naturalistic and landscape value is preserved or improved. We will also aim to use the sites for ecological education and for the development of sustainable tourism in the region. We definitely do not want to close the sites for the public, quite the opposite!
You say that the money from the fund will not be used for the maintenance of the sites? Where does the money for that come from then?
Some of it come from the state programs (Landscape Care Program), or grants, some from European Union funds or sponsors. Volunteers usually carry out large portion of the work as well.
How do I get to know more about the purchased sites?
You can learn more on this website in the section “Saved sites”, from ÚVR ČSOP office (phone +420 222 516 115, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or at land trusts that look after the particular purchased site. We issue information leaflets – “little-guides” – about individual purchased sites, which are available at local information centers. We also mount information boards at the sites.
Who is Czech Union for Nature Conservation?
Czech Union for Nature Conservation (ČSOP) is the largest non-profit organization for nature conservation in the Czech Republic. It has almost 7,000 members. Find more information about rich and diverse activities of ČSOP on www.csop.cz.
What are the Land Trusts?
Land Trusts are discussed on a separate page.