The UWI recognised for world class climate change research and activism

It was just two months ago that Professor Michael Taylor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), along with an internationally respected group of scientists, urgently called on world leaders to accelerate efforts to tackle climate change in a co-authored article published in Science. Now, a video on The UWI’s climate action work is featured in a multi-university collaborative project with the International Association of Universities (IAU) and the BBC Global News.

The video forms part of a series called ‘Aiming Higher’ which showcases how universities are instrumental to the development of sustainable and democratic societies; shaping minds, promoting diversity, ethical leadership and social responsibility. In light of increasing global challenges, higher education institutions, like The UWI, play a key role in leading the societal transformations that will seek to establish an equilibrium between people, planet, prosperity and peace. Thirty-four IAU member institutions from all five continents took part in the ambitious project.

The urgency of responding to climate change has long been a priority for The UWI. Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles has noted that ‘The UWI’s scientists recognised decades ago that climate change, rising sea levels and ocean temperatures, were an existential threat to the Caribbean, small island states, and the world’.

The UWI’s film, ‘Tackling the Effects of Climate Change’, focussed on Sargassum seaweed which has caused serious problems for Caribbean countries. Unprecedented amounts of seaweed washing up on the shores in recent years have significantly impacted local hospitality and fisheries sectors. The film shows how The UWI has been taking action, helping coastal communities to promote sustainable management.

The UWI continues to receive global recognition for its world class research and activism with regard to tackling the effects of climate change and strengthening the Caribbean’s resilience in the face of increasing climate impact. In January, the IAU selected The UWI to be its global leader in the mobilisation of higher education and research for the achievement of a climate-smart and resilient world.

Aiming Higher premiered at the IAU’s 2019 International Conference earlier this month in Puebla, Mexico. The entire series can be viewed on

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