News Releases

UWI St. Augustine Sign On to Latin American/Caribbean University Consortium

For Release Upon Receipt - April 13, 2021

St. Augustine

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Brian Copeland has signed, on behalf of the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies (STA UWI), the University Consortium Collaboration Agreement on Sustainable Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) hosted the virtual event on Friday, April 9, 2021.

Also in attendance were Leo Heileman, UNEP’s Regional Director and Representative,

Jordi Pon, UNEP’s Regional Coordinator Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality Programme, Marco T. Espinosa, Coordinator of the Steering Committee for the 8 universities, and Dr. Vincent Cooper, UWI’s representative on the Consortium, along with representatives of the seven other universities involved in the Consortium. The University of Technology in Jamaica is the only other Caribbean university in the Consortium.

Professor Copland remarked that “in March 2020, leaders in the waste management sector gathered at the St. Augustine Campus for a public symposium on achieving sustainable, integrated solid waste management systems in the Caribbean. Now, just one month past the one year anniversary, here we are gathered to ratify and sign this University Consortium Collaboration Agreement on Sustainable Waste Management.”

He added that “waste management is integral to the 17 UN Sustainable Goals. Improper waste management can result in ecosystem loss and destruction, acceleration of climate change effects, declines in national revenue for sectors such as tourism, and elevated healthcare costs.”

Dr. Vincent Cooper, Lecturer in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering, agrees that the Caribbean, with its unique geography and environmental sensitivity, has a disproportionately higher impact from waste. The 2020 symposium stated, using 10 year old empirical data for Trinidad and Tobago – one of the more heavily industrialised countries in the Caribbean – that 700,000 tonnes of waste are produced annually with a projected waste generation rate of 1.4 million tonnes per year in 2020.

The new collaboration Agreement will provide postgraduate training and research opportunities in the area of waste management and strengthen UWI’s cooperation with universities in Latin America and the Caribbean.




About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)