WWF South Pacific has paid tribute to Professor Randoph Robert Thaman of the USP and the lasting legacy he is building in the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in the South Pacific.
According to a statement, Professor Thaman was recently awarded an Honorary Membership of IUCN by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea for his outstanding contribution to nature.
WWF South Pacific Representative Kesaia Tabunakawai said in a statement that Pacific communities were forever connected to Professor Thaman through his inspiring, passionate and infectious leadership in conservation and sustainable development, from classrooms to the mountains, the forest, mangroves, rivers and iqoliqoli and the people who live off these resources.
The statement said that as a teacher, Professor Randolf RobertThaman had left an indelible mark in the lives of many Pacific islanders; he mentored them to love natural resource conservation and management ever since joining the USP in 1974.
His apprentices, who affectionately call him 'Randy', have risen to become national and regional leaders within government and non-government organisations driving the cause of resource conservation throughout the Pacific.
These include half of the conservation staff at WWF South Pacific.
"The name Randy Thaman is synonymous with island biodiversity," said Patricia Mallam, WWF South Pacific Communications Manager.
"With a larger than life personality and knowledge on almost every plant in the Pacific - it is befitting that he was awarded the IUCN Honorary Membership."