I recently spent about a month on Magoodhoo, a small island on the southern rim of Faafu atoll, which is one of 26 atolls that make up the Maldives archipelago. This was my first season of fieldwork for my PhD research. I am a graduate student in marine biology, and I am interested in understanding how climate change-related warming events are changing the structure and functioning of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. Specifically, I study how disturbances alter the community composition of corals (by selecting for certain species), and how these alterations will be linked to changes in reef fish diversity and function. Will the “reefs of the future”, that will have to persist in warmer and more stressed waters, be biased towards certain functions and relationships? How will this impact patterns of reef fishing and human use? These questions are particularly pressing in low-lying small island states like the Maldives, where the effects of the 2017 El Niño are already beginning to play out on its reefs and shorelines. Continue reading
See what sprouted when youth from Southeast Asia came to the United States to learn about leadership, civic engagement, and local sustainability through the lens of “green schools.” Since returning home, the participants have channeled their learning and experiences into positive community action to promote green practices.
In the fall of 2012, the East-WestCenter launched Leading Green: Shaping Sustainable Schools and Communities, a Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. To date, EWC has coordinated two exchanges in the United States for 61 youth and educators from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The three-week-long exchanges offered took place in schools and communities in Hawai‘i; the San Francisco Bay Area; Washington, DC; and surrounding communities in Virginia.
Through hands-on activities focusing on civic education, leadership, diversity, and community engagement, the program provided opportunities for participants to interact with diverse Americans as they examined, through the lens of “green and sustainable schools and communities,” the principles of democracy and civil society. They also created Green Action Projects, described below and on the project website, which they have been implementing since their return home. By focusing on schools and their immediate community, participants have been able to practice leadership as they engage their peers and undertake positive community action to enhance their everyday environment.
East-West Center Facilities Manager Kris Thompson stars in this Island Pacific Energy commercial currently airing on prime time Hawai’i TV, which features the solar system the company designed for EWC. Great exposure for the Center, and an added bonus to a terrific system that allows EWC to reduce costs as well as its carbon footprint.
The East-West Center has selected Amanda Malagui of Papua New Guniea to participate in the United States Institute on the Environment program. Amanda, a team leader at the Rainforest Habitat, will be among the 20 participants of the Institute, spending time in Hawaii, California, and Washington, DC over six weeks to achieve an understanding of the current environmental movement of the United States.
Full US Embassy of Papua New Guinea press release after the jump. Continue reading
What does it mean to be a leader and model for sustainability?
This and many other questions are the starting point for a discussion panel that took place at the EWC/EWCA 2008 International Conference in Bali today. Participants Meutia Chaerani, R. Don Peel, Bryan Bushley, and Wendy Miles presented “Leading Sustainably in the Asia Pacific: An Interactive Discussion on Environmental Sustainability in the East-West Center Community.” These Participants are part of an active group concerned with environmental sustainability, and their efforts are focused first where they live: the East-West Center and the island of Oahu.
In recent years, EWC participants have been exploring new ways to promote sustainability in the East-West Center living and working community. Continue reading
By Shayne Hasegawa
Theory was put to practice recently when 26 graduate students from the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University and Clark University in Massachusetts got their feet wet and hands dirty as they toured community-led sustainability efforts on Oahu.
The group visited He’eia Fishpond in Windward Oahu and several sites along the southern Ka Iwi coastline, including world-famous Hanauma Bay. But they experienced far more than the usual tourist would encounter. Continue reading
The Southern California Chapter decided to hold an event on May 3rd in honor of 2008 being the International Year of the Reef. IYOR involves over 60 countries and hundreds of non-profit, academic and other organizations working to alert the world to the importance of reefs and the threats facing them. We met early in the afternoon in a conference room at the Administrative offices of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Sixteen Alumni attended altogether including two folds from the Arizona Chapter who drove all the way to California to join us. Continue reading