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SL Government initiates world’s first international environmental university

Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is embarking on an ambitious initiative of establishing the world’s first international environmental university to support the global effort in addressing climate change.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe says efforts are being taken to establish the Climate Change University next year when he addressed a special meeting on climate change and green growth at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

The International Climate Change University is a post-graduate institution solely focused on research and does not offer undergraduate courses.

Any country or organization that contributes to the university becomes a stakeholder and gains membership on the Board of Governance. The Korean Exim Bank has expressed interest in partnering with the university.

He added that prestigious institutions like Harvard and MIT have expressed interest in collaboration.The president also requested the consideration of short-term courses for government officials.

During the briefing, the five thematic areas established in a previous meeting with President Wickremesinghe were extensively discussed.

These areas include the Climate Change Office, Green Finance Facilitation, International Climate Change University, Nature Positive Green Growth, and Innovative Management Support. Specific attention was given to regions lagging behind in these areas, such as marine pollution and electric car mobility.

Although climate change is a significant challenge in the world, there is no central research hub to study it, the President noted. He invited multiple countries to join Sri Lanka in the effort.

“Recognizing the importance of addressing climate change, we believe it should be included in school and university curricula.

That’s why we are planning to establish the International University of Climate Change, which will be the world’s first international environmental university. We expect it to provide opportunities for post-graduate and research work,” the President stated.

Mr Wickremesinghe also observed that there is currently no centre in the world dedicated to conducting research on climate change.

Therefore, Sri Lanka is taking steps to start the International University on Climate Change by establishing that centre in Sri Lanka. “We hope to carry out this work with the participation of many countries, and give membership of the governing board to those countries and organisations,” said President Wickremesinghe.

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