Christine Toppin-Allahar is an Attorney-at-Law, specializing in environmental, planning, and land law, with qualifications and experience in legislative drafting. Prior to qualifying as a lawyer, she held a degree in Geography and Economics, with postgraduate qualifications in Geography and Planning, as well as a Certificate in Integrated Surveys for Natural Resources Development. She has over 35 years of experience in the field of planning and environmental management in the public and private sectors, and over 20 years of experience as a practicing attorney and international consultant on environmental, planning, and land law, policy, and institutional arrangements.
In the field of planning, she spent ten years in the public service, with the Town & Country Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning and Development in Trinidad & Tobago, and with the Ministry of Housing, Lands and the Environment in Barbados. In the private sector, she has worked in Trinidad & Tobago with Trintoplan Consultants Ltd., Alpha Engineering and Design Ltd., and Rapid Environmental Assessments Ltd. She is a professional member of the Trinidad & Tobago Society of Planners (TTSP) and an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad & Tobago (APETT).
As a lawyer, Christine has worked in the Attorney General’s Department, Trinidad and Tobago, and in private practice. She is a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law and has served as a consultant on planning, environmental management, institutional strengthening, and legislative drafting to various international organizations, including the World Bank, IADB, CDB, UNDP, UNCHS, UNECLAC, PAHO/WHO, FAO, OAS, DFID, and the EU and has worked in every Commonwealth Caribbean country, as well as several non-English speaking countries in the region, as well as outside of the Caribbean. She has also engaged in voluntary work as a member of various environmental NGOs. In this capacity, she has served as an executive member of the Caribbean Conservation Association (CCA) and is an Honorary Life Member of the Board of Directors of the Asa Wright Nature Centre (AWNC) in Trinidad & Tobago.
She has participated in many international seminars and conferences on planning and environmental law and has several published works on planning, environmental, and land law.
During the academic year 2010-2011 she served as Course Coordinator and Lecturer in International and Caribbean Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law, UWI Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. Previously, she served for several years as a part-time lecturer in planning, land and environmental law in the post-graduate programs in Planning & Development, Land Administration, and Environmental Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, and also lectured in Environmental Law and Policy in the Master’s Programme in Environmental Science & Management at the University of Trinidad & Tobago. She has also served as an External Examiner for the Master’s Programme in Legislative Drafting at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and a guest lecturer for McGill University and Santa Clara University.