The establishment of a Global Institute for Climate Smart Studies and Resilience (GICSRS), is being proposed as the research and knowledge management hub for the Caribbean Climate Resilient Pathway.
This GICSRS will be a university ecosystem with a remit to deliver courses for undergraduate programmes, a special undergraduate offering, professional and demand-driven knowledge management products, conduct graduate-level scientific research, promote policy formulation, advance advocacy to facilitate the management of the region's development pathway. The Institute is intended to be a mechanism that accommodates the agility required for The UWI, in partnership with other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), to rapidly adapt to the increasing advances in knowledge, the way research is conducted and the way solutions are presented.
Given the long history of debilitating effects of climate-related hazards on Caribbean economies and societies, which are increasing over time, the low levels of economic growth, high unemployment and debt levels, inaction to the climate change threat is no longer an option. The region will need to take practical steps to mainstream climate solutions. The diverse and variable capacities of the region's HEIs needs to be urgently consolidated to be the effective reservoir which provides the scientific and applied research needed to inform risk-sensitive development policy formulation, strategy, practice and partnerships. (Source: Kevin Hope (CDB) Perspectives on growth and resilience, February 15, 2018, Grenada).
The 2011–2021 Implementation Plan of the CARICOM Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change calls for transformational change by several actors including regional institutions. The GICSRS provides an HEI sector mechanism to action this call.
The establishment of the GICSRS is proposed to provide thought leadership, education programmes and research-informed solutions to the multidimensional climate challenges facing the Caribbean, other SIDS and LLDCS regions.
The GICSRS will promote the integrative approaches required to support regional climate change mainstreaming through the facilitation of a culture of climate-centred resilience thinking and approaches to foresighting for policy formulation and practices.
The GICSRS will consolidate climate change teaching and research interventions and strengthen regional and global collaborative efforts, knowledge and capacity development to support transformative action for building more resilient and sustainable societies, environments and economies in the Caribbean.
It will also include multi-actor planning, coordination and implementation of targeted initiatives in the Higher Education Sector to manage and adapt to the current and projected impacts of climate change.
It will be a home for global inter-disciplinary collaborations across teaching and research in resilience-related fields such as climate studies, environmental management, disaster risk reduction, coastal zone management, renewable and clean energy, and sustainable development dedicated to transforming climate-related vulnerability and risk to communities and societies.
It is envisioned that the GICSRS will work as a generator of climate- smart and resilience ideas and innovations, climate change and disaster risk modelling, a knowledge management broker with the public and private sectors, a networking platform and a central knowledge node to support research-informed action.
Through state-of-the-art ICT platforms, this Institute will maximise real-time connectivity to relevant thematic networks, regional and international agencies (CARICOM, CDEMA, CCRIF, CDB, 5 Cs, GCF, CCSA, UN agencies, IDB, WB, Commonwealth Secretariat, etc.) with a view to harnessing teaching and research collaborations to build a critical mass of cutting-edge knowledge, research and innovations.