Andrew Zaloumis has left the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal after 20 years at the helm.
In a statement issued on Sunday night‚ the park announced that the decision was to allow Zaloumis‚ who was CEO‚ to “pursue his studies in sustainability at Cambridge University UK and continue to contribute to Southern African conservation and development”.
“Respected by his staff and people who worked with him as a leader who translated ideas into tangible life-changing benefits to the lives of the communities he served‚ Andrew leaves behind a living legacy that few South Africans would have had the courage and strength to pull together. He met his mandate and proceeded to do more‚” the statement said.
Zaloumis was integral to the park being named South Africa’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Under his tenure‚ Mr Zaloumis pioneered and institutionalised development-focused conservation at the Park‚” Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said.
The award-winning Zaloumis has also been credited for major tourism and infrastructure boosts in and around the iSimangaliso park‚ as well as creating job opportunities for local crafters.
“He is a legend in our lifetime”‚ said Buyane Zwane‚ chairman of the iSimangaliso board. “Not many in our nation have demonstrated selflessness‚ dedication to grooming leaders‚ managers‚ professionals‚ and entrepreneurs in rural settings to world standards with unquestionable love for the country as recently retired founding CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority.”