News Releases

UWI St. Augustine Researchers share in 2022 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity

For Release Upon Receipt - November 2, 2022

St. Augustine



Professor Michelle Mycoo, urban and regional planner and Professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management at The UWI St Augustine.

 ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. Wednesday November 2, 2022 Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine has issued congratulations to Professor Michelle Mycoo, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was declared a co-laureate of the 2022 Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, together with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

This is wonderful news and a tremendous achievement by you and your colleagues. It reinforces what I truly believe - that the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI has colleagues of the highest worth who can compare and even surpass their peers on the international stage and who are making meaningful contributions in every facet of our lives. I am very proud. Congratulations,” she said.

Mycoo, who is a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Faculty of Engineering, shared that “It took a tremendous amount of hard work, discipline and leadership as the Coordinating Lead Author of the Small Islands chapter of the IPCC Working Group II Report. I am most humbled by this award as an IPCC scientist and grateful to the team of authors who contributed to the global report, including scholars from The University of the West Indies and UWI alumni.” 

 The Jury of the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity, led by Dr. Angela Merkel, selected the IPCC and IPBES out of 116 nominations from 41 countries, in recognition of “…the role of science on the front line of tackling climate change and the loss of biodiversity.” IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee received the award “on behalf of IPCC scientists who deliver the most up-to-date and robust climate change knowledge to the world’s policymakers.”

“Science is our most powerful instrument to tackle climate change, a clear and imminent threat to our wellbeing and livelihoods, the wellbeing of our planet and all of its species. For IPCC scientists, this prize is an important recognition and encouragement. For the decision-makers, it is another push for more decisive climate action.”

The prize was launched by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 2020 with the objective of distinguishing those persons and organisations from around the world whose work has greatly contributed to mitigating the impacts of climate change. It comes with a generous purse of 1 million Euros.


About the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. In the same year the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by the WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC. It has 195 member states. Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, experts volunteer their time as IPCC authors to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.

The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for estimating emissions and removals of greenhouse gases. IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC assessments are a key input into the international negotiations to tackle climate change. IPCC reports are drafted and reviewed in several stages, thus guaranteeing objectivity and transparency

 About The University of the West Indies

 The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

 From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Monain Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hillin Barbados, Five IslandsinAntigua and Barbuda and itsOpen Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

 The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

 The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%.

 The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.


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