A Tale of Two Degrees, 22 COPs and Many RINGOs

Or, How Non-state Actors Can Help Accelerate
the Pace of the UN Climate Change Process

By Anukriti Hittle
Visiting Scholar, East-West Center, Honolulu
Instructor, Washington University in St Louis

Rising Above National Interest
Most of the time, nations act in their own self-interest. And much of the time, they cooperate only when they are forced to—such as when facing imminent collective danger (nuclear threat, small pox, dictatorships). But in the face of a slow-boil threat like climate change, they seem to drag their national government-level feet. In such cases, pressure from non-state actors may be the key to achieving collective action.

How can non-state actors complement national actors to ratchet up ambition and speed up action in the area of climate change implementation? By using the well-tried resolutions process of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and applying it to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, Research and Independent Non-Governmental Organizations, or RINGOs, or could maximize collective action at the COP (Conference of the Parties) summits where both government representatives and observer organizations gather every year to address climate change issues. Continue reading

2016 Summer Travel Grant Series: Archival Research of Photographs Produced by Dean Conant Worcester


Summer Travel Grant 2016 Recipient

Keiko Fukunishi

EWC Student Affiliate

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the assistance of the East-West Center Summer Travel Grant in supporting my archival research. One aspect of my dissertation research considers photographs produced by Dean Conant Worcester, and American zoologist and colonial officer who used a camera for the first time outside of the studio in order to photograph Filipino people at the turn of the century. Thanks to the award, I was able to examine thousands of photos taken by Worcester, and several hundred glass plate negatives related to his photographic projects at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology at the University of Michigan and the Bentley Historical Library.

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2016 Summer Travel Grant Series: Research — Impact of Built Environment on Urban Heat Island Effect in Kathmandu

Summer Travel Grant 2016 Recipient

Ranjeeta Acharya

ADB-JSP Scholar


In the third week of May, I traveled to my home country of Nepal for research about the impact of built environment on urban heat island effect in Kathmandu. During my stay in Nepal, I visited the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) to determine how new planning and reconstruction after the earthquake of April 2015 may contribute towards adapting and mitigating increasing urban temperatures in Kathmandu. I met officials in the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, and also collected and analyzed temperature data to examine the variation in temperature in Kathmandu from 1980 until 2015. After visiting the peri-urban areas of Kathmandu valley, I observed that agricultural land and green fields are being converted into the residential plots, without thought about open spaces for future neighborhoods.



Agricultural land being converted into a residential plot in the periphery of Kathmandu.


Last but not least, I am very thankful to the East-West Center Alumni Association for supporting my research with a travel grant.




The East-West Center Association (EWCA) and the EWCA Hawaii Chapter provided Travel Grants ($500 each) to 10 current East West Center students for the summer of 2016.

2016 Summer Travel Grant Series: Poster Presentation of Research at 9th Joint Natural Products Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark


Ram P. Neupane  during the poster presentation


Summer Travel Grant 2016 Recipient

Ram P. Neupane

EWC Student Affiliate

I traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark at the end of July to attend the 9th Joint Natural Products Conference. At the conference, I presented a poster on my research which describes the isolation, characterization and biological evaluation of anticancer compounds from the Hawaiian sponge Dactylospongia sp. I also had the opportunity to listen to various presentations and engage in discussions with scholars and researchers from the United States and many European countries. I was able to broaden my knowledge on the latest research being carried out in the field of natural product chemistry. This research includes finding drug leads against various targets such as viruses, bacteria, cancer cells and the like.

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Nineteen chapter reports were received for this quarter’s report.

Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP)
This quarter APLP completed their inaugural APLP Global Day of Service – where APLP alumni around the world participated in community service activities. They used this event as a way to give back to their communities and celebrate the graduation of APLP G15!
Below is a list of participants from the first day of service. They hope to double this number next year.  They also released another issue of the Navigator newsletter.
Dayaprasad Kulkarni (G11), Syracuse, New York – Volunteered at Mountain Goat Run
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2016 Summer Travel Grant Series: Kilauea and Mauna Loa Research for Certificate Capstone on Evacuation Strategies and Planning Volcanic Eruptions in Hawaii


Sarah Eggert in front of the 2014 Pahoa lava flow during research trip to Big Island

Summer Travel Grant 2016 Recipient

Sarah Eggert

EWC Student Affiliate

My EWCA Summer Research Grant provided me an opportunity to be involved in a National Science Foundation-funded research project into volcanic hazard awareness and risk communication on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  One task of the research (a household survey of preparedness for a volcanic eruptions) was postponed, but fortunately, the task involving stakeholder interviews continued. During the third week of June, 2016, my colleague from East Tennessee State University and I arranged interviews with key stakeholders involved in volcanic hazards and response on the island of Hawai’i. From the moment I arrived in Hilo, we got to work. We were able to arrange interviews with representatives from utilities, the Fire Department, National Park Service, the National Guard, the planning department, Civil Defense, and USGS. These interviews were in addition to others that had taken place the previous week. We also canvassed the business district of Pahoa, gathering contact information of business owners affected by the 2014 Kilauea lava flow.
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2016 Summer Travel Grant Series: Presentation at the 2nd International Conference on Linguistics and Language Studies in Hong Kong.

HOLDWAY, Jennifer - EWCA Alumni Travel Grant Summer 2016

Jennifer Holdway presenting at ICLLS 2016 in Hong Kong

Summer Travel Grant 2016 Recipient

Jennifer Holdway
EWC Student Affiliate

I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Second International Conference on Linguistics and Language Studies in Hong Kong, organized by the Chartered Institute of Linguists Hong Kong Society. The conference hosted 47 scholars from 15 countries and included keynote presentations by Kang Kwong Luke and Angel Lin. My presentation on “Language Access to Public Services: Interpretation-Related Challenges to Policy Implementation in Hawaiʻi” was well-received and I was able to learn from colleagues in the parallel sessions on similar topics, including language access challenges in the UK. I also attended many sessions and learned from applied linguistics experts from across continents, including Asia, North America, and Europe. I gained valuable professional experience through presenting, attending sessions, networking with colleagues, and learning more about language, culture, and life in Hong Kong. I am very grateful for the East-West Center Association Alumni Travel Grant in support of my continued professional development and growing academic career.

The East-West Center Association (EWCA) and the EWCA Hawaii Chapter provided Travel Grants ($500 each) to 10 current East West Center students for the summer of 2016.