Jan Stráský left other contenders with little chance in the main and verbal pearl competitions
The Czech Republic’s top prize for the worst environmental and ecological contribution to the country over the last year has been won by the director of the country’s Šumava National Park, Jan Stráský.
Stráský topped the 24 nominations for the anti-prize beating stiff opposition in the form of Environment Minister Tomáš Chalupa (Civic Democrat, ODS); global warming skeptic President Václav Klaus; and Minister of Finance Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) and former ODS industry minister Martin Kocourek. Chalupa and Kocourek, took second and third places respectively, in a competition where ministers of all political colors usually thrive.
Stráský was won the prize for never missing an opportunity to do some ecological damage throughout 2011 and hardly gave the other contenders a sniff of the title, according to the organizers the Czech branch of Friends of the Earth (Děti Země). “He refused to continue in the quality preservation of the park, which was the condition for this award,” said the organization chairman Miroslav Patrik.
He has also allowed the use of banned pesticides in the park territory. He accumulated nine separate grounds, including bringing the park into public disrepute, for his nomination, far more than any of the other contenders.
‘The law is followed to the extent that it is constantly violated, but its violation will be covered by possible exemptions.’
The national park director also triumphed in the parallel competition for the best verbal pearl, so-called golden pearl, which summed up his overall approach. Stráský’s winning phrase was: “The law is followed to the extent that it is constantly violated, but its violation will be covered by possible exemptions.”
Stráský was always a top contender for the verbal pearl prize having 13 different nominations in the category.
“It is really sad that the prize is often won by people who should really be those who should be protecting the natural environment,” Lukáš Jelínek, a member of the selection committee for the prize, told the web server Novinky.cz.
The main prize has been awarded for the last 20 years with the verbal pearl prize in its third year.
Stráský took up the post as director of the national park, one of the best preserved parts of a forest that covered most of central Europe, in February 2011 following his nomination by environment minister Chalupa, who has been keen to trample on environment legislation whenever it seems to become too much of a burden or hindrance.