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Jan Szyszko April 19, 1944 - October 9, 2019

Pole who oversaw logging in pristine forest dies at 75

Originally published by The Associated Press on October 09, 2019

WARSAW, Poland — Jan Szyszko, a former Polish environment minister who oversaw extensive logging in one of Europe's last pristine forests, has died suddenly at age 75.

Polish President Andrzej Duda announced the "very sad, unexpected news" that Szyszko died Wednesday morning, remembering him as "a scientist and politician, but above all a good and kind man, passionate about nature."

Szyszko had been campaigning for a seat in parliament ahead of Sunday's elections on the ticket of the ruling conservative Law and Justice party. He was environment minister in three governments over the past two decades, most recently from 2015-2018.

His last tenure was controversial due to extensive logging his ministry ordered in the Bialowieza Forest, a UNESCO world heritage site and home to bison, until a European Union court deemed the logging illegal.

The Associated Press

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