David Christopher Smith

Synergos Senior Fellow & Coordinator, Institute for Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies

Dr. David C. Smith is the Coordinator of the Institute for Sustainable Development. He is also the Caribbean Coordinator for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN) and Coordinator of the University Consortium of Small Island States (UCSIS). He is a member of the Independent group of scientists who will prepare the UN Global Sustainable Development Report to be published in 2019.

Dr. Smith has almost thirty years’ experience in academia, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations, focusing on Sustainable Development, Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Reduction. He initiated Jamaica’s first debt for nature swap and played a key role in establishing the Jamaica National Parks Trust Fund and the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica. He was instrumental in the successful development of proposals for a number of UWI projects in sustainable development research, distance teaching, knowledge management, disaster risk management and hazard mapping. He is also one of the Principal Investigators for the Enhancing Knowledge and Application of Comprehensive Disaster Management (EKACDM) Initiative, a regional project.

Dr. Smith worked at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Jamaica Country Office, from 2002 to 2008 with responsibility for Energy, the Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management aspects of the programme. He also Co-Chaired the UN technical team on disasters in Jamaica.

At the UNDP Dr. Smith developed and managed a programme folio which included two regional projects operating in multiple countries within the Caribbean. The Integrating Watershed and Coastal Area Management project was jointly managed with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and strengthened watershed and coastal zone management in eight Caribbean countries. The ECHO-funded Weather Radar project strengthened capacity for early warning mechanisms in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. During his tenure at the UNDP, he raised funds for National Capacity Self Assessments, National Biodiversity and Action Plans, Protected Areas and the obligations of Jamaica and the Bahamas under the Montréal Protocol. He also established Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme for Jamaica and managed its establishment in the Bahamas. He was appointed as Assistant Resident Representative (Programme) in September 2007.