Home Youth empowerment Launch of the UOG Island Sustainability Conference | News

Launch of the UOG Island Sustainability Conference | News

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The University of Guam Island Sustainability Conference kicked off Tuesday with the theme “Harnessing the Wind in Our Sales for a Sustainable Horizon in 2030.”

The conference, which runs until Friday, will cover topics including sustainable development, green economy, food security, energy transitions, climate change, affordable housing and youth empowerment.

Sessions include a presentation on a UOG research project on sustainable agriculture, food and natural resources and a presentation by the Micronesian Climate Change Alliance on environmental justice.

“We are addressing issues such as climate change, food security and waste management,” said conference co-chair Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, adding that reducing waste was a key issue for her administration.

“We’re building on the momentum of all the progress we’ve made over the past few years,” said Austin Shelton, director of the Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant program at the University of Guam.

Conference co-chair and UOG President Thomas Krise said the conference aims to help the island implement the 17 United Nations Sustainability Goals in a locally and culturally effective way.

He said the goals Guam can follow from the UN guidelines are protecting Guam’s coral reefs, restoring watersheds, carrying out island beautification projects and reducing waste.

Keynote speaker Suzanne Vares-Lum, president of the East-West Center in Hawaii, which promotes better understanding and relationships between the peoples of the United States and countries in the Asia-Pacific region, said a key issue to focus on is climate change.

“We have established many partnerships, and one of the main ones is to focus on climate change in Guam which we have been working on with UOG, Vares-Lum said.

She said she has seen the effects of climate change in the Pacific region first hand from being a native of Hawaii. Coral bleaching, for example, has made it harder for anglers to find fish.

Pacific Daily News reporter Jackson Stephens covers poverty as a member of the Report for America corps. You can reach him at

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