International delegates visit UCF with focus on climate change adaptation

The World Affairs Council of Central Florida comprised of leaders from around the world visited the University of Central Florida on Wednesday, taking special interest in climate change adaptation and renewable energy within. The roster held an assortment of impressive professionals, traveling from Botswana, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic to Croatia, Malaysia, and Slovakia to the States, many having no preview U.S. travel.

Faculty and staff welcomed the group to campus through insight on current operations -- David Norvell, Assistant Vice President of Sustainability Initiatives, spoke on the university's sustainability strategy, Curt Wade, Director of Utilities & Energy Services, on energy management, Debra Reinhart, Assistant Vice President for Research, on university research, and Edward Schons, Director of University Economic Development, on the green economy and jobs development.

During their stay, the delegates also stopped at the Siemens Wind Service Training Center, the Florida Solar Energy Center, and the Merritt Island Preserve. The delegates are also visiting two other American universities: Climate Science Experts at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, and the West River Agricultural Center at South Dakota State University. This agenda is a part of a cultural exchange of worldly professionals known as the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Since its establishment in 1963, the program aims to build a mutual understanding between the United States and other nations through these short-term visits to allow for exchange between leaders.

The international delegates in attendance:

  • Mr. Mosimanegape Nthaka, Senior Natural Resources Officer, Department of Environmental Affairs
  • Ms. Karla Montero Viquez, Advisor to the Director of Energy, Public Service Regulatory Authority
  • Mr. Mario Klobucar, Head, Department for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources, Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund
  • Mr. Juan Salado Santos, Renewable Energy Section Chief, National Meteorology Institute
  • Ms. Fazzia Moreira Izurieta, Director of National and International Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fishing
  • Mr. Harsha Yadav Bollaboina, Co-founder, Zolt Energy Private Limited and Efficient Carbon Management Solutions LLP
  • Mr. Chinmay Kinjavdekar, Research Associate, The Energy and Resources Institute
  • Mr. Harold Chisale, Forestry Officer, Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining
  • Mr. Mohamed Azrin Mohamed Ali, Vice President, Green Catalyst
  • Mr. Yan Hookoomsing, Corporate Sustainability Manager, HSBC Mauritius
  • Ms. Talia Contreras Tapia, Ph.D. Candidate, Environment and Policy, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Mr. Gerelt Od Tsogtbaatar, Head, CDM National Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism
  • Ms. Chantal Oudkerk Pool, Senior Advisor, City of Rotterdam Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, Circular Economy, and International Cooperation
  • Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed, Assistant Director, Directorate of Alternative Energy, Energy Department, Government of Sindh
  • Mr. Shuo Li, Senior Environmental Policy Officer, Greenpeace China
  • Mr. Wojciech Szymalski, President, Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Ms. Polina Karkina, Assistant Program Director, Greenpeace Russia
  • Mr. Peter Brezani, Project Manager, Analyst, and Editor, Central European Energy Conference Team, Slovak Foreign Policy Association
  • Mr. Artur Khudonazarov, Manager, Foundation for Innovative and Sustainable Technology
  • Mr. Salmen Hermmi, Senior Engineer, Environmental Health and Environment Protection Directorate, Ministry of Health
  • Mr. Tebaldo Vinciguerra, Director, Ecological and Development Issues, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace