His interest and involvement in wetlands began while he was working for county wildlife trusts in England after completing his doctorate in Marine Biology from the University of Liverpool and a BSc degree in Zoology from the University of Exeter. Christopher Briggs has had a long career in sustainable development with a focus on water and land management, climate change, biosafety, biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Among other roles, he joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1999 as Coordinator of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia environment team to manage Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects in Biodiversity and International Waters. In 2001, he joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to help build capacity in developing countries on genetically modified organisms. He led the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Unit for six years, providing support to over 130 developing countries and increasing the reach and greater understanding of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Prior to joining the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Christopher Briggs was based in Panama as UNDP regional team leader for the Latin American and Caribbean region. The portfolio of projects included many based in Ramsar Sites. They covered all aspects of land management, including coastal and inland wetlands, and were designed to achieve long term financial support for the continuous supply of ecosystem services and biodiversity in the region. Christopher Briggs was appointed Secretary General to the Ramsar Convention in April 2013.