News N. 9/121   25/06/2018

Climate Change Grant Program's 2017-2019 Class in Monaco

Maria Elena Cuomo, President of the Foundation and Francisco A. Diaz Lison, General Manager, with the 2018-2019 class of the IPCC Scholarship Program

The four new PhD students who have benefited from the climate change fellowship program that the Cuomo Foundation has been supporting since 2013 visited Monaco from 21 to 23 June 2018. These young researchers from Myanmar, Senegal and Sri Lanka are part of the 2017- 2019 class of this project, undertaken in partnership with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

During their stay in the Principality, the young climate specialists had the opportunity to exchange with the Foundation on topics that are important to them: regional climate change impacts, future challenges of the situation, latest findings of their researches and professional aspirations.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the testimony of Ey Phyu Win, a Myanmar national, who had to persevere front of the authorities of her country, first to benefit from the Foundation’s grant, then to leave her country for the time to reach Europe. It was a long process of nearly five years during which the Foundation had always supported her, providing financial assistance and moral support all along. While defying the firmness of a status quo that is matched only by the young woman's will, Ey Phyu Win is now in the final stages of her research. This study focuses on methane emission in rice cultivation and ways to reduce it. This is a study of utmost importance, considered the rice production in the continent, home to 60% of the world's population. 90% of the world's rice production is grown and consumed in Asia...

Ey Phyu Win's compatriot, Htwe Min Thant, an Assistant Researcher from the Burmese Ministry of Agriculture, is developing a biotechnology to increase eggplant's resistance to droughts—a situation that has become increasingly recurrent in Myanmar in recent years.

Aissatou Faye, the first Senegalese to benefit from the Foundation's support in this grant, is studying the relationship between the West African monsoon pattern and climate change, due, in part, to the rapid urbanisation underway in the region.

Finally, Suranjith Koralegedara from Sri Lanka examines the relationship between the “heat island effect” and climat variations in urban environments. The research focuses on the city of Colombo, the capital of this tropical island which has known an exponential urban development for the last 20 years.

With these 4 researchers, the number of young PhDs supported by the Foundation over the past 5 years amounts to 11, or as many researches facilitated—11 areas of research which are likely to advance our knowledge on the most crucial question of our times: the one that determines its future.