Monday 3 August, 2020

University of St Maarten to host climate change summit

[iStock.com/RapidEye]

[iStock.com/RapidEye]

A group of researchers will gather in St Maarten for a climate change summit hosted by the state university next month.

The team includes scientific researchers, governmental agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) and grassroots organisations from the Caribbean and the Netherlands who will join forces to discuss the environmental challenges facing the Caribbean and its inhabitants.

Former USM president Professor Francio Guadeloupe will lead the group as they hold meetings with key sectors of the community.

According to a statement from the University of Saint Maarten, similar workshops and seminars will be held in the other five islands that make up the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom.

Subsequent to this, a proposal will be developed to compete in the Dutch Research Council NWO call for multidisciplinary scientific research in the Dutch Caribbean.

The proposed research programme is called Island(-er)s Under Threat. It focusses on human-environment interactions and social adaptation to environmental change from a deep time perspective.

The objective, according to the USM, is to develop sustainable solutions to water management, food security and shelter.  

It is hoped that plans would be tailored for environmental planning, sustainable tourism and the protection of threatened heritage sites.

Professor Guadeloupe said “Together we will work on the production of sustainable solutions to climate change by considering all stakeholders. Our work is feared towards better-informed policies and more effective implementation of sustainable practices with regional and global significance.”

USM President Professor Antonio Carmona Báez said they are excited by the prospects of developing long-term research and education programmes that speak to the needs and concerns of the Caribbean and its people.

He said the seminar is an opportunity to connect communities with top researchers in the Kingdom and throughout the Caribbean region.

Professor Carmona said the aim is to build a network of concerned scholars to tackle climate change, which he believes is the most pressing issue of our era.

The summit will run from March 2 to 5.

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