PROF Randolph 'Randy' Robert Thaman has been awarded an honorary membership of IUCN by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
The award was made in light of his contributions to the conservation of nature and natural resources.
Prof Thaman of the USP was among 11 nominees and dedicated his achievement to USP, his students, colleagues and collaborators and in particular the communities and 12 member countries of USP
"I accept this as an acknowledgement of the importance that IUCN places on good education and applied science, both modern and traditional, as a critical foundation of sustainability and the ultimate survival of our conservation efforts," he said.
The Fiji-based professor of Pacific Islands Biogeography has worked with dedication in academia and the natural resources sector in the vast Pacific Island region since he joined USP in 1974.
It has also been noted that atop of this achievement, Prof Thaman is also the only staff member at the university to have researched and published on all 12 USP member countries that collectively own the USP.
Vice Chancellor Prof Rajesh Chandra said: "This is a timely recognition of Professor Thaman's efforts and for his immense contributions in areas that are very critical to the survival of our Pacific region."
Regional councillor of the IUCN Ana Tiraa expressed warm sentiments towards Prof Thaman.
"Randy is my hero. I have never met anyone who genuinely sees the potential in human kind to save the planet. Randy has taught me not just from an academic perspective but also from a life point of view," she said.