An HBCU perspective on the United Nations conference on climate control.

Florida A&M University’s School of the Environment, College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences and FAMU Sustainability Institute hosted a collaborative event on Wednesday.

The event was held in the Frederick Humphries Science Research Building to discuss different perspectives on the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.

Dr. Odemari Stephen Mbuya, M.S., Ph.D., a FAMU Agricultural Science professor and Faculty Director of FAMU Sustainability Institute, explains the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle and the importance of linking international climate agreements with local actions.

“Climate change is not a hypothesis which we are inclined to accept or eject,” Mbuya said. “It is already here and what we need is action.”

Mbuya believes that FAMU can create a larger impact on climate change simply by infusing educational programs for students, more so incoming freshman, on sustainability in the curriculum.

According to Mbuya, good governance is about the process of decision-making and implementing those decision. Decisions that are made at a local level will be put into action locally, which is an ideal place to start. Policymakers should be aware of the continuous changes within our environment and other global issues such as food security, climate change, health and terrorism.

Dr. John Warford, Ph.D., a FAMU history and political science professor, understands how imperative these critical issues in climate change have become.

Warford has helped FAMU become a pillar institution in the HBCU Climate Change Initiative for the past three years. It is run out of the Deep South Center of Environmental Justice in New Orleans.

“Can you maintain your resources? Can you sustain them? Can you keep them?” Warford asked. “These are fundamental things we do not think about, but if they are not in place you and I are not here. We are dependent on the environment, it is not dependent on us.”

Angela Gaines, a third-year FAMU engineering student from Los Angeles, Calif., thinks that the issue on climate change is neglected by most due to a lack of knowledge of the effects it has on us.

“I would love to see more appealing marketing tactics to inform students about the issue of climate change,” Gaines said. “I would also love to see FAMU take the necessary steps to prevent an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.”

On February 25 at 8:30 a.m., FAMU Sustainability Institute will host Indaba 2016, a campus wide brainstorming summit in the Grand Ballroom.

Indaba is a traditional South African word that can be defined as a gathering of community members to circumvent issues that affect the masses. The goal is to find common ground on the issues at hand.

Students are encouraged to get involved and take a more hands-on approach to sustaining our environment. Students are also encouraged to visit to find out how to get involved or to contact FAMU Sustainability Institute at (850) 599-8231.