IUCN mourns the loss of one of environment’s brightest lights

13 November 2012 | News story

IUCN joins the outpouring of sympathy for Angela Cropper, a leading environmental figure, who passed away in London yesterday following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

The announcement was made by The Cropper Foundation, set up by Angela and her late husband John Cropper in 2000, to promote sustainable development, equity, and better environmental and resource management. 

“Angela was one of the brightest lights of the global environmental movement," said IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre. "Her passion and professionalism, integrity and wisdom were a true inspiration to us all. As in everything she did, she faced her illness with dignity and courage. She will be greatly missed by so many of us who loved and admired her. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Angela’s family at their loss.” 

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Angela held senior positions with regional and global bodies dedicated to environment and sustainable development, notably the Caribbean Community and Common Market Secretariat (CARICOM), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and the United Nations Environment Programme. She was also the co-chair of the Millennium Assessment Panel, which produced the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Angela’s involvement with IUCN spanned several decades. From 1991-1993, she held the position of IUCN Head of Governance, with responsibilities for policy-making, institution building and leading the development of a Strategic Plan for the Union. She was also a long-standing member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, and served as its Deputy Chair from 1997-1998.

In recognition of her outstanding services to the conservation of nature and natural resources, Angela Cropper was awarded the IUCN Honorary Membership at the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress.

“I am grateful that my professional career has been influenced by IUCN and that in turn I might have contributed in some small way to strategic and developmental progress,” Angela said in her acceptance remarks on that occasion.

Angela Cropper will be fondly remembered by a great many colleagues and friends in the IUCN network and the broader environment and sustainable development community.

Former IUCN Director General and current UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner in a letter to UNEP staff wrote: "Angela was a most remarkable individual who commanded enormous respect and admiration in our global community of sustainable development and environment professionals. Her personal integrity and professional leadership inspired countless individuals and institutions, who she supported and served in the most humble and selfless manner one could imagine."

“You touched our lives with the caring love you gave to all and everything you fought for,” Yolanda Kakabadse, former IUCN President and current President of WWF said in her tribute to Angela. 

“She was an important role model for many women, showing us how to lead with integrity and dignity, and to have the courage to speak truth to power. We will miss her,” said former colleague Nancy MacPherson, who is now Managing Director, Evaluation at The Rockefeller Foundation.

Details of a Memorial Service to commemorate the life of Angela Cropper and tributes are found on The Cropper Foundation website at http://angela.cropper.muchloved.com/


Une vue aérienne d'écosystèmes d'Afrique centrale et occidentale