What do a retired corrections officer, a former journalist, a teacher, and an indigenous artist have in common? They are all part of the first cohort of G3 Conservation Corps members of the Guam Green Growth, or G3, initiative.
The University of Guam announced the 12 members of the G3 Conservation Corps at a program orientation last June at UOG. Following the orientation, the group participated in its first village cleanup in Mangilao.
In May, the university embarked on an islandwide recruitment process for the program. The program received hundreds of applicants, and 12 were selected through a comprehensive review process for the five-month program.
From June to November, the G3 Conservation Corps members will participate in workforce development training and activities focused on island beautification, circular economy and recycling, invasive species removal, energy efficiency, and agriculture and aquaculture.
At the orientation, UOG Center for Island Sustainability Director Austin Shelton said the program is aligned with the current island-wide efforts to achieve sustainability and other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“This is one of our implementation projects for the overall Guam Green Growth initiative, which was established in 2019 in partnership with the Office of the Governor and the University of Guam to implement—in locally and culturally effective ways—the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. This G3 Conservation Corps program is meant to prepare our community for the emerging green economy. Sustainability is an important component that we want to make sure is part of the conversation and the action for the economic diversification of our island,” Shelton said.
Lusech Ngirakesau, a recent UOG business administration graduate and G3 Conservation Corps member, said the program would benefit Small-Island Developing States, or SIDS. Coming from Palau, a small island nation, he said he sees the importance of the program for participants to acquire skills and develop a sustainability mindset.
Madeline Bradley, the youngest G3 Conservation Corps member at age 18, said the program is an amazing start to promote sustainable action. (PR)