St. George’s University and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Establish a Caribbean Regional Collaboration Center

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The Windward Islands Research & Education Foundation (WINDREF) and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM) at St George’s University, have been selected by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to establish a Regional Collaborating Centre for the Caribbean. The partnership, between the DPHPM, WINDREF and UNFCCC, will be based at the University’s True Blue campus in Grenada and continues UNFCCC’s implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997.

This centre, the third of its kind in the world, is aimed at enhancing the implementation of clear technology activities in the region by engaging private- and public-sector organizations as well as governmental agencies to participate in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) framework, part of the Kyoto Protocol’s way of achieving carbon reduction targets.

“We are delighted to collaborate with WINDREF and the DPHPM at St. George’s University,” said Karla Solis-Garcia, Team Lead for the Regional Collaboration Centre St George’s. “We have received a warm welcome and look forward to achieving long-term results that can put the Caribbean in a position to implement clean technology activities that mitigate climate change and support sustainable development of the countries of the region.”

WINDREF and the DPHPM, recently designated as the first WHO Collaborating Centre on Environmental and Occupational Health in the Caribbean, are uniquely positioned to lend support, having collaborated on several environmental research programs that addressed occupational health among nutmeg workers and health care workers, renewable energy, land degradation, food and water borne diseases, and zoonotic diseases.

“We are delighted to be able to host the Clean Development Mechanism RCC,” said Dr. Omur Cinar Elci, Chair of the DPHPM. “We see a clear linkage between our goals as practitioners and educators in public health and the ultimate goal of the UNFCCC to prevent dangerous climate change,”

“We are excited to partner with the UNFCCC to establish a Caribbean Regional Collaboration Centre at WINDREF on St. George’s University campus,” said Calum Macpherson, Director and Vice President of WINDREF. “The goal of the Centre – to support CDM projects in the Caribbean region – will mitigate carbon emissions and address climate change, one of the greatest future threats to health and well-being. As such, WINDREF, in conjunction with the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at SGU, provide a perfect home for the Caribbean RCC, given their common mission of promoting health and sustainable development throughout the region.”

The regional office in Grenada started operations in mid-July and will aid in providing technical support to design and process activities under the CDM.

About SGU
St. George’s University is a center of international education, drawing students and faculty from over 140 countries to the island of Grenada, West Indies. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University has contributed over 13,000 physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals who are studying across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities.

The Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine offers a CEPH-accredited Master in Public Health Programme to graduate students from around the world. The Department also houses the WHO Collaboration Center for Environmental and Occupational Health and the Gamma Kappa Chapter of the Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health.

The Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF) is a non-profit research institute located on the St. George’s University campus. Its mission is to advance health and environmental development through research and education programs. For more information, visit www.sgu.edu.

About UNFCCC
With 195 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 193 of the UNFCCC Parties. Under the Protocol, 37 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

About the CDM
Developed countries can work towards their targets under the Kyoto Protocol by earning certified emission reductions through Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects.