By LEANDRA ROLLE
THE University of the Bahamas has announced the creation of its new Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Research Centre, which will produce research on climate change impacts on small island developing states.
During a press conference held at the university yesterday, UB President Dr Rodney Smith noted that the centre, which will be based in Grand Bahama, was established due to a need for more research related to climate change impacts on developing countries like the Bahamas.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, it became even more clear that we in the Bahamas must find innovative ways to adapt to climate change for our survival, in particular the need for sound research specific to our islands to inform how we adapt,” he said. “(Therefore), the university has made it our mission to drive national development in a number of ways, including research.”
According to CCARR’s director, Dr Adelle Thomas, the centre will conduct research on climate change adaptation, loss and damage and comprehensive disaster risk management.
“The Bahamas, and other small island developing states have contributed least to global warming, but we are the most affected by its impact…,” she said.
“These three interrelated research topics aim to really increase our understanding of how climate change is already affecting people, communities, businesses and sectors and to develop effective ways that we can respond to these challenges.”
UB Board of Trustees Chairman Dr Jonathan Rodgers added: “(By focusing) on the aftermath impact of hurricanes, I suspect this will provide new insights into the field of post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic hurricane stress, post-hurricane displacement and migration patterns and new types of disaster insurance coverage.”
Officials also noted that UB has received offers of collaboration from many universities around the world, including Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Hamburg, Germany.
According Dr Thomas, the development of the new centre will occur in several phases.
“These initial months will be focused on set up and planning, securing funding and developing partnerships. We very much look forward to collaborating with national, regional and international partners as we develop this hub for research, policy support, education and outreach on climate change,” she said.
Dr Vikneswaran Nairn, dean of UB Graduate Studies and Research, added: “We are confident that the CCARR Centre will play a pivotal role in pulling all the resources required to address the issue of climate change and strengthen adaptation and resilience.”