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Jan Čeřovský (1930 - 2017) - Biography

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The Czech ambassador was offered deer and I was allowed to travel abroad.

Jan Čeřovský, PhD. was born in Prague on 2 February 1930. He used to be a boy-scout with Prague's group Trilobit and had a special interest in fossils. Thanks to his mother, who was fond of rocks and plants, he began to develop an interest in biology as he grew older. In high school, he met the botanist Jaroslav Vesely, with whom he then collaborated for all of his life. As a seventeen year old, he became a member of the Czechoslovak Botantic Society. Between 1950 and 1953 he worked as a distance editor-in-chief of Člověk a příroda ("Human and the Nature") magazine. From 1949 to 1953 he attended the Faculty of Biology, Charles University in Prague, followed by post-gradual studies specializing in geobotanics and nature conservation. In 1956 he became a founding editor-in-chief of the magazine of young technicians and biologists ABC. In 1961 he was awarded a PhD. degree, becoming Doctor of Natural Sciences in 1967. Ever since 1959 Jan Čeřovský worked in State Institute for Historic Preservation and Nature Conservation in Prague, in a department specializing in nature conservation, where he had stayed until his retirement in 2002. He initiated and coordinated a system of educational trails, published a five-volume set of Czechoslovak "red books" on endangered species. He also pushed through the inclusion of the word "wetlands" into Czech vocabulary. On the 9th general assembly of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an associated agency to UNESCO he was appointed vice-president of IUCN permanent Commission on Education, pursuing the inclusion of environmental education into curricula at all levels of education. Between 1969 and 1973 he served as head of the unit for education at the Central Secretariat of IUCN in Morges, Switzerland. From 1982 to 1988 he was secretary of the Eastern European Committee of IUCN for education. In 1990 - 1994 he served as vice-president of IUCN. Between 1991 and 1996 he was a member of Czech national committee for UNESCO program Man and Biosphere. Jan Čeřovský passed away on September, the 9th, 2017.

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