“Dr. Hugh Sealy served our University and Caribbean region with distinction. He put his mind and heart into tackling the climate crisis facing the Caribbean. His teaching, research, scholarly publications, and expert contributions to technical advisory boards reflected his passion and commitment to both advancing the science on climate change issues faced by small states of the Caribbean. He also shared his knowledge and expertise with younger generations. The UWI family feels a tremendous loss.” This, according to Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, as he expressed the University community’s sadness at the sudden loss of Dr. Hugh Sealy, who died on March 18, 2022.
Lecturer on climate change and water resources management at The UWI’s Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at its Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, Dr. Sealy nurtured young minds—teaching in the areas of Climate change impacts: Adaptation & mitigation, Policy response to climate change, Water and wastewater management, Water management and the environment, and Field studies skill. Dr. Hugh Sealy was also a notable consultant, project manager, professional engineer, environmental scientist, and most recently led technical advisory support at Glasgow’s COP26.
In these landmark global climate summit discussions, The UWI scientist anchored the Barbados delegation, providing technical advisory support, as the technical lead of the Barbados delegation and lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). He championed AOSIS positions on matters related to raising the mitigation ambition of all countries to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius and was a co-facilitator of the negotiations under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
In recognition of his work at CERMES, Dr. Sealy was also selected to serve on the Management Committee for The UWI’s flagship Global Institute for Climate Smart and Resilient Development. This first-of-its-kind virtual UWI climate hub for the Caribbean, harnesses The UWI’s research and teaching on climate change, disaster risk reduction, resilience and sustainable development and was launched in October 2021.
Commenting on Dr. Sealy’s invaluable contributions, Pro Vice-Chancellor Global Affairs, Dr. Stacy Kennedy said, “We are all deeply saddened and will miss our dear colleague. Dr. Sealy was committed to the vision of a one-UWI approach to advancing climate action and was steadfast in his dedicated contributions to the success of our Global Climate-Smart Institute. He was always very willing to share his knowledge and experience leading climate negotiations at the international level and to build awareness of the multiple vulnerabilities of Caribbean SIDS as well as the need for urgent action by global players.”
Dr Sealy’s life’s work superbly intersected the spheres of civil service, private sector and academia. He earned his first degree in chemical engineering from McGill University (Canada) and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Brunel University (UK) and the University of Liverpool (UK) respectively. He also served as Director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Track in the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine at St. George’s University in Grenada, worked for Intel (Barbados. Ltd.), was the regional manager for Stantec (a large Canada-based engineering firm) and Managing Director of New Water Inc., a firm specialising in wastewater treatment technology; and was a Past President of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association.
The UWI community extends deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Dr. Hugh Sealy.