September 20, 2019

SUNY and the University of the West Indies Symposium on Global Partnerships for Climate Action Spurs Partnerships Around Climate Change

SUNY Empire and UWI Open Campus Jointly Offer Graduate Certificate in Leadership for Sustainable Development

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(NEW YORK  – Sept. 20, 2019) The State University of New York and the University of West Indies, through their jointly held Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development (CLSD), hosted a first-ever Symposium on Global Partnerships for Climate Action. The event was held Friday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at SUNY Global, located at 116 East 55th St.

The SUNY-UWI CLSD, located at SUNY Empire State College’s Manhattan campus, is a partnership dedicated to building bridges between the Caribbean and the U.S. The relationship was established in a 2013 memorandum of understanding. The CLSD was created in 2016 to provide a forum for collaboration, and the ongoing exchange of ideas and resources.

“SUNY is pleased to be working with the University of the West Indies to promote collaborations around climate change that benefit our entire planet,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “We look forward to new partnerships that will advance innovative solutions to the problems around global warming that are felt so acutely in the Caribbean region and among our Caribbean communities here in New York.”

SUNY Empire and the UWI Open Campus jointly offer an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Leadership for Sustainable Development, designed to build human capacity within Caribbean Islands and New York state to achieve sustainable development goals.

“No country is immune from the effects of climate change, from the shores of New York's Long Island battered during Hurricane Sandy to the devastation of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas," said Jim Malatras, president of SUNY Empire. "That's why we need to work together to take action. SUNY Empire's School for Graduate Studies' partnership with the University of the West Indies to offer a certificate in Leadership for Sustainable Development does just that, providing students with the education they need to find solutions and effect real change. I am grateful to SUNY and the University of the West Indies for convening this climate change summit as we continue to collaborate in the urgent effort to save our planet.”

The symposium coincides with the Global Climate Summit hosted by the United Nations, which will be held Monday, Sept. 23. The goal of the symposium is to strengthen existing partnerships and establish new ones between academia, policymakers and development partners.

The event featured two panel discussions, followed by Q&As, and opportunities for networking. Speakers included representatives from SUNY System, SUNY Empire, Stony Brook University and the University at Buffalo as well as the UWI, the World Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates more than 17,000 students in person, online, and through a blend of both, at more than 30 locations in New York and at eight international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s more than 1,300 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards more than 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 87,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.

About The State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit