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Civil association director declines award

The Environment Ministry's special award for 2007 was declined by Peter Sabo, the executive director of the Živá planéta (Living Planet) civil association and lecturer at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica.

According to the ministry's press department, Environmental Minister Jaroslav Izák wanted to give Sabo the award after he was nominated for it by several civil associations.

The nomination was based on Sabo's work dealing with international and domestic projects within the framework of the World Conservation Union.

Sabo said that he declined the award because the environment ministry along with the State Office for the Protection of Slovak Nature is "systematically weakening the protection of Slovakia's most valuable natural treasures through plans to reduce the size of protected [wilderness] areas and is liquidating national parks of European importance".

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