Forum Posts

The UWI
Jan 07, 2020
In Courses and Programmes
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has launched a new initiative called ‘Pathways to a Net Zero Carbon Future’. A major thrust of this effort is training a new generation of scholar-practitioners to work at the challenging intersection of land use, energy systems, and climate change. As such, ESF has begun recruiting for the first cohort of students to receive generous fellowships to attend ESF and work across disciplines to help them build this exciting program from a vision into reality. Details: SUNY ESF is seeking exceptional doctoral students to join a new trans-disciplinary initiative aimed at addressing ‘wicked problems’ at the intersection of land use practices, energy systems, and climate change. The Pathways to a Net Zero Carbon Future project brings together three foundational areas of expertise at ESF – sustainable energy management, ecosystem stewardship, and climate-resilient design – at a time when practical solutions are urgently needed to decarbonize landscapes, build local resilience, and ensure just transitions. We are recruiting up to five highly capable, motivated, and creative PhD scholars that share a commitment to these goals and demonstrate potential as trans-disciplinary researchers, practitioners, and team members. Successful applicants will receive two years of fellowship support and will then receive graduate assistant-ships to complete their degree programs. For more information on the Net Zero Carbon initiative, including how to apply, visit www.pathwaysnetzerocarbon.org/apply. Applications received by February 1st 2020 will receive optimal consideration.
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The UWI
Dec 20, 2019
In Publications and Reports
The International Association of Universities (IAU) is very pleased to launch the website "Aiming Higher", which showcases the wonderful results of the IAU series on higher education, produced by BBC StoryWorks. Higher education is instrumental to the development of sustainable and democratic societies; shaping minds, promoting diversity, ethical leadership and social responsibility. In light of increasing global challenges, higher education institutions play a key role in addressing the societal transformations that lie ahead. Each film highlights how a different university contributes to these goals: through projects that work towards sustainable development, internationalisation, leadership and innovation. Check out the films here.
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The UWI
Dec 20, 2019
In Publications and Reports
Higher Education and SDG 13: Climate Action Through University Teaching, Research and Community Engagement. Access the publication here.
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The UWI
Dec 16, 2019
In News and Views
Boosting climate risk insurance networks to support vulnerable communities Bonn 13 December 2019 – The year 2019 once again proved challenging for many communities around the world who are living at the frontlines of climate change. Low-lying island states for example were hit by a number of weather events, including hurricanes, tropical storms, tsunamis, excess rainfall, drought, storm surge and wave impacts making it clear that the need for adaptation solutions is pressing. “In addition to cutting emissions, we need to support the most vulnerable people with options to protect themselves against the impacts of more frequent and more intense weather events,” said Soenke Kreft, Director of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII). “Climate risk insurance can be such a measure if it is applied within a mix of other disaster risk reduction strategies. While the field of climate risk insurance has made great advancements in the last decade, it is still considered as an innovation in the field of climate change, and as such, it can benefit greatly from more systematic approaches, enhanced knowledge sharing and networking between regions and among different actors.” In a commitment to this, the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), the University of the South Pacific (USP), The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) have established a research collaboration to facilitate inter-regional South-South learning and research. With the Climate Risk Insurance Research Collaboration (CRIRC), the partners have established a framework for coordination and collaboration on research, development and publication of academic research and policy papers on disaster risk finance, insurance and social payment. One of the first research priorities for CRIRC is the informal economy in island states in the Pacific, which consists of informal entrepreneurs, who are vibrant and visible players creating a livelihood for themselves and their families. Working as fresh produce sellers, handicraft creators, beekeepers and fish and crab sellers, they operate outside the realm of formal legal protection and without easy access to formal financial and business support systems. They work as single-person operations or as micro or family enterprises, and women are predominant in these types of income-generating activities. The extent and impact of damage caused by weather events, such as cyclones, means that many governments of Small Island States face critical challenges in ensuring their financial resilience to climate change and natural hazards. They often only have restricted options to secure funds for recovery and reconstruction without compromising their long-term fiscal balance. The research partners therefore aim to work together to explore the socio-economic and regulatory needs and demands for disaster risk finance in small islands countries, to develop and assess innovative risk financing mechanisms, and to identify how disaster risk financing tools can be integrated into countries’ risk management and disaster response toolboxes. “The University of the West Indies (UWI) is duty-bound and privileged to be a partner in this initiative,” stated Vice-Chancellor of the UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. “As an activist university with regard to Climate Resilience, and one situated within a region where climate change is an existential threat, we regard it our duty to contribute our expertise in climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development; and to strengthen our ties with academics, national and local authorities of the Pacific Island Countries, who are facing many of the climate change-related challenges that we do.” These sentiments are echoed by Dr. Donovan Campbell (UWI's focal point for the Climate Risk Insurance Research Collaboration) who noted that the recent losses and damages associated with disasters across the Caribbean has brought climate risk insurance into sharp focus. In the absence of easy access to debt and affordable, reliable insurance solutions, a large portion of the economic losses stemming from climate change events are currently being borne by governments, communities and households supported by development partners. Impact is felt for many years, resulting in an emerging population in climate poverty. CRIRC aims to identify ways to prevent this climate poverty in Small Islands Countries through improved climate insurance research cooperation and coordination. The United Nations Capital Development Fund managed Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme has been at the forefront of pioneering market based microinsurance solutions for the mass market in the Pacific through its work on financial inclusion in the region for over a decade. “We are excited to be actively collaborating with MCII and the three academic institutions, USP, UWI and UNU through this cooperation that aims to foster an active research and learning agenda in the new Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme being developed” said Krishnan Narasimhan, Deputy Programme Manager of UNCDF PFIP. The expertise and familiarity of PFIP in the Pacific and its ability to bring together public and private sector for ecosystem and market systems development will add value to the cooperation. About the University of the South Pacific (USP) USP is the premier provider of higher education in the Pacific region and an international centre of excellence for teaching, research consulting, and training on all aspects of Pacific culture and the environment. The university has campuses across the region and is owned by the governments of twelve Pacific island countries. For more info, visit the USP. About The University of the West Indies (UWI) The UWI is an internationally respected university rooted in the Caribbean. Its operations spread across the English-speaking Caribbean archipelago encompassing five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda, Open Campus, and international centres in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Ranked among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019 by Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make these prestigious lists. In recognition of its world class research on climate change and sustainable development, the International Association of Universities (IAU) selected The UWI as its global leader in the mobilisation of research and advocacy for the achievement of a climate-smart world. For more, visit The UWI. About the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme that has helped over two million Pacific islanders gain access to financial services and financial education. It achieves these results by funding innovation with financial services and delivery channels, supports policy and regulatory initiatives, and the empowerment of consumers. It is jointly administered by the UN Capital Development Fund and the United Nations Development Programme. For more info, click here. About the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) Based in Bonn, Germany, UNU-EHS conducts research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change. The institute’s research promotes policies and programmes to reduce these risks, while taking into account the interplay between environmental and societal factors. Research areas include climate change adaptation by incorporating insurance-related approaches, environmentally induced migration and social vulnerability, ecosystem-based solutions to adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and models and tools to analyse vulnerability and risks linked to natural hazards, with a focus on urban space and rural-urban interfaces. UNU-EHS also offers the joint Master of Science degree programme “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn and hosts international PhD projects and courses on global issues of environmental risks and sustainable development. For more info on UNU-EHS, click here. About the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) MCII was initiated as a non-profit organization by insurers, research institutes and NGOs in April 2005 in response to the growing realization that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change, as suggested in the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. This initiative is hosted at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). It focuses on bringing solutions for the risks posed by climate change with a view to protect the most vulnerable people. MCII provides a forum and gathering place for insurance-related expertise applied to climate change issues. For more information, please visit: www.climate-insurance.org For more information, please contact: Janine Kandel Head of Communication United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security kandel@ehs.unu.edu +49 228 815 0219
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The UWI
Dec 16, 2019
In News and Views
The UWI partnered with the University of the South Pacific (USP) and the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) to host a side event at COP25 in Madrid, Spain on “Perspectives on implementing evidence-based climate finance”. UWI was represented by Dr. Donovan Campbell, regional climate change specialist and Head of the Department of Geography and Geology at UWI Mona. For more info, click here.
The UWI @ COP25 content media
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The UWI
Nov 29, 2019
In News and Views
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At the 25th edition organized and presided by Chile, to be held December 2-13 in Madrid, Spain, the 197 Parties that make up the treaty - 196 nations plus the European Union - will seek to move towards the implementation of the agreements that have been reached under the Convention that lays down specific obligations for all Parties to fight climate change. The first COP was held in Berlin in 1995. To date, 24 COPs have taken place, the last one in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018. The COP25 Presidency, which will be led by Minister Carolina Schmidt, starts in December 2019 and ends in December 2020. For more information, visit the COP25 website.
COP25 #TimeForAction content media
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The UWI
Oct 09, 2019
In News and Views
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is organizing a series of virtual workshops to explore, learn and discuss emerging policies, scientific discoveries, technological trends, and innovations towards a sustainable Blue Economy. World-renowned experts will share their experiences and perspectives with current and aspiring Caribbean leaders about different topics related to the Blue Economy. Virtual Workshop #1: The Imperative of Ocean Exploration Date: October 10th, 10:00 a.m. EST (Eastern Time US and Canada) Duration: 75-90 minutes Register for workshop #1 here. (Registered participants will receive an email with the link to access the virtual meeting.) For more information on The Future of the Caribbean is Blue series of virtual workshops, download the 1-page flyer!
IDB Virtual Workshop #1- The Blue Economy content media
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The UWI
Oct 03, 2019
In Courses and Programmes
Apply now for Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships! Applications are open for Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships for PhD candidates from low and middle income Commonwealth countries to spend 12 months at a UK university as part of their doctoral studies in their home country. The scholarships are for study starting in October 2020 and are aimed at high-quality graduates whose proposed research has a developmental focus and who have the potential to become influential teachers or researchers in their home countries.   Split-site Scholarships are delivered through an existing institutional or departmental link between the candidate’s home university and proposed UK university. The closing date for applications is 6 November 2019. For full details, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, click here.
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The UWI
Sep 20, 2019
In News and Views
From academia, to private sector, to intergovernmental and development partners, read about the presenters who will be discussing Global Partnerships for Climate Action. Can't make it to NYC? Watch the event live at www.uwitv.org
Presenters at the SUNY-UWI Symposium content media
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The UWI
Sep 16, 2019
In Publications and Reports
In the outcome document of the Rio+20 Conference, in 2012, entitled “The future we want”, and again in “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, in 2015, United Nations Member States decided that the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development would be informed by the Global Sustainable Development Report. In the Ministerial Declaration of the 2016 Forum, Member States decided that the report would be produced quadrennially by an independent group of scientists appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General and comprising 15 experts representing a variety of backgrounds, scientific disciplines and institutions, with geographical and gender balance. This report, The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development, is the first quadrennial Global Sustainable Development Report prepared by an independent group of scientists. Download the report here.
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The UWI
Aug 28, 2019
In Publications and Reports
During the 1st meeting of the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network held in Kingston Jamaica, July 5th-8th, representatives from 34 Commonwealth universities identified a two year work plan and agreed on a governance structure for enabling sustained collaboration and effective support for the delivery of the work plan. Read more about the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network here, and download the meeting report below.
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The UWI
Aug 25, 2019
In Publications and Reports
At the symposium on Research and Innovation 4 Climate Action held on July 12th 2019 during the UN's High Level Political Forum (HLPF), 4 presentations were delivered by member institutions of the Global University Consortium on SDG 13. The presentations aimed to highlight the critical role that universities play in taking action against climate change. 1. Innovation 4 Climate Action by Justin Heavey of the State University of New York 2. Science & Education 4 Climate Mitigation by Prof. Helga Kleiven of the University of Bergen 3. Science Applications 4 Grassroots Resilience Building by Dr. Leena Srivastava of the TERI School of Advanced Studies 4. Research 4 Climate Adaptation by Dr. David Smith of The University of the West Indies View and download the presentations here.
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The UWI
Aug 11, 2019
In Courses and Programmes
The UWI Open Campus in association with the UWI Institute for Sustainable Development and CERMES and Empire State College (ESC), SUNY is offering a Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership for Sustainable Development. The courses of the Programme have been developed by ESC and The UWI and will be available to students on online. Closing date for applications is August 15. For more info, click here.
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The UWI
Aug 11, 2019
In Publications and Reports
"Climate Action Through University Teaching, Research and Community Engagement" International Association of Universities March, 2019. View the publication here.
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The UWI
Jul 19, 2019
In News and Views
The Global University Consortium on SDG 13, in partnership with UNDESA proudly hosted a symposium on Research & Innovation 4 Climate Action at the 2019 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) held at the UN Secretariat, New York, on Friday 12 July, 2019. Against the backdrop of the HLPF, this side-event aimed to: 1. share the ground-breaking research and knowledge of member higher education institutions (HEIs) under the Global University Consortium on SDG 13, with a view to influencing new ways of thinking, policy debates and industry practice; 2. demonstrate how innovations of partner HEIs are making a contribution to addressing climate change; and 3. showcase the cross-cutting approach of the consortium to SDGs 4, 13 and 17 and the associated contributions to achieving Agenda 2030. The side-event opened with introductory remarks from the Permanent Representative of Belize to the UN, Her Excellency Lois M. Young who spoke to the vital role of research and innovation for building resilience especially in regions such as the Caribbean, which she represents, and which is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Presentations were delivered by; Mr. Justin Heavey of the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry on “Innovation 4 Climate Action”; Dr. Helga Flesche Kleiven of the University of Bergen on “Science & Education 4 Climate Mitigation”; Dr. Leena Srivastava of the TERI School of Advanced Studies on “Science Applications 4 Grassroots Resilience Building”; and Dr. David Smith of The University of the West Indies on “Research 4 Climate Adaptation in SIDS”. Ms. Anya Thomas of UNDESA delivered the closing remarks underscoring the value of HEIs, research, and innovation for achieving not just SDG 13 but the entire 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, she emphasized the need to continue building resilience through education and working harder to ensure that knowledge, education and opportunities to learn are made accessible to all members of society, especially the most vulnerable. Attendees to the event included representatives from; UN agencies (UNDESA, UNECLAC, World Food Programme); other HEIs and HEI Associations (Association of Commonwealth Universities, International Association of Universities, and the University of Bologna); Government organisations (Parliament of Czech Republic, Permanent Mission of Jamaica, Government of Canada); other international organisations (International Disability Alliance). The highlights included showcasing the significant strides made in research in the fields of biomass energy, carbon sequestration, climate resilient design, and educational outreach and impact; while the interactive discussions focused on; integrating the social sciences into the climate agenda in order to deliver maximum impact to society; leveraging the knowledge generated by HEIs to impact policy and government decision making; and ensuring the most vulnerable countries and social groups are not left behind or forgotten in climate action planning. Looking beyond the symposium, the next steps will focus on deepening the existing partnerships between HEIs and exploring new collaboration models on research, education, and resource mobilization for climate action. View and download the presentations here.
Research & Innovation 4 Climate Action at HLPF content media
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The UWI
Jul 02, 2019
In Courses and Programmes
This free online course provides the basis for understanding the underlying physical processes governing climate variations in the past, present and future. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the climate system, and be able to put the recently observed, man-made changes in climate in the context of past natural changes. You will learn with experts from The University of Bergen, which has a strong focus on Earth and Marine Sciences. It hosts the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, the largest centre for natural science-based climate research in Scandinavia. Course start date- 2nd September, 2019! For more info, click here.
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The UWI
Jul 02, 2019
In News and Views
The Bergen-based tall ship Statsraad Lemkuhl is on a mission to promote SDG 14 and the future of our oceans by sailing around the world from September 2021 to April 2023. Framed under the IOC's Decade of Ocean Science and in cooperation with partners including UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of Bergen as the leading scientific partner, this voyage will include continuous daily ocean observations. Read more about the University of Bergen's role here.
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The UWI
Jun 25, 2019
In News and Views
Lloyd’s Tercentenary Research Foundation has opened up funding for research that furthers the understanding of the protection / resilience gap. Apply by 2nd August 2019. For more info, click here.
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The UWI
Jun 23, 2019
In Publications and Reports
Professor Michael A. Taylor The University of the West Indies Published in February 2015 by the Grace Kennedy Foundation 73 Harbour Street, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. View publication
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The UWI
Jun 23, 2019
In Courses and Programmes
The Climate Risk Management (CRM) diploma is for the early-to mid-career professionals who must integrate climate risk management into their regular professional duties. This part-time, entirely online program focuses on applied skills that are relevant across multiple disciplines and professions. Learn more here.
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The UWI

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