30th Pacific Islands Environmental Conference kicks off
HAGATNA, Guam—The Pacific Islands Environmental Conference, a bi-annual conference that rotates between the CNMI, American Samoa, and Guam will be held in Guam this year and is scheduled to kick off tomorrow, June 25, at the Hyatt Regency Guam, beginning at 8am.
A press conference to detail the agenda and activities planned for the five-day event is scheduled for that same day, June 25, at the Hyatt Regency Guam, in the arcade room at 11am.
All sponsors, speakers, and Pacific island leaders will also attend. The success of the event is already unprecedented, with now nearly 500 confirmed attendees—250 more than anticipated.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Greening Growth in the Pacific.”
The conference agenda will focus on the urgency of building a Green Economy due to the global climate change crisis.
This bi-annual conference comes nearly six years after the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio +20, where nations gathered, including the small island developing states, to reaffirm their commitment to safeguarding the environment for future generations.
“The islands in the Pacific are on the very frontlines of this global crisis and are being forced to reassess their waste reduction strategy, food, water, and energy security, and to take steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio underscored this point and added, “Today, locally and globally, we face a daily wave of difficult news: climate change speeding up, typhoons back to back, fires blazing up and down mountainsides, and other natural disasters, along with the growing challenges surrounding managing waste through our landfills. In 2019, it is clear that our stewardship of our islands is not just a responsibility for the future; we have to act immediately to protect our generation.”
The conference is expected draw hundreds of delegates from environmental protection professions, including managers, field representatives, environmental governance officials, international and national leaders. Along with diplomats, an assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force, concerned business owners, a visionary scientist, indigenous activist, and non-profit groups from around the world will be participating in the conference.
Throughout this six-day event, the Solid Waste Association of North America will deliver pre-conference workshops and training. Professional certifications will also be available on managing composting systems, managing integrated solid waste management systems, radon measurements, and zero waste systems and principles. Information exchange will be held on building green infrastructure as it relates to storm-water, wastewater, drinking water, and non-point source systems.
A Coral Reef Symposium will also be held on “Coral Reef Conservation and Resilience Strategies” in concert with the recently established Coral Reef Task Force. The Task Force was created by the Guam governor in Executive Order 2019-09.
The conference is organized by a multisectoral partnership composed of the Office of the Governor, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, and Guam Bureau of Statistics and Plans, with funding from the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Nature Conservancy, and members of the Guam business community. (PR)