First of its kind Climate Detection and Attribution Workshop at The UWI Mona Campus

The UWI, Mona Campus

The Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) at The University of the West Indies, Mona (The UWI, Mona) has collaborated with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5C's), the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC) and the PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy to host a workshop under the theme Caribbean Climate: Detection and Attribution Science Workshop. The workshop is scheduled for June 10-14, 2024 on the grounds of the Mona Campus.

With climate litigation and climate justice taking centre stage on the global agenda, and Caribbean nations successfully advocating for a Loss and Damage Fund, there is a growing and urgent need to enhance regional capacity to correlate regional climate impacts with climate change. This first-of-its-kind in the Caribbean, workshop will expose participants to methodologies for first detecting and then quantifying what role, if any, climate change may be playing in making Caribbean weather events, including floods, droughts or hurricanes, more intense in the Caribbean region. Detection and Attribution is a rapidly emerging science which holds tremendous significance for vulnerable regions like the Caribbean.

Speaking to the importance of the Workshop, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology Professor Michael Taylor noted that the D&A Workshop is timely, stating: “Having successfully lobbied for the creation of a global Loss and Damage Fund, and with climate litigation on the rise, the region must be aware of and equip itself with all available tools to scientifically establish what we have long known – that climate change is changing the intensity and frequency of the extreme weather events that we are increasingly seeing in the Caribbean. This workshop is a first step toward doing so given its focus on Detection and Attribution science."

Led by renowned Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientist and Climatologist, Professor Francois Engelbrecht, Director of the Global Change Institute (GCI) at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, the workshop will engage approximately fifty (50) participants from various countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Jamaica, Germany, United Kingdom, Africa, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Barbados, Cuba, and the Netherlands.

During the Workshop, opportunities for collaborative research on detection and attribution will be explored, particularly with the Climate Studies Group, Mona (CSGM), co-directed by Professor Taylor and Deputy Dean, FST Professor Tannecia Stephenson, both Climate Scientists at The UWI Mona.

In conjunction with the Workshop, a Public Lecture titled "Loss & Damage: The urgent need for climate change attribution science in the Global South," will be delivered by Professor Francois Engelbrecht at The UWI Mona on the afternoon of June 13. In addition to the already named partners, the lecture is also being co-hosted with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Forestry Department, and the South African High Commission. It will delve into the critical role of science in supporting policymaking in developing countries in the pursuit of climate justice.

The staging of the Workshop and Public lecture will further establish Jamaica and The UWI as leaders in the climate science-policy arena within the Caribbean region.