Harry giving speech

Duke of Sussex unveils new Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships to boost climate resilience

Published on 23 October 2018

The ACU is pleased to announce four new Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships – with a specific focus on climate resilience. Unveiled by HRH The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, these scholarships will be offered to young people from the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean from 2019, encouraging academic mobility and the exchange of knowledge between the two regions.

Fully-funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) endowment fund, the scholarships will be hosted by the following ACU member institutions:

  • The University of the South Pacific will host one scholarship for a student from the Caribbean to study for a Master's in Climate Change, offered by the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Fiji National University will host one scholarship for a student from the Caribbean on its interdisciplinary Master's in Climate Change Mitigation and Resilience
  • The University of the West Indies will host two scholarships for students from the Pacific in 2019 and 2020 studying for Master's in subjects relating to climate change

These scholarships will also support the work of the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network – whose founding members include the University of the South Pacific, Fiji National University, and the University of the West Indies – as scholars will take an active role in the network's activities.

Fiji is the most recent country, and first Pacific State, to contribute to the CSFP endowment fund, joining 13 other Commonwealth Governments whose donations make up the current fund.

Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, said: 'These life-changing scholarships will help us to target vital research outcomes in the field of climate resilience and put Commonwealth citizens at the cutting edge of climate resilience, creating important opportunities to better protect vulnerable nations and their communities.

'Our mission in managing the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships is to increase student mobility across the world, build deeper and stronger international bonds and empower young, talented people to effect positive change.'

The Hon Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service and Communications, The Government of Fiji, said: 'Fiji is leading the world's fight against climate change as current president of COP23, bringing the entire international community together in the same canoe to reduce global warming and build resilience in the communities most affected by climate events. Empowering our young people – our most energetic and inspiring generation of climate warriors – is key to protecting the planet that they will inherit, and these scholarships will help advance this critical mission.

'This step is a natural fit with the Fijian Government's unyielding commitment to two core causes: curbing climate change and investing in education. We're proud to become the latest country to demonstrate its commitment to this important pan-Commonwealth initiative through the CSFP Endowment Fund.'

The Hon Ralph Regenvanu MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Co-operation and External Trade (MFAICET), The Government of The Republic of Vanuatu, said: 'We welcome the creation of four Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships for Climate Resilience, offered to young people from the Pacific and the Caribbean from next year. They will be an important contribution to a pressing knowledge and qualifications gap in Vanuatu.

'As an island state vulnerable to the effects of climate, we are determined to be on the frontline of learning and action when it comes to environmental matters. The scholarships will play a significant role in doing just that: providing a way for people around the world to share ideas, expertise and best practice and, in doing so, protect Vanuatu's communities for generations to come.'

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