The UWI and Climate Change

The UWI's Role in Climate Change Solutions

It is no secret that the Caribbean is most vulnerable to climate change, with low-lying coastal land, limited adaptive capacity, and millions of people who depend on this same land for livelihood, food, and security.

Through research, teaching, advocacy, and partnerships, we live our mission “to advance learning, create knowledge and foster innovation for the positive transformation of the Caribbean and the wider world”.

We are an activist university, with researchers and students tackling all of the big challenges facing this region.

From advocacy to action: Responding to Caribbean climate change challenges

Advocacy and action to hand in hand.

Sharing data insights related to climate change adaptation, marine sciences, and disaster management, The UWI is involved in diverse projects that inform policy, private sector activity, and capacity building.

We are making a difference through:

  • Research centres
  • Academic output and knowledge sharing
  • Teaching and capacity building
  • Influencing policies and practices
  • Partnering with regional and global stakeholders
  • Advocacy and outreach

We partner with:

  • Regional and global universities
  • Institutes and centres
  • Development partners
  • Donors
  • Government agencies
  • Media

Robust research. Global relevance.

Decades of robust research have positioned The University of the West Indies as a premier research partner globally.

We have a strong legacy of world-class research on climate change and sustainable development. Research in areas such as marine biology, biodiversity, tropical ecosystems, and disaster risk management gave early indicators for the environmental issues facing the region.

Our scientists have long flagged climate change as a major threat for the Caribbean and other Small Island Development States (SIDS).

Saving the world with science

You don't need a cape to save the world. When it comes to climate change, data and development solutions are what will save the world.

The UWI's academics and scientists contribute to global knowledge resources and propose solutions for Caribbean sustainability and global balance.

In doing our part to achieve SDG13 – the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 13 for climate action – we advocate and action initiatives, which focus on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by 2030.

Our research initiatives

Regional partnerships

Within the Caribbean, we partner with numerous agencies to support and protect lives and livelihoods against natural disasters and climate poverty. For example, we have collaborated with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and Heads of Government to provide post-hurricane support. Additionally, UWI agencies, such as the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at The UWI Cave Hill campus, play a key role in knowledge sharing.

Our centres of practice

Protecting lives and livelihoods in the Caribbean

Addressing climate change has long been a priority for The UWI.

Devastating hurricanes continue to wreck havoc of increasing magnitude on Caribbean islands. Each year, they destroy lives, livelihoods, and developmental progress. In dire need of resilience strategies, the Caribbean needs new insights, policy directions, products and innovative solutions to meet its needs.

Committed to humanity and to the environment, The UWI is steadfast in its mission to advance sustainable development for the progress, growth and survival of the Caribbean region, and – by extension – the global community.

Through our global impact initiatives, we are supporting the Caribbean region in the development of a culture of resilience and resilience planning as part of its Triple A Strategic Plan 2017-2022.

6 Ways We Drive Sustainable Growth and Development in the Caribbean

Championing a more sustainable future for Caribbean people and the wider world, we have an established a track record of action. Here are six ways we contribute to sustainable development. We:

  • Leverage the expertise across our member universities to share knowledge that improves Caribbean lives and livelihood and fights climate poverty.
  • Deliver research that aids policy-making and offers new insights.
  • Teach generations of scholars and industry professionals, equipping them with the expertise to create new solutions.
  • Create new products and solutions to assist communities.
  • Partner with the private sector to drive innovative changes and create climate solutions that balance people, planet, and prosperity.
  • Strengthen the alignment between higher education, development agencies, the public and private sectors and civil society.

Global collaboration. One goal.

Climate change is a global fight, and the world must respond with urgency.

With the Caribbean’s fate largely affected by more developed regions’ energy and emission practices, The UWI actively advocates and collaborates with global partners to create the research and solutions required for timely change.

We build partnerships that work to improve the world’s ability to combat climate issues, reduce climate injustice, and reduce climate poverty.

As a global citizen, our contributions include:

  • UWI academics' internationally recognised contributions as lead authors to various impact reports for policymakers.
  • Serving as the global leader mobilising the International Association of Universities’ (IAU) Global University Consortium for higher education and research for sustainable development on SDG 13 (Climate Action). The IAU is an affiliate body and higher education think tank for UNESCO.
  • Our leading role in a specialised network known as the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network (CCRN) — established by the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and other like associations.
  • Partnering with development agencies such as the UNDP and IDB to conduct research that drives us closer to the ultimate global warming target of 1.5°C.

Strategic partnerships