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The Caribbean to become world’s first climate-smart zone

The Caribbean to become world’s first climate-smart zone

Members leading the Climate Change Smart Accelerator initiative, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica, Sir Richard Branson, UWI Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles  and Dr. the Hon. Usain Bolt.

This partnership seeks to ensure that the Caribbean will become the world’s first ‘climate-smart zone’ and it was launched at the UWI Mona Campus. A coalition of 26 countries and over 40 private and public sector partners are now working together to implement climate solutions for resilience, renewable energy, development of sustainable cities, oceans and transportation.

It is expected that this climate-smart zone will not only protect the region but create jobs and a new economy in climate-smart infrastructure. Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the UWI Vice Chancellor noted that the UWI will also engage as an active participant and also stated that for twenty years Caribbean experts at the institution have led the way in combating climatic impacts on the region and the University has a body of notable academic work and research to assist this initiative.

He cited the Centre for seismic research at UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad, the Centre for Marine and Environmental Studies at UWI, Cave Hill in Barbados and the Isntitute for Sustainable Development at UWI, Mona, all of which constitute a rich praxis of research, teaching, and activism that has laid the pathway and policy framework to support the accelerator. He added that the University is currently partnering with the government of Jamaica and the Ministry of Tourism to establish a Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. Sir Richard Branson, Prime Minister Holness, as the current Head of CARICOM, Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank and others were acknowledged as playing a key role in bringing together a multinational coalition of public and private partners to work together to make this a reality over the next five years.

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