The UWI Open Campus Saint Lucia, in collaboration with the GEF Small Grants Programme UNDP, will host its 4th Country Conference from the 15th to 17th February 2021. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Visioning Sustainable Futures – Confronting the Threats of Climate Change and Climate Variability”, and it is expected to provide an avenue to share existing research and disseminate information on Saint Lucia. The conference will take place using a virtual Zoom platform, anchored at the Conference Room, Floor 5, Finance Centre, Pointe Seraphine, Castries, Saint Lucia.
Speaking on the raison d’etre of the conference, UWI Saint Lucia’s Head of Site (Ag) Mrs. Lesley Crane-Mitchell explained “The University of the West Indies (UWI) has a mandate to educate and to share information with the public, and to promote research and innovation as part of its mission to develop and maintain the sustainability of its contributing territories.
As one means of carrying out this mandate, the former UWI School of Continuing Studies (now The UWI Open Campus) designed a series of multidisciplinary Country Conferences to be held in each of what were previously known as, the “UWI-12” (UWI contributing countries outside of Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica).”
An exciting feature of this latest conference, continued Mrs. Crane-Mitchell, “is that we have joined forces with the GEF SGP UNDP Knowledge Fair, to uncover, present and document the most recent research conducted on Saint Lucia, with a view to seeking solutions to the existential threat to our collective futures, caused by climate change and climate variability, and compounded by socioeconomic inequalities”.
The UWI Saint Lucia Country Conference commences on Monday 15th February, at 7:00 p.m. with an Opening chaired by Mr. Embert Charles, Chair of the GEF SGP UNDP National Steering Committee. A welcome by Head (Ag.) of The UWI Open Campus Saint Lucia, Mrs. Lesley Crane-Mitchell, will be followed by remarks from Dr. Cheryl Sloley, Director of Open Campus Country Sites, Ms. Christianne Walcott, Operations Manager of The UWI Centre for Biosecurity Studies’ Cave Hill Campus, and key partner Mr. Giles Romulus, National Coordinator of The GEF Small Grants Programme UNDP.
The Keynote Address for the evening will be delivered by Dr. James Fletcher, Former Minister for the Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, who will elucidate on the theme.
The conference continues on the 16th and 17th February, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily. Day two of the conference will see presentations focused on a range of climate change related topics including, “Historical and Future trends in Climate Related Hazards” byDr. Cedric Van Meerbeeck; “Climate Change and Economic Development Implications for SIDS – The Case of Saint Lucia” by Dr. Clarence Henry; “Saint Lucia’s Climate Policy Environment – Towards Concrete Action” by Ms. Dawn Pierre Nathaniel; The Impact of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aqua Culture by Ms. Makeba Felix, and Climate Change and Neotropical Pollinators – The State of Knowledge, Policies and Programmes in Caribbean Small Island States” by Lena Dempwolf. The day’s proceedings will end with a unique presentation by Shareed Mohammed, PhD Candidate in the Literatures in English Programme.
The conference will conclude on day three with a sectoral focus on Fisheries, Forestry, Health, and Energy. The first presentation will be by Dr. Shelly Ann Cox on the topic “Climate Change Impacts on the Caribbean Fisheries Sector”, followed by Ms. Shanna Emmanuel’s contribution on “Climate Change and Knowledge Platforms. Other contributions will include “The Epidemiology of Human Leptospirosis in Saint Lucia” by Dr. Gemma Cherry and The Morne Fortune Photovoltaic Project by Mr. Kurt Harris. The final presentation of the day will be made by Mr. Crispin D’Auvergne on “The Eastern Caribbean Solar Challenge.”
The public is invited to attend all three days of the Conference and to participate in the stimulating discussion that is sure to follow each presentation. The Conference can be accessed, free of charge via the Facebook and You Tube links below.