Dr. Mark D. Griffith, B.A (Hons); Ph.D., LLB (Hons); LL.M (Commercial and Corporate Law), C. Mgt
Legal, Environmental, Institutional, Project and International Development Specialist.
Dr. Griffith is an Associate with de Romilly and de Romilly Ltd. He has lived and worked in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and a number of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Dr. Griffith has a Bachelor of Law (LL.B. Hons) and Masters in Law (LL.M) from the University of London, with specialization in corporate and commercial law, including international trade law, international commercial arbitration and European Community Law. Dr. Griffith also has a Ph.D. in Geography with specialization in Remote Sensing of the Environment and Geographical Information Systems from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. Dr. Griffith has also undertaken specialised studies at a number of Universities including in the Civil Engineering Department, University of Aston In Birmingham; Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Griffith is also a Kellogg/Partners of the America Fellow in International Development. He has been the recipient of a number of awards including the UWI/University of Aston Scholarship In Remote Sensing of the Environment, the Barbados Governor General Award, 1994 for Environmental Excellence and the United Nations Sabbatical Award on Environment and the Multilateral Trading System. Dr. Griffith is a Member of the Honourable Gray’s Inn, United Kingdom.
As a legal and institutional specialist, Dr. Griffith has considerable demonstrable experience in the design, implementation and analysis of legal and institutional systems. Examples of Dr. Griffith’s work, in this area, include, inter alia:
the establishment of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus;
facilitation of the establishment and institutionalization of Environment in the Public Service of the Government of Barbados;
the provision of much of the technical and intellectual work which lead to the establishment, for the first time, of a Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Unit in the Department of Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development of the United Nations;
the operationalization of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), including the operationalization of the STAP Roster of Experts for the technical and scientific review of GEF projects, for which he serves as the Secretary of the STAP for almost a decade;
the establishment of the Partnership of Sustainable Land Management (PISLM) for Caribbean SIDS as an integral part of the Caribbean SIDS Programme established by the Forum of Ministers of the Environment for Latin America to enhance technical assistance to SIDS;
the establishment of the Tri-National Coordination Institutional Structure to support the implementation of the Caribbean Biological Corridor (CBC) Project and played a critical role in the establishment of the Caribbean RIM Platform Initiative (CRPI) for Regional Cooperation, Investment and Trade.
Dr. Griffith has considerable experience and expertise in analysing the legal and institutional governance systems in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the development of the development of national and regional policies and strategies. Examples of work in this area include, inter alia:
Diagnostic and Analytical Review of the Environmental Governance System for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname in support of the formulation of the proposed Caribbean Community Environment and Natural Resources (including Coastal, Marine and Ocean resources) Policy Framework. This exercise included the collection of baseline information for the preparation of a Community Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management Framework (CEPNRMF). Its exercise involved the (a) Analysis of Existing Legal and institutional Frameworks Governing the Environment and natural resources management in Dominica; (b) Using the RT to determine whether existing environmental governance frameworks at the national level are adequate to support the full and effective functioning of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and (c) Identification and assessment of priority environmental issues and respective policy responses, as well as any existing gaps in legal and institutional arrangements at the national level in support of the CSME.
Technical Assistance for the Establishment of National Land Policies Anguilla, British Virgin Island, Grenada and Si. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In the area of environmental management and planning; including inter alia: environmental assessment; environmental policy analysis; environmental and sustainable development negotiations, Dr. Griffith has considerable experience and expertise. Dr. Griffith established and served as Head of the Environmental Unit, Ministry with responsibility for Environment, Government of Barbados, between 1986 and 1992. In addition, Dr. Griffith has served as a Senior Environmental and Legal Specialist in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for over two decades in various capacities, including, inter alia; the Secretary of the Scientific and Technical Panel (STAP) of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for almost a decade; GEF Regional Coordinator of Latin America and the Caribbean where he developed a GEF Portfolio of Projects for, in particular, Latin America and the UNEP Regional Coordinator for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Dr. Griffith has also worked in the University, including playing the leading role in the establishment of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) and the provision of technical and policy advice to the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, during the initial stages of its development. Dr. Griffith is also a co-founder of international environmental and sustainable development private sector entities, namely; Environmental Systems Inc. and CaribInvest West Indies Limited, for which he serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Dr. Griffith has considerable experience and expertise in both climate change and disaster reduction. In the case of climate change, Dr. Griffith has worked in the various dimensions of climate change. As a negotiator, he oversaw Barbados’ negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and its implementation while he was Barbados Chief Environmental Advisor. From a science and technology perspective Dr. Griffith played a significant role supporting the science underpinning the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Focal Areas, including climate change. He contributed, in his capacity as the Secretary of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to the formulation of GEF Operational Programmes and Policies. In this regard, he played a critical role in providing the technical and scientific basis on which GEF Focal Areas by contributing to development of the GEF Operational Strategy and Programmes on its Focal Areas as well as providing the scientific and technical guidance to the GEF Council on GEF portfolio, including on climate change and land degradation.
In the areas of project conceptualisation, preparation and development Dr. Griffith has considerable experience and expertise. He has successfully developed projects using the guidance from a number of international funding mechanisms, including, the Global Environment Facility (GEF); the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Dr. Griffith is credited as one of the founding fathers of the Caribbean Community Climate Change programme, having conceptualised and designed the region’s first major climate change initiative, the GEF project, entitled “Caribbean: Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change” (CPACC)—the project which is the foundation of the Caribbean Community Climate Change programme. Dr. Griffith also developed the initial UNEP Land degradation/Sustainable Land Management GEF Project portfolio for Africa (1998-2002) in excess of USD 80 million. Dr. Griffith has conceptualised and designed many projects worldwide to address climate change, biodiversity and sustainable land management benefits; including, inter alia; an EU funded project, titled, “the Demarcation and Establishment of the Caribbean Biological Corridor (CBC) as a Framework for Biodiversity Conservation, Environmental Rehabilitation and Development of Livelihood Options in Haiti, Dominican Republic and the Republic of Cuba; and a full sized GEF project entitled “Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Multi-country Soil Management Initiative for Integrated Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Food Systems: Phase 1 (CSIDS-SOILCARE Phase.” As a Project Manager, Dr. Griffith has overseen the successful implementation of many projects including; inter alia; the UNEP/EU demonstration project implemented in Grenada entitled “entitled “Building Capacity for Coastal Ecosystem-Based Adaptation in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS)” which aims to strengthen climate change resilience and adaptive capacity of communities in SIDS where there is a high dependence on ecosystem services provided by coastal ecosystems. More recently he has been assisting countries in the formulation of proposal to be submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for funding.
In the area of disaster risk reduction, Dr. Griffith also has considerable experience and expertise. He served as UNEP/ROLAC, Regional Sub-Programme Coordinator, for “Disasters and Conflicts” (2009-2016) Sub-Programme, one of the seven priortity areas of UNEP’s work. This Sub-programme seeks to minimize the environmental threats to human well-being from the environmental causes and consequences of disasters and conflicts. Through the Disasters and Conflicts programme, UNEP provides four core services to Member States; disaster risk reduction, post-crisis environmental assessments, post-crisis environmental recovery and environmental cooperation for peacebuilding. Dr. Griffith has also done work on Hazards management and responses. One such example is his work in the formulation of a Flood Management Strategy for Speightstown, Barbados.
Dr. Griffith is an experience and skilful negotiator. Dr. Griffith played the leading role, within the context of the Preparatory Process for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in the conceptualisation and articulation of the concept of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the need for the international community to consider them as a special case for environment and development. This laid the foundation for the adoption by the international community of Chapter 17 (G) of Agenda 21 on Small Island Developing States. In this regard, he is credited as being the “father” of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and its acceptance by the international community. He also led Barbados’ preparation for the hosting of the First United Nations Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing serving as Head of the Interim National Secretariat for the Conference (1992-1993) and Technical Advisor to the Government of Barbados on the Conference (Sept. 1993-May 1994) and led Barbados negotiations on environment and sustainable development issues during the period 1987-1994. In 1994 he was the recipient of the Barbados Governor General Award for Environmental Excellence.
More recently (2019-2021), Dr Griffith served as Senior Environment Governance Specialist providing technical and policy advice to the Presidency [Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Government of Barbados] for the XXII Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Griffith also served as the Chairperson of the Negotiating Committee of High Level Officers for Latin America and the Caribbean and oversaw the drafting of the Outcomes of the XXII Meeting of the Forum of Ministers. These included Eight Decisions (e.g. Pollution; Sustainable Consumption and Production and Circular Economy – Key Drivers for Post COVID-19 Sustainable Recovery; Climate Change; Preventing future pandemics and accelerating sustainable recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean through the adoption of regional strategies for the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems; Environmental Information Integrated System; The Environmental Dimension of Emergencies and Crises - A Critical Issue to Address to Facilitate Sustainable Development; Promotion of Gender Equality in Environmental Management; and The Environmental Dimension of the Sustainable Development of SIDS); the Bridgetown Declaration and the Communique on the Environmental Dimension of COVID-19, including the elements for a Sustainable Post-COVID-19 Recovery Plan for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Griffith has considerable experience in training and the development of educational materials. Dr. Griffith, has conceptualised, developed and deliver a number of professional training courses across the world, particularly for Small Island Developing States. These courses, includes, inter alia,
A University Degree Course on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development for the Virtual University of Small States of the Commonwealth of Learning (VUSSC). This is tiered programme with three entry and exit points, namely
- Advanced Certificate in Environmental Management for Sustainable Development
- Diploma in Environmental Management for Sustainable Development, and
- Bachelors Environmental Management for Sustainable Development.
A continuing professional developing course for Environment and Sustainable Development professional entitled “International Architecture for Environment and Development (IAESD)” for the Commonwealth Secretariat.
A continuing professional developing course for Environment and Sustainable Development professional entitled “International Architecture for Environment and Development (IAESD)” for the Indian Ocean Commission. This involved the updating of the Commonwealth IAESD to include more specificity to the AIMS Small Island Developing States (ASIDS).
Dr. Griffith also served as an External Examiner for the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies, and Cave Hill Campus for its Environmental Law Courses for the period 2012-2014. He is also the author/Co-author/Editor of a number of books; namely
Griffith, M.D. and D. Oderson, 2009: Strengthening the Inner Circle for Environment and Sustainable Development: the Case of the Caribbean Community, CaribInvest (West Indies) Ltd., pp. 267. [The first comprehensive book written on Caribbean Community Environmental Law]
Griffith, M.D. 2007: The Caribbean, Discover Its People, Assets and Investment Opportunities. CaribInvest (West Indies) Ltd., pp. 216. [One of the few books on Investment Opportunities in the Caribbean Community as a Community]
Griffith, M.D. and B. Persaud (Ed.), 1995: Economic Policy and the Environment: The Caribbean Experience: Centre for Environment and Development, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, pp. 252.