Arthur Lyon Dahl is President of the International Environment Forum, and a retired Deputy Assistant Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where he was Deputy Director of the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme involving all SIDS countries, Coordinator of the UN System-wide Earthwatch, and founding Director of the Coral Reef Unit. He is a frequent consultant on sustainability, environmental assessment and indicators to the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, UNESCO and UNEP. He was Visiting Professor, University of Brighton, and for 10 years has taught advanced studies courses in sustainable development and environmental diplomacy at the University of Geneva and other universities.
A biologist by training, specializing on small islands and coral reefs with 45 years of experience on islands in the Pacific, the Caribbean and the Western Indian Ocean, he lived for many years in New Caledonia as Regional Ecological Adviser with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and organized the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. In the Secretariat of the Rio Earth Summit (1992), he drafted the oceans, coastal areas and islands chapter of Agenda 21, and then helped to organize the Barbados Conference of SIDS in 1994, and participated in the Mauritius International Meeting of SIDS in 2005. He has led two task forces on islands for IUCN, and compiled the IUCN/UNEP Islands Directory and database. He is a founding board member of the Global Islands Network. Most recently, he was part of the foresight panel that wrote the UNEP "Emerging Issues for Small Island Developing States", and a principal author of the UNEP "Global Environment Outlook (GEO) for SIDS" launched at the 3rd SIDS Conference in Apia, Samoa, in September 2014.
He represented the Baha'i International Community at the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment (1972), and the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference (COP15, 2009), was in the secretariat for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rid de Janeiro 1992) and participated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg 2002) and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20, 2012). He co-coordinated the UNEP Major Groups and Stakeholders Advisory Group on International Environmental Governance prior to Rio+20. He chairs the governing board of ebbf - ethical business building the future. He has published over 50 papers and reports on islands, and books including "The Eco Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis".