News Releases

UWI pays tribute to Angela Cropper - a stellar Alumna

For Release Upon Receipt - November 19, 2012

St. Augustine

On November 12 Angela Cropper, an outstanding alumni and honorary graduate of The University of the West Indies (UWI), ended her courageous battle with cancer.

Angela graduated with honours from The UWI with a BSc degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) in 1973 and 1982 respectively. She also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University in 2009. An Economist of a rare type, with a heart for the environment, Angela was involved in numerous initiatives at the cutting edge of sustainable development.

In 2008 Angela was appointed Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  She served in this role until 2011 and more recently had been serving as the UNEP’s Special Advisor for the Rio +20 Summit 2012.

In addition to her posts at the UNEP and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Angela’s activities during her sterling career included professional, professorial and advisory appointments at Yale University; the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago; CARICOM; the World Conservation Union (IUCN), Switzerland; Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, UWI St. Augustine.

In 2000 Angela started the Cropper Foundation with her husband John Cropper. The establishment of this not-for-profit philanthropic organisation reflected her unstinting advocacy for the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources and their deep interest in Caribbean development. In a 2008 interview with the Pelican Magazine (A publication of The UWI) Angela spoke of her vision for the Foundation to facilitate public policy and governance, environment and resource education, as well as capacity building for sustainable development. She saw the Foundation as providing a framework in which interested individuals and organizations might combine their time, expertise and resources to ‘give something back’ to the public interest. The Cropper Foundation and the UWI St. Augustine Campus have partnered for initiatives and programmes in the areas of the sciences, arts and culture.

Angela Cropper’s life work has had real relevance; during her exemplary career which spanned 39 years she served as a member of the Board of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2001-2005) and led two sub-global assessments on the Northern Range in Trinidad and the Caribbean Sea. She also chaired the Board of Trustees of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and was a member of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development, where she served as Editor of the Commission’s Report. In 2006, Angela received the Zayed Prize for Environmental Action Leading to Positive Change. She was also recognized by the Environmental Management Authority of Trinidad and Tobago with the Green Leaf Award.

UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris extended condolences on behalf of the University community: “Angela Cropper has made contributions which have impacted our region and reached beyond to touch the globe. She proved to be a sterling example of the ideal UWI graduate and our region has undoubtedly lost one of its most committed advocates for the environment and sustainable development.” Commenting on the legacy she left behind Professor Harris said “Angela herself had expressed how proud she was of the synergy between her Foundation and her Alma Mater. Bearing this in mind and in keeping with our own stated commitment to regional development, UWI will continue to lend its support to the legacy which she has left in the Cropper Foundation.”

In her 2008 Pelican Magazine interview Angela Cropper had this to say: “I am a ‘developmentalist’ equally as I am an ‘environmentalist.’ I am persuaded that these two dimensions are inseparable, and I advocate that they should be inseparable as we design our pathways for satisfying our human needs.” Angela Cropper’s legacy will be the manifestation of these ideals to which the UWI remains committed.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)