The International Association of Universities (IAU), in November, 2018 selected The UWI as its global leader in the mobilisation of research and advocacy for the achievement of a climate-smart world.
The UWI was selected from a field of distinguished universities that have established a track record of research around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action.
The IAU, an affiliate body and higher education think tank for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), selected The UWI for this task because of the University's long track record of excellent research on climate change and sustainable development, including climate modelling, environmental protection, marine ecosystems, disaster risk reduction and resilience, through diverse faculties and specialised research centres such as the Institute for Sustainable Development, Centre for Disaster Risk Reduction, Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) and Seismic Research Centre. It is one example of UWI research driving scientific knowledge, policy and advocacy on the global stage.
Sustainable Development Goal #13 (SDG 13) calls for urgent action to combat the serious impacts of a changing climate, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, destruction of marine ecosystems due to warmer, more acidic oceans, and extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, prolonged droughts and wildfires. All of these disrupt human food supplies, wreak havoc on agriculture, housing settlements and economies, and threaten life.
As the leader of the SDG 13, (Climate Action) Global Cluster on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD), The UWI works with universities across the globe on projects that harness research, innovation and their application to promote social and economic growth with a balanced focus on people, planet and prosperity.