Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Climate change threatens the very existence of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean. As the world’s climate reacts to human action and inaction, sea-levels rise, coastal resources are lost and our islands are subjected to more frequent and more extreme weather events and natural hazards. We must, therefore, focus on building more resilient nations and as emphasized in the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, on improving our ability to ‘resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform and recover from the effects of hazard quickly and efficiently’.

The establishment of the Global Institute of Climate-Smart and Resilient Development (GICSRD) at The University of the West Indies, is a bold and direct response to the call for academic leadership in crafting resilient pathways for our region.

The UWI, as an excellent and ethical university, is committed to serving our region, which unfortunately finds itself disproportionately affected by the adverse effects of climate change. We will continue to lead the charge for teaching, research and advocacy to bring about the paradigm shift needed to create a climate-smart and resilient Caribbean. Our university was established with this very ethos – to develop solutions to the challenges facing the Caribbean region.

As Vice-Chancellor, it is my vision that The UWI will be the champion of a collaborative of resilient institutions and the GICSRD will be at the vanguard of this effort, as our research and knowledge management hub, harnessing more than seven decades of outstanding scholarship for which our regional university has become internationally recognized. We are proud of our collaboration with UNDP and through the support of our vibrant network of global partners, we are confident that, together, we will help move the Caribbean closer towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and becoming a resilient, climate-smart zone.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles