Press release

IISD mourns passing of noted advocate for sustainable development: Angela Cropper

November 12, 2012

WINNIPEG—November 13, 2012—The International Institute for Sustainable Development mourns the loss of former board member and friend, Angela Cropper, who passed away yesterday at her home in London following a lengthy illness.

Cropper was the United Nations assistant secretary general and deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Program. She was also co-founder and president of the Cropper Foundation, a non-profit organization she established with her late husband, John, to contribute to public policy for sustainable development. Among her many accomplishments, she was co-chair of the Assessment Panel of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a member of the board of trustees of the Centre for International Forestry Research, and a member of the board of the Trinidad and Tobago Environmental Management Authority and trustee of its environment fund.

She was a highly respected and admired member of IISD's board, on which she served from 1999 to 2008, when she retired.

David Runnalls, IISD distinguished fellow and former president and CEO remembered Cropper for her determination and strength. "Angela had a lifetime of personal tragedies, losing first her son in the prime of his life and later her mother, husband and other family members in a massacre. Yet she remained committed to the goal of sustainable development and participated actively and creatively on our board for several years. She remained positive and determined until the end," he said.

IISD chair Dan Gagnier said the institute had been fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with her over many years. "We are grateful for her legacy of service and commitment to sustainable development.

"We will remember Angela's good grace and appreciation of life and friends regardless of the challenges in her personal life. The world is poorer without her caring and incredible spirit."

Cropper recently granted the institute an interview, following the Rio+20 Summit in June, where she completed her last assignment for the United Nations as a special advisor.

In her concluding remarks about the priorities for action, she said: "The challenge is how to get hold of this supposedly new political commitment and endorsement of the Rio agenda, the Rio principles, the Rio objectives and so on, and move forward with some sense of urgency. Because the urgency we need is not the urgency we manifested in the last 20 years." -end-

For more information please contact Nona Pelletier, IISD manager, public affairs at: +1 (204) 958-7740, mobile: +1 (204) 962-1303, or email


About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.