A trained agronomist, Martin had a long history of addressing agricultural and development issues in Dominica. He helped form the Castle Bruce Farmers Cooperative in 1972 as a result of a longstanding labor dispute, and has served as president of the Dominica Conservation Association (DCA), one of the only environmental NGOs in the country.
Working with his team at DCA, Martin talked with community leadership and forged a consensus in opposition to the mine. He launched a successful petition drive and enlisted the support of thousands of Dominicans. With the cooperation of the US-based Project Underground, the concerns about the enormous mine were presented to the BHP shareholders meeting in Australia in September 1996. Not expecting such a strong reaction to the plans, the chair of BHP vowed not to proceed without informed consent of Dominicans, and the company immediately launched its own press campaign. As the Dominican community continued to resist the government’s plans, Martin lost his position as chair of the country’s Development and Planning Corporation. His life and those of his wife and son were threatened.
In April 1997, as a result of the pressure, BHP announced that it would pull out of Dominica altogether. At the same time, it closed operations in a dozen other countries. Through his work with the Development Institute, where he served as executive director, Martin continued to promote ecologically sound and economically viable development programs that center around public participation. Martin has been actively promoting ecotourism and served as president of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association.