News Releases

UWI Partners with Rotary for Wildlife Conservation in Trinidad and Tobago

For Release Upon Receipt - August 18, 2023

St. Augustine

undefinedST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. August 18th, 2023 – The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine campus proudly announces a landmark partnership with the Rotary Fellowship of ‘Wildlifers for Conservation’ in the establishment of its Trinidad and Tobago Chapter. This pivotal alliance focuses intently on the protection and enhancement of the region's rich wildlife and ecosystems.

The inaugural event occurred on July 29th 2023 at The UWI's Faculty of Food and Agriculture, St Augustine Campus. Professor Mark Wuddivira, Dean of the Faculty, underscored the historic significance of the collaboration. Merging the strengths of UWI and Rotary—two institutions with a deep-rooted history spanning over a century—the collaboration seeks to ensure the sustainable preservation of Trinidad and Tobago's natural heritage. This alliance will amplify conservation strategies, by ensuring that efforts are focussed on both indigenous and non-native species.

Mrs. Maria Mohammed-Maharaj, the visionary President of the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation, Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, eloquently spotlighted the Fellowship's mission to bridge individuals under the united banner of wildlife conservation. Notably, this Trinidad and Tobago Chapter stands as the pioneering branch beyond the Global Chapter in India, marking a significant stride in promoting global inclusiveness within the vast Rotary network.

The board of the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter comprises diverse individuals with a passion for wildlife conservation, including Professor Emeritus Gary Wayne Garcia, Livestock Professor at The UWI; Veronica De Souza-Phillip, Executive Member, RFWCTT and Past President of the Rotary Club of Port of Spain West; Ricardo Hospedales, Executive Member, RFWCTT and Agriculture Education Specialist; and Tanya Western, Executive Member, RFWCTT and President of the Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain.

Their progressive initiatives encompass educational support for ambitious projects such as the "Garden with Wings - Pollinator Project" and the creation of an "Agriculture Education Project" in partnership with local schools and clubs. Additionally, plans to create a "Primary/Secondary School Agriculture Education Project" with Pilot Project at The University School in partnership with the Early Act Club of The University School and the Rotary Club of St Augustine are being developed. Furthermore, the fellowship plans to facilitate the organizing of a transformative "2026 Neo-tropical/Wildlife Tour and Expedition" across Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and potentially Brazil. Additionally, the fellowship will collaborate with The University Field Station on a "Neo-tropical Animal Project," involving research, study, and conservation efforts.

For more information about the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation, please visit their official website at Details about the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers Trinidad and Tobago Chapter can be found at:


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 for the past 75 years. 

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: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Global Campus, and 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). 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 in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 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. 

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University. 

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