From a UH press release:The Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is organizing a three-day conference on April 4-6, 2013, titled, “Waves of Change: Climate Change in the Pacific Islands and Implications for Hawaii.”The conference will explore the environmental, social, cultural, political, economic, and legal impacts of climate change in the Pacific Islands.Pacific Island societies are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, and as Islanders adapt to the changing climate, they encounter challenges to economic security and social welfare. There is also the potential for increased rates of out-migration. This conference will focus on climate change–related migration and the implications for Hawaii, which is already home to many Pacific Islanders.The conference will include natural scientists, policymakers, academics, university students, and community members. It will feature paper presentations, panel discussions, and artistic expressions.The President of the Republic of Kiribati, His Excellency Anote Tong, will deliver the keynote address. Kiribati is an island country at the forefront of climate-change impacts, and President Tong has played an important role in highlighting climate change–related issues at regional and international forums.Hawaii is also affected by climate change. The Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment report released in December 2012 warns that Hawaii and other Pacific Islands have experienced “higher average surface air temperature; decreased groundwater discharge to streams over the past century; more frequent and prolonged drought; and habitat changes affecting native species” as a result of climate change. This conference aims to facilitate dialogue between Pacific Islander communities and the State of Hawaii.Co-sponsors of the conference are the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center, the UH Manoa’s Hawaiinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Ethnic Studies Department, and Department of English.Visit the Center for Pacific Islands Studies’ website for more info.
Courtesy of USFWS Headquarters
— Alia Wong