Back to Top
Close Menu

Centre for Biosecurity Studies


The UWI has been at the forefront of the search for solutions to Caribbean challenges. The recent swathe of devastating hurricanes in 2017 underscores the vulnerabilities of Caribbean countries. These super storms that have produced a myriad of economic, social and health challenges are, in fact, the forerunners of other menacing vulnerabilities for Caribbean States. The vulnerabilities they produce encompass geographical degradation, such as coastal erosion, heightened health challenges such as bacterial threats and temperature related health concerns, exacerbated socio-economic conditions of poverty due to massive dislocations and loss of resources and livelihoods.

Further, these adversities cumulatively can create both geo-political and biosecurity concerns.
In 2015, the Campus mounted the first regional one-day symposium to examine and devise a management policy for the massive influx of Sargassum Seaweed. By 2016, the Campus distributed to CARICOM governments a Sargassum Management Brief. On 2 August, 2018, with a variety of participating institutions, the Campus mounted a one-day symposium to examine the implications of biosecurity challenges for the region, the symposium focused on building resilience to biosecurity threats.

A robust biosecurity system could help protect way-of-life, natural resources and biodiversity from harmful effects of adverse weather, pests, diseases, toxins and technology that threaten to corrode the wellbeing of society. The prediction, anticipation and prevention of such threats represent an enormous gap in the academic, legal and political capacity of the region. The Cave Hill Campus recognizes that the biosecurity field is necessarily multidisciplinary and positions the Centre so that it receives expertise from a range of disciplines. Scientific fields make up the majority of technical disciplines while social science disciplines are important for governance. A review of organizations dedicated to biosecurity prevention reveals the scope of expertise required to build national biosecurity systems: such as anthropology, agriculture, biology, chemistry, disaster management, economics, environmental management, international development, international relations, medicine, legal profession, peace and conflict resolution, advocacy and policy development, public health, national defense, trade and veterinary science.