Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

Hawai‘i joins Palau’s global efforts to build more resilient island communities August 30, 2016 | Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawai'i Joins Effort 2016The President of Palau, H.E. Tommy Remengesau Jr. and Governor of Hawaii, The Hon. David Ige, have taken steps to promote action in building resilient and sustainable island communities, locally and globally with a series of announcements last night in Hawaii.

Hurricanes Madeline and Lester remind us that islands are on the frontline of climate change. They are increasingly threatened from more severe weather alongside resource depletion, urban growth, health threats and food pressures.

Recognizing that problems on islands, from Hawaii to Palau, are interconnected the President launched a new Island Resilience Initiative. “Today, I announce the commitment of our partnership to supporting a long-term effort to scale island models, through the GLISPA Island Resilience Initiative. This initiative will support islands by helping to establish cohesive and aligned policy implementation efforts around the globe,” said H.E. Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President of Palau and Leader of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA).
The island-led Initiative, being implemented by the Global Island Partnership with financial support from the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP and Italy, is a global effort to scale and adapt visionary island models, such as Hawaii’s own Aloha+ Challenge.

The Aloha+ Challenge builds on Hawai‘i’s history of systems-thinking, indigenous knowledge, culture and values that set six ambitious 2030 goals in clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, solid waste reduction, smart sustainable communities and climate resilience, and green workforce and education. The Aloha+ Challenge model, inspired by the Micronesia Challenge, is being seen around the world as a locally and culturally appropriate model supported by strong partnerships to drive implementation of the global Sustainable Development Goals.

To support this island movement, Governor Ige announced that he joins the Global Island Partnership, a partnership led by President Remengesau, the President of Seychelles, Prime Minister of Grenada and Premier of the British Virgin Islands. The Partnership brings together island leaders and their supports to develop, share and scale solutions to common problems on islands and help island leaders and their communities to become more resilient and sustainable.

“The Aloha+ Challenge was inspired by other islands, and we are committed to learning together and sharing best practices. Together we will work with other island leaders to share and scale the Aloha+ Challenge model in a locally and culturally appropriate context to help meet the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” said Hawai’i Governor David Ige.

The State of Hawaii joins the County of Hawaii and Hawaii Green Growth as members of the Global Island Partnership alongside twenty other members around the world to incubate and scale island solutions.

"As a public-private partnership, Hawai‘i Green Growth looks forward to working with the State of Hawai‘i, GLISPA, UNDP and other partners on the Island Resilience Initiative to scale place-based sustainability models like the Aloha+ Challenge. This is an important opportunity to build capacity locally to support the implementation of the global climate and Sustainable Development Goals, and will be a lasting legacy for Hawai‘i and island leaders after the IUCN World Conservation Congress,” said Celeste Connors, Executive Director for Hawaii Green Growth and Professor at Johns Hopkins University SAIS.

These announcements were made during a reception hosted by the Governor at Washington Place during the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders. President Obama is scheduled to address a reception on the 31 August 2016 and anticipated to announce support to the Pacific islands building on the announcement of the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.