* Perception of environmental issues by Czechs

Presented results stem from a research realized by the CVVM (Public Opinion Research Center) as a part of a project ”Our society 2004” in March 2004, on the sample of 1056 respondents representing the population of the Czech Republic aged over 15. The research focused mainly on identification of people’s contentment with the environment and some of its aspects. It further tried to specify public awareness of environmental issues, i.

e. to find out, whether citizens abide by the environment-friendly approaches and participate actively in environmental protection. These findings are summed up in the second and third part of the article. Related data acquired from other researches of the mentioned project are processed in the first part.

1. Does the environment represent an issue?

Series of researches have proved that public recognizes the importance of environment as a sphere directly affecting the quality of human life . However, it’s recognition in everyday life is – put in an euphemistic way - ambiguous and sometimes even opposite. Nevertheless, some trends in the life style, such as renaissance of cottageing or an effort of suburban town’s citizens to move into the places worse accessible by car but closer to nature, indicate increasing preference of quality environment.

On the other hand, research data prove that people tend to undervalue environmental issues comparing to other social issues. This is evident from the table no. 1, presenting CVVM results from March 2004. (Červenka 2004). Environment ranks 14th place of 18 observed topics sorted by the perception of their urgency (respondent’s answer “very urgent”). Although a large proportion of respondents (roughly a half) conclude that the environment is „quite“ an urgent issue and only few mentioned that it is not urgent at all, its overall position is not good.

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