Addressing climate-related risks and economic development go hand in hand in Třeboň

05 December 2018

The communities living in the Třeboň Basin, in the Czech Republic, are vulnerable to floods. These are exacerbated by climate change, and following catastrophic floods in 1997 and 2002, it became essential to develop effective prevention measures.

The basin is a biosphere reserve designated by UNESCO, and the floodplain of its main river, the Lužnice, is a protected wetland under the Ramsar Convention. True to the mission of biosphere reserves, local authorities investigated options to prevent floods in ways that would protect both people and nature.

The basin is characterized by a network of 460 artificial fishponds and lakes that were constructed in the 15th and 16th century and now constitutes the center of Czech fish-farming industry. Studies confirmed that the fishponds and the natural floodplain wetlands of the Lužnice River are essential to mitigate floods in the area. Flood preventive measures rely on these essential ecosystems, using nature-based solutions to reconcile communities and their environment.

By protecting the wetlands and strengthening the fishpond network, these measures safeguard the towns and villages along the river from floods, and support the local economy. Thanks to the large fishpond system, the Trebon Basin is now the largest producer of freshwater fish in all of Europe, producing nearly 3,000 tons per year. Carps represent 95% of the total production, and are fittingly the symbol of Trebon City.

It is an inspirational example of economic development that combines disaster risk reduction, food production and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. This is one of many solutions developed in Biosphere Reserves around the world to put sustainable development into practice.