Pacific Islands climate change summit to address adaptation, managementUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Communications Leader, Sea Grant College Program
Pacific Islands are on the forefront of bearing the effects of climate change, which are becoming more apparent every year. With partners from across Hawaiʻi and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI), Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC) is organizing a virtual science summit to highlight its resources and capabilities, and those of its partner organizations, for addressing climate adaptation science and management needs. The PI-CASC summit will be hosted at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in conjunction with its consortium partners at UH Hilo and the University of Guam on November 17 and 18 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (HST).
PI-CASC works with natural resource managers and cultural stewards in the Pacific Islands to address challenges through the latest and best-available science on climate change impacts and adaptation.
The summit is intended for researchers, cultural and natural resource managers, officials, practitioners and stakeholders who work on climate change impacts and adaptation for ecosystems and communities in the region. By sharing recent and ongoing research and related resource management efforts in Hawaiʻi, USAPI and PI-CASC hope to highlight and strengthen partnerships and collaborations.
“The climate crisis is the most critical issue facing future generations, and despite the challenges of the pandemic, the virtual platform of the summit allows for more robust participation from researchers, managers and partners from across the region,” said Darren Lerner, the PI-CASC university consortium director. “We are looking forward to engaging more than 200 people in this inaugural summit.”
Panel of climate commissioners
The two-day summit will commence with a welcoming address and a panel of climate commissioners, moderated by UH Mānoa Provost Michael Bruno. Panel participants will include: Evangeline Lujan, chair of the Guam Climate Resilience Commission; Xavier Matsutaro, head of the Office of Climate Change as the National Climate Change Coordinator of Palau and Focal Point to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and Suzanne Case, co-chair of the Hawaiʻi Climate Commission and chair of the State of Hawaiʻi’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. These dignitaries will share their governments’ efforts and science needs related to climate adaptation, particularly for natural and cultural resource management.
A second panel of representatives from several PI-CASC regional partners will focus on federal-university relationships in climate adaptation research and science in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Islands, highlighting their resources and capabilities for addressing climate adaptation science needs in the Pacific region. Organizations represented include U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences & Assessments, Water Resources Research Center, USDA Southwest Climate Hub, Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve and UH Sea Grant College Program.
Other areas of focus
The remainder of the first day and beginning of the second day will feature research and resource management “lightning talks,” presenting ongoing work across six different focal areas important to the region: changing plant communities, changing landscapes: fire and drought, changing landscapes: water resources, biocultural connections, and sea-level rise and coastal resilience. These presentations will be followed by breakout discussion groups in the six areas, a prime opportunity for participants to offer their input on the direction of future actionable science efforts.
“We are excited to meet as a large group with our regional partners and stakeholders to talk together about our mutual concerns for addressing climate change adaptation,” said Mari-Vaughn Johnson, the USGS federal director for PI-CASC. “Cultivating larger collaborative networks is integral to supporting communities across the Pacific in developing sustainable solutions to challenges posed by climate change.”
For further agenda details and registration information, visit the summit webpage.
The Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC) was established by the Department of the Interior on October 7, 2011, as a consortium hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and the University of Guam. The mission of the PI-CASC is to provide natural resource managers and cultural stewards in federal, state, and local agencies access to the best science available on climate change and other landscape-scale stressors that are impacting the nation's natural and cultural resources.
For more information, visit: http://pi-casc.soest.hawaii.edu/ScienceSummit2020.php