The UWI kicks off Earth Month with April 7 webinar

The UWI Regional Headquarters Jamaica. Tuesday, April 6, 2021. It’s been a long COVID-19 year for teachers and students. Meanwhile, in another threat facing the world’s population, the planet kept getting hotter; 2020 tied for the hottest year that humans have ever experienced. Yet, it is likely that 2020 will be one of the coolest years in the next 100 unless we change course quickly. As Earth Month (April) begins, many educators are focused on how to engage students on this critical issue.

This April, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is helping overworked teachers, from every subject, bring climate change into the classroom. This opportunity is not just for environmental science classes. Climate change touches every discipline: psychology, political science, engineering, literature, natural science, art, communication, music, economics, philosophy and more.

Dr. Keron Niles

On April 7, The UWI will host an interactive webinar that brings together academia and youth to examine current challenges to the Caribbean and the best climate solutions for the region. The webinar is part of a series of power dialogues on climate change from some 100 universities around the world. These virtual dialogues, themed Solve Climate by 2030, will be held across 50 countries and 50 US states, welcoming over 100,000 students to discuss meaningful climate action. The UWI’s contribution to the dialogues on Wednesday April 7 starts at 4:00 pm (Jamaica) | 5:00 pm (Eastern Caribbean/EDT) and will be available live via and on Facebook.

Presenters include: Dr. Keron Niles from the Institute of International Relations at The UWI, St. Augustine; Suphane Dash Alleyne from the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, Guyana Chapter; Shirlyn Simon from the UWI Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) Ambassadors.  The panelists are Dr. David Smith from The UWI Institute for Sustainable Development and the Caribbean Coordinator for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UNSDSN); and Eleanor Terrelonge from the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council. The event will be opened by Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Director, Office of Global Partnerships for Sustainable Futures and moderated by Kevin Manning from the Youth Development Programme at The UWI.

Participants can expect a discussion on concrete solutions to climate change, from policy to programmes as well as what families can do together to make a difference and an opportunity to ask questions to the speakers.  Lecturers and teachers are invited to #MakeClimateAClass by assigning the webinar as a resource link. Concise Teachers Guides are also available to provide guidance to teachers on leading a one-class period discussion about climate change from the perspective of their subject area. The Guides, for over two dozen different disciplines, have been developed by a global climate education project based at Bard College in New York. The UWI is also a partner in this initiative.

“The University of the West Indies is pleased to be part of this global dialogue involving 100 universities across 50 countries aimed at solving climate change challenges by 2030.  The world’s top climate scientists have told us we have ten years to act and the Caribbean’s youth are leading this important discussion to make their voices heard and share their ideas on climate solutions.” said Dr. Stacy Richards-Kennedy, Director of the Office of Global Partnerships and Sustainable Futures at The University of the West Indies.  “This April, as we commemorate Earth month, let’s provide opportunities for students to talk about climate solutions and climate justice—from many different disciplinary perspectives.”

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