Professor Yash Pal of India has won the annual Kalinga Prize for the popularisation of science along with a Vietnamese professor, a Tunisian expert in water management and the organisation responsible for Spain's national park system.
Koïchiro Matsuura, director-general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), presented the prizes in Budapest, Hungary, where the three-day World Science Forum has opened, the UN news centre said in a statement.
Yash Pal was recognised for his participation in many Indian television programmes that deal with popular science, including "Turning Point" and "Science is Everywhere". He also helped establish the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Pune and the Centre for Educational Communication in Ahmedabad.
The annual Kalinga Prize for the Popularisation of Science has been jointly awarded to Yash Pal of India and Trinh Xuan Thuan of Vietnam, Unesco said in a press release.
Co-winner Trinh is a world-renowned astrophysicist who in 2004 discovered the youngest known galaxy in the universe.
The Great Man-Made River International Water Prize for Arid and Semi-Arid Zones, awarded every two years, has been given to Bellachheb Chahbani, who has spent more than 25 years at the Institute of Arid Regions in Médenine, Tunisia.
The Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation, handed out every two years on the recommendation of the Bureau of the International Coordinating Council of Unesco'S Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, has been given to Spain's Autonomous Authority for National Parks, known by its Spanish acronym OAPN.
The authority, which falls under the Spanish ministry of environment, rural and marine areas, runs the national park system and promotes international cooperation on the management of protected areas.