Jan Korytar

Ashoka Fellow
Czech Republic,
Fellow Since 1999
Spole nost pYátel prirody


This profile was prepared when Jan Korytar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1999.
The New Idea
Honza is using the endangered old-growth forests of the Czech Republic to create a concrete, popular vision of environmental health, and showing that it is possible to prevent further forest destruction without implementing any laborious or economically demanding re-forestation programs. His is the first practical realization of the ideal of sustainable life in the Czech Republic.
Honza is pioneering a project to promote an alternative way of growing forests without the use of pesticides, fertilizers, or heavy machinery. In doing so, he not only shows the public that grass-roots environmental movements can yield tangible results, but also persuades professionals–both ecologists and forestry specialists–that education is much more effective when combined with practical work. With the help of a broad network of partners and volunteers, Honza is restoring biodiversity to forests and preserving endangered tree species (and the forests as such) within a significant area of the country. With the help of a strong regional ecological organization endowed with sufficient funds to meet his long-term objectives, he has managed to become an influential partner of government agencies. He cooperates with the Czech Ministry of the Environment, various educational institutions, numerous non-profit organizations, and also with local entrepreneurs.
His work sets a precedent for successful grassroots environmental movements that is helping highlight the urgency of citizen action and spreading its influence to other environmental issues.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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