2 December 2015
GCI Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.
GCI Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

University of Queensland researchers have announced a partnership with collaborators from the United Arab Emirates to address one of the greatest challenges of our time.

UQ’s Global Change Institute (GCI) and the Sharjah Research Academy, UAE, have agreed to a broad collaboration in the areas of coastal zone management, sustainable water technologies, food systems and renewable energy innovation.

UQ’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Monique Skidmore signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on behalf of UQ.
 
GCI Director Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg presented the MOU to His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the Sharjah Research Academy for signing at the Emirate.

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said Sharjah had a rich tradition of research and education, and the agreement would bring broad benefits and opportunities for both institutions and their countries.

“Despite our geographic distance, Australia and the United Arab Emirates are facing many of the same environmental challenges – not least those relating to our marine ecosystems and food security, which will be the initial focus areas for the partnership,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.

“Global warming is a global problem and The University of Queensland is privileged to work with another research organisation that is equally committed to improving our environment for a better world.”

Director General of the Sharjah Research Academy Professor Amr Abdel-Hamid said the agreement would enable research staff and graduate student exchanges, in addition to research collaboration.

“This Memorandum presents an exciting opportunity to work with like-minded researchers on some of the biggest issues facing our planet,” Professor Abdel-Hamid said.

“Students represent the next generation, so it is only appropriate that educational opportunities and exchanges are at the core of this collaborative effort.”

The MOU was signed just days before the Conference of Parties (COP21) commenced in Paris, where world leaders are negotiating their positions on climate.  

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg is leading the UQ delegation to COP21.
 
“If we continue on the current pathway of more than 2°C warming by 2100 we will lose the Great Barrier Reef and the ability of coral reefs in the Persian Gulf to survive will be severely impacted,” Professor Hoegh-Guldberg said.

“The expected global coral bleaching and mortality again in 2016 is a reminder of just how great the issue of climate change is and why we need to take urgent action on greenhouse gases such as CO2.”  

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Contact: GCI Communications and Engagement Manager Anna Moloney, +61 7 3443 3148, +61 (0) 478 487 211, a.moloney@uq.edu.au

The Global Change Institute

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