Lorna Veronica Inniss is the Coordinator of the UN Environment Caribbean Environment Programme and Director of the Secretariat for the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region.Dr. Inniss has over 25 years of experience in the management of coastal ecosystems in the Caribbean and was Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit of the Government of Barbados. Her background is Environmental Planning and Management and Marine Sciences.
She holds a Doctorate in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University, USA.She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with honors from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Planning and Management. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and a Fellowship by the Organization of American States, to facilitate her post graduate studies. The Louisiana Board of Regents presented her with a Tuition Award to pursue her doctorate. She also holds an honors post-graduate Diploma in Business Management from UWI.
Dr Inniss was the Acting Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit in Barbados for four years, and before that appointment, the Deputy Director for the 10 years. She previously held the posts of Marine Biologist and Coastal Planner with the Unit. Her research interests include innovative coastal conservation measures, submarine groundwater discharge in wetlands, as well as guiding risk and vulnerability assessment activities in respect of coastal hazards.
Dr Inniss has held responsibility for guiding the technical work of the Unit and developing programmes in concert with Government and international donors that promote responsible ocean and coastal stewardship. She held the Chairmanship of the Natural Sciences Committee of the Barbados National Commission for UNESCO, and of the National Standing Committee on Coastal Hazards.
She has served as the elected Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Caribbean Tsunamis and Coastal Hazards Warning System from 2008-2012, and was one of two Joint Coordinators of a Group of Experts established by the United Nations General Assembly to deliver the first ever Integrated World Ocean Assessment, launched on World Oceans Day 2017.
She has participated in many Regional Project including the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem, the Harmful Algal Blooms programme in the Caribbean, the Caribbean component of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) and the Caribbean Marine Atlas. She is one of 15 experts chosen by UNESCO to develop guidelines for Member States to address coastal hazards in the context of Integrated Coastal Area Management.