Johannesburg - South African environmentalist Andrew Zaloumis has received the prestigious international award, the KfW-Bernhard-Grzimek-Preis award for his commitment to conservation and management as CEO of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the KwaZulu-Natal east coast.
The ceremony was held in Frankfurt, Germany on Tuesday night.
Zaloumis was nominated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
The internationally-renowned award is awarded every two years.
In a statement from the Park, it said under Zaloumis, who manages more than 200km of coastline, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park became South Africa's first Unesco World Heritage site.
This had contributed to KZN's tourism GDP.
“In taking World Heritage conservation to a whole new level, Andrew Zaloumis has given hope to and inspired both the youth of iSimangaliso and his World Heritage peers around the world,” said Dr Fanny Douvere, coordinator of the Unesco Marine Programme in Paris.
The award is named after Bernhard Klemens Maria Grzimek, a renowned German conservationist, zoo director, zoologist and author, who won the first German Oscar.