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Cave Hill Launches Centre for Biosecurity Studies

For Release Upon Receipt - Friday, August 10, 2018

Cave Hill Campus Launches Centre for Biosecurity

The UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. 10 August 2018.A Centre aimed at safeguarding the Caribbean against deliberate or unintentional threats to its biodiversity and ecosystem has been established at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus.

UWI Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Eudine Barriteau announced that the Centre for Biosecurity Studies will be an interdisciplinary operation domiciled in Barbados. It will coordinate initiatives aimed at reducing or eliminating biological threats that could adversely affect the Caribbean’s way of life and destabilize regional economies.

“The University’s commitment to coming to terms with this form of socio-economic threat is consistent with our record of responding in a timely manner to various dangers that arise in the Caribbean,” Barriteau said as she referenced a range of UWI-led research to address recent and ongoing socio-economic challenges and environmental concerns that could threaten human security and development in the region.

The Centre garnered immediate state endorsement when it was announced at an inaugural Biosecurity Symposium held 2nd August, 2018 under the theme: Building Resilience to Biosecurity Threats in the Caribbean.

Attorney General of Barbados, Dale Marshall praised the university for its proactive approach and promised to strengthen the island’s legislative framework where necessary to tackle biosecurity threats. He also urged regional cooperation and mutual support to address biosecurity issues.

Chair of the CARICOM Science and Technology Committee and Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. Keith Mitchell had lauded the university in earlier correspondence, for its initiative to “adapt to the vagaries of climate change and to protect livelihoods, natural resources and bio diversity from its impact.” He pledged to seek the support of CARICOM member states.

Director of the Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, Professor Rebecca Katz told the symposium that the Caribbean was a priority region for the US to build capacity and awareness of the grave dangers posed by emerging infectious diseases and biological threats. She encouraged regional countries to make their voices heard on these issues through international engagement.

Professor Barriteau noted that the Centre will receive expertise from a range of disciplines as it integrates fields of law, medical research, public health, climate change, disaster management and international relations among others.

She told the gathering of regional and international experts that Cave Hill campus was ideally suited to integrate the region’s disjointed biosecurity efforts, ad hoc training and other measures towards implementing an effective biosecurity programme.

About The UWI

For the past 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region. In 2018, The UWI celebrates its evolution from 1948 as a university college in Jamaica with 33 medical students to an internationally respected regional university with near 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. Its seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. The UWI has been a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of our people. As the regional institution commemorates its 70th anniversary milestone, it will celebrate its students, faculty, administrators, alumni, governments, and partners in the public and private sector. The anniversary commemoration will focus on reflection as well as projection for the future with an emphasis on social justice and the economic transformation of the region. Website: and (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)


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