Mgr. Zdeněk OPRŠAL, Ph.D.

Contact information

Email address:

Telephone: +420 585 634 984

Office: 2.011

Office hours: by appointment / scheduled by e-mail

Courses taught

  • Development geography and globalization  (taught in Czech and English)
  • Development co-operation  (taught in Czech)
  • Environmental geography  (taught in Czech and English)
  • Rural development  (taught in Czech)
  • Introduction to development studies (co-lecturing, taught in Czech)


2011 (Ph.D.) University of Ostrava, Ostrava (Czech Republic); Ph.D. programme in Environmental Geography 

2004 (Mgr. – equivalent to M.Sc.); Palacký University, Olomouc (Czech Republic); Master’s programme in Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection

Professional Experience 

14 years’ experience in research and teaching in the field of environmental and development studies; occasionally lecturing at other partner universities in the Czech Republic as well as in abroad; experience with the management of education and awareness-raising projects in the field of global development; participation in various education and research projects 

Professional Interests

  • international development and environmental policies and strategies of post-communist (donor) countries, environmental aspects of foreign aid
  • relationships between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes,  land-use change, land governance, sustainable management of natural resources 


Contributions in a scientific journal/conference indexed on the Web of Science:

Opršal, Z., Harmáček, J. (2019) Clean Aid or Dirty Aid? The Environmentalization of Czech Foreign Aid. Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 224, 167-174. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.03.198. Impact factor: 5.651; 50 days‘ free access to the article (until May 17, 2019):

Opršal, Z., Harmáček, J. 2019. Is foreign aid responsive to environmental needs and performance of developing countries? Case study of the Czech Republic. Sustainability, 11 (2), 401, DOI: 10.3390/su11020401. Impact factor: 2.075

Opršal, Z., Harmáček, J., Pavlík, P., Machar, I. 2018 What Factors can Influence the Expansion of Protected Areas around the World in the Context of International Environmental and Development Goals? Problemy Ekorozwoju, vol. 13, no.1, 145-157. Impact factor: 1.058

Pechanec, V., Machar, I., Pohanka, T., Opršal, Z., Petrovič, F., Švajda, J., Šálek, L., Chobot, K., Filippovová, J., Cudlín, P., Málková, J. 2018 Effectiveness of Natura 2000 system for habitat types protection: A case study from the Czech Republic. Nature Conservation – Bulgaria, vol. 24, 21-41, DOI: 10.3897/natureconservation.24.21608.  Impact factor: 1.367

Opršal, Z., Harmáček, J., Syrovátka, M. 2017. Geography of Czech aid: Where and why Czechia promotes development? Geografie, vol. 122, no. 2, 169-189. Impact factor: 0.745

Opršal, Z., Nováček, P. 2017. Development Studies and Development Geography in the System of Earth Sciences.  In: Svobodová, H. (ed.) Proceedings of 25th Central European Conference. Useful Geography: Transfer from Research to Practice. 12th-13th October 2017, Brno. Brno, Czech Republic: Masaryk University.

Harmáček, J., Syrovátka, M., Opršal Z. 2017. Analýza faktorů selekce a alokace české rozvojové pomoci s využitím panelových dat a metod Probit a Tobit = Factors of Czech Aid Selection and Allocation: Panel Probit and Tobit Analysis. Politická ekonomie,  vol. 65, no. 2, 179-197, DOI: 10.18267/j.polek.1135. Impact factor: 0.38

Dytrtová, K., Šarapatka, B., Opršal, Z. 2016. Does Organic Farming Influence Landscape Composition? Two Cases from the Czech Republic. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, vol. 40, no. 7, 714-735, DOI: 10.1080/21683565.2016.1186131.  Impact factor: 1.14

Opršal Z., Kladivo, P., Machar, I. 2016. The role of selected biophysical factors in long-term land-use change of cultural landscape. Applied Ecology and Environmental Research, vol.14, no.2, 23-40. Impact factor: 0.721

Pavlík, P., Opršal Z. 2015. Ekosystémové služby a cukrová řepa = Ecosystem Services and Sugar Beet. Listy cukrovarnické a řepařské, vol. 132, no. 5-6, 182-184. Impact factor: 0.277

Daněk T., Kiliánová, H., Brus, J., Pechanec, V., Opršal, Z. 2015. Rozvoj cukrovarnictví na Hané v 19. století a jeho vliv na krajinný ráz = Development of Sugar Industry in Haná Region in 19th Century and Its Impact on Landscape Character. Listy cukrovarnické a řepařské, vol. 131, no. 4, 146-149. Impact factor: 0.277

Opršal, Z., Šarapatka, B., Kladivo, P. 2013. Land-use Changes and their Relationship to Selected Landscape Parameters in three Cadastral Areas in the Moravia Region, Czech Republic. Moravian Geographical Reports, vol. 21, no. 1. Impact factor: 1.435

Machar, I., Pechanec, V., Kiliánová, H., Opršal, Z., 2013. Adaptation measures for the central European floodplains landscape in the context of global changes. Case study from the Czech Republic. 13th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Geoconference. Ecology, Economics, Education and Legislation. Conference Proceedings, vol.I: pp 11-16. 

Machar, I., Pechanec, V., Opršal, Z., 2012. Applying of land-use analyse in environmental impact assessment of the gravel mining activities in floodplain landscape case study: Sustainable management plan of the Tovačov lakes (Czech Republic). 12th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference and EXPO – Modern Management of Mine Producing, Geology and Environmental Protection, SGEM 2012. pp 457-464. 


Contributions in a scientific journal/conference indexed on the SCOPUS / ERIH:

Opršal, Z., Harmáček, J. 2018. Geografické, environmentální a socioekonomické determinanty cestovního ruchu v malých ostrovních rozvojových státech (SIDS). Geografický časopis, vol. 70, no.2, 161-177 (SCOPUS)

Opršal, Z., Harmáček, J., Syrovátka, M. 2016. The Allocation of Czech Foreign Aid in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Influence of Historical Relationships.  Int. J. Economic Policy in Emerging Economies, 9 (4), 325—343. (SCOPUS)

Voleníková, L.,  Opršal, Z. 2016. The Role of Urban Agriculture in Household Wellbeing: Case Study of Community-Based Urban Agriculture in Ndola, ZambiaDevelopment, Environment and Foresight, 2 (2), 80—90. (ERIH)

Krylová, P., Syrovátka, M., Opršal, Z. 2012. Assessing the aid effectiveness of the Czech Republic: Commitment to Development Index and beyond. Perspectives on European Politics and Society 13 (1), s. 100–116. (SCOPUS)


Books / chapter in books:

Opršal, Z. 2014. Mezinárodní rozvojová spolupráce: vybrané aspekty. Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, Pedagogická fakulta, Olomouc

Opršal, Z. 2014. Rozvojová spolupráce. In Nováček, P. (ed.) Rozvojová studia – vybrané kapitoly. Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, Přírodovědecká fakulta, Olomouc.

Krylová, P., Syrovátka, M., Opršal, Z. 2013. Assessing the aid effectiveness of the Czech Republic: Commitment to Development Index and beyond. In: Horký-Hlucháň, O., Lightfoot, S. (eds.) Development policies of central and eastern European states: From aid recipients to aid donors. London: Routledge.

Leichtová, M., Opršal, Z. 2013. Rozvojové aktivity Organizace spojených národů. In Leichtová, M. (ed.) Tvoříme rozvoj. Vybrané donorské instituce v současné rozvojové spolupráci. Západočeská univerzita v Plzni, Plzeň.

Dušková, L., Harmáček, J., Krylová, P., Opršal, Z., Syrovátka, M., Šafaříková, S. et al. 2011. Encyklopedie rozvojových studií. Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci, Olomouc.


Conference participation

Conferences with active participation

Migration: Educational, Political and Cultural Aspects. 18-19 March 2019, Beit Berl College, Izrael.

Geografia na (v)zostupe? 17. kongres Slovenskej geografickej spoločnosti / 24. sjezd České geografické společnosti.  4-8 September 2018, Prírodovedecká fakulta Univerzity Komenského v Bratislave, Slovakia. 

Useful Geography: Transfer from Research to Practice. 25th Central European Conference. 12-13 October 2017, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Globalisation at the Crossroads. Rethinking Inequalities and Boundaries. EADI NORDIC 2017; 21-23 August 2017, Bergen, Norway.

1st Annual Eastern Africa Business and Economic Watch Conference; University of Rwanda, College of Business and Economics (co-organised by  Jonkoping International Business School,  Sweden);  4-7 May 2015, Kigali, Rwanda.

Geografie v srdci Evropy: 23. sjezd České geografické společnosti a 16. kongres Slovenskej geografickej spoločnosti. Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 2014.

9th Convention of the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA) Jagiellonian University, Krakow,  September 2012

American Association of Geographers – AAG Annual Meeting 2010, Washington, DC, April 2010

Summer school/training

Training in Landscape Character Assessment Methods and Tools, University of the Aegean Summer School, Lesvos Island, Greece, 07-12 September 2015

Land Governance for Development, Utrecht Summer School (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), 2014

Participatory GIS in Development Studies,  Helsinki Summer School (University of Helsinki, Finland), 2010

Projects participation

EMJMD (Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree) in International Development Studies (GLODEP), a member of the project team within the EMJMD Consortium’s coordinating university (; 2017-2021

Program na podporu aplikovaného výzkumu a experimentálního vývoje národní a kulturní identity -NAKI II; research project  „Zapomenutá historie horských lesů Hrubého Jeseníku“; 2018-2021

IGA – Land-use changes – analysis of selected landscape parameter: coordinator of a research project, 2014-2015

Practical competencies for project activities in the regional development (POPRAR): participation in the project since 2012-2013; research in Peru; creation of educational materials

Enhancing Employability of Students of Development Studies in Practice (UP PSTROS): participation in the project since 2011; creation of educational materials and innovations of study courses