Interim President David Lassner and His Excellency Anote Tong, president of the Republic of Kiribati
Today I met with His Excellency Anote Tong, president of the Republic of Kiribati. President Tong is in Hawaiʻi to give a keynote speech at the Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana conference Building Communities of Practice for Resilience at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. He also gave a public lecture at the East-West Center about the impacts of climate change on Kiribati and other Pacific Islands.
We enjoyed a discussion on education, sustainability and other issues related to being small island communities in the middle of the Pacific.
Representatives of the Smithsonian Institute, Bishop Museum and UH meet to collaborate.
It’s been about conservation this week.
Hawaiʻi is one of two finalists to host a large conservation conference here in Hawaiʻi. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) 2016 World Conservation Congress is also looking at Istanbul, Turkey. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network, and its World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest and most inclusive nature conservation forum held every four years.
The forum hosts 8,000 to 10,000 delegates from around the world to discuss and decide environmental and development issues and policy. This is an amazing opportunity for Hawaiʻi.
I spent Monday with forum representatives on Hawaiʻi Island and attended a couple of receptions in their honor, including one with Governor Neil Abercrombie.
I think the group was pretty impressed with what our state as to offer and the way we have pulled together to bring this important event to our state.
Also last week—the Smithsonian Institution’s National Board was here for a few events, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding around the Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network.
David Lassner with Smithsonian Institute Secretary G. Wayne Clough upon the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the Marine Global Earth Observatory (Marine GEO) project.
The Smithsonian is launching a global network of coastal marine observatories called Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network and the university’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology is partnering with the Smithsonian on a Hawaiʻi site (not yet determined) to potentially become the first “partner” site in the network. Exciting.
The UH West Oʻahu is going to be an absolutely outstanding campus, and set a standard for green construction and energy efficiency! The University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents toured the site, under construction and set to open doors in the fall of 2012) after their board meeting out in Kapolei.
The Regents meet once a month, excluding summers, and at a different campus each month so they can appreciate the diversity and strengths of our 10 campuses statewide. West Oʻahu did a terrific job hosting our October meeting, and topped it off with a fabulous site visit so Regents could see the buildings and surroundings taking shape.
What a jewel in the crown of UH this new campus will be when it opens a year from now!
Follow the progress of the new campus construction.
Video of the West Oʻahu construction progress