ECONOMYNEXT – A number of Chinese institutions have expressed interest in extending academic and technical support for a proposed “International University on Climate Change” in Sri Lanka, the president’s office said.
A statement issued by the president’s media division (PMD) on Friday October 20 said representatives from various Chinese institutions engaged in climate-related initiatives have agreed to offer their expertise and support from both the academic and technological perspectives to assist Sri Lanka in its plans to establish an international university focused on climate change.
“This information was revealed during a high-level discussion held in Beijing on Thursday October 19, involving the leadership of environmental universities and organisations dedicated to climate-related efforts. The delegation commended Sri Lanka’s proactive step to create an international university specialising in climate change, recognising it as both timely and forward-thinking,” the statement said.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has already engaged with numerous stakeholders on this initiative, has “emphasised his commitment to making the exercise a collaborative effort involving multiple parties rather than an individual undertaking within Sri Lanka”.
The discussion also resulted in the decision to convene several online sessions to engage with other relevant parties concerning the establishment of the university, the statement said.
Wickremesinghe said speaking at a Belt & Road event in China on Thursday that Sri Lanka actively working towards the establishment of an international university focused on climate change, capitalising on this “unique ecological context”.
He said the proposed university aims to “lay the groundwork for conducting relevant research and implementing protective measures to address the pressing global crises of climate change, environmental pollution and biodiversity destruction”.
A PMD statement quoted Wickremesinghe as “strongly advocating for immediate action in these areas”.
“Through this university, we have set three primary objectives. First and foremost, our focus is on researching measures for collective security and the common good. Secondly, we aim to foster knowledge sharing among the global community. Lastly, we are committed to providing practical education.
“To mitigate the impacts of climate change, this institution delves into a comprehensive array of strategies across diverse fields, encompassing rigorous research, structural reforms within relevant organisations, international cooperation, community engagement and more. It serves as a valuable source of knowledge, research and solutions aimed at limiting global warming to a level of 1.5 degrees C. In this endeavour, the university assumes a pivotal role in the battle against climate change,” he said. (Colombo/Oct20/2023)