UOG Conference on Island Sustainability reaches 10-year milestone

Posted on Apr 02 2019

The University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability joined other sustainability partners in the community on March 29 as the governor signed a proclamation declaring April as Island Sustainability Month. (UNIVERSITY OF GUAM)

The University of Guam Regional Conference on Island Sustainability will mark its 10th year of fueling discussions on how to meet the needs of the current generation without comprising the needs of future generations.

This year’s weeklong conference will be held from April 8 to April 12 at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

The conference coincides with a series of activities and events in collaboration with the Guam Nature Alliance throughout April, which was recently proclaimed “Island Sustainability Month” by Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

The 10th conference will reflect on a decade of renewed focus brought to the ancient island value of sustainability. The 2019 conference theme, “Sustainable Then. Sustainable Again?” recalls the island’s past as a sustainable society and asks if and how we can be sustainable again.

Traditional island navigators teach the importance of looking back to where you came from in order to sail forward to your destination. A blend of historical perspectives and modern innovations will provide conference participants with new tools and ideas to move the islands of the region toward a sustainable future. Decreasing reliance on imports, improving energy independence, and increasing food security all reduce the export of money and build a thriving local economy, more resilient to disasters and global changes.

Amanda Ellis

“The conference will continue to encourage action to achieve sustainability, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the smart thing to do,” said Dr. Austin J. Shelton, executive director of the UOG Center for Island Sustainability. “The ideas that come out of these productive discussions are relevant to all sectors of society, so we encourage all to participate.”

The 10th UOG Regional Conference on Island Sustainability opens at 3pm on April 9 beginning with a report from the Presidential Summit on Island Sustainability. Main conference events will be split between April 10 and April 11, or Day 1 and Day 2. Pre-conference workshops and trainings will take place on April 8 and the morning of April 9.

Day 1’s keynote presentation will be delivered by master navigator and canoe carver Larry Raigetal and his students of the Traditional Navigation and Climate Change Adaptation course at UOG.

Larry Raigetal

Raigetal is the co-founder of Waa’gey, an organization that encourages the passing of traditional knowledge to future generations. He also served in several capacities related to sustainable development and the impacts of climate change as a representative of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Amanda Ellis, a former New Zealand ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, is the keynote speaker for Day 2.

Ellis served many roles in the public and private sectors relative to sustainable development, gender equality, financing, and policymaking, among other roles. She is serves as executive director, Hawaii and Asia-Pacific, and director of strategic partnerships for the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

For registration, conference schedules, and more information, visit www.uog.edu/cis2019.

For a video of the proclamation signing ceremony, visit facebook.com/uogcis. (UOG)

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