Hawaii pointing the way

LIHUE — Hawaii Green Growth, a public-private partnership committed to achieving economic, social and environmental goals, formally accepted the United Nation’s invitation to become a Local 2030 Hub at its annual partnership retreat Friday.

As a UN Local 2030 Hub, Hawaii will continue to advance its climate and sustainability goals and provide leadership for islands, as well as for U.S. cities, subnational regions and major economies to achieve sustainability goals.

Hawaii’s local framework is already being scaled as an island model by Small Island Developing States, and will be the first Pacific and island hub sustainability worldwide.

“As an isolated land mass, Hawaii has long understood the challenges of finite resources and developed a culture of sustainability,” Gov. David Ige said.

“We gladly accept this United Nations recognition as a UN Local 2030 Hub. Hawaii will rise to the challenge of leadership, pointing the way for other island entities to create local and culturally appropriate responses to sustainability challenges.”

The UN invitation was extended in recognition of the Aloha+ Challenge, a statewide commitment to sustainability goals.

Kamehameha Schools will work with HGG to host the UN Local 2030 Hub by providing gathering, classroom and other identifying space on its aina for statewide partners across public, private and community sectors to conveneand accelerate local solutions to global challenges.

“Action at the local level is key to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals. Hawaii’s efforts and collaboration by public and private sector partners is being recognized by the international community as a model. Together with the United Nations, Hawaii can implement and scale solutions and an island worldview that can have a major impact regionally and globally,” said Celeste Connors, executive director of Hawaii Green Growth.

Ige’s Sustainable Hawaii Initiative launched at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress and is part of the statewide effort by public and private partners to achieve the Aloha+ Challenge goals.

“By working together, we create an amazing portal between Hawaii and the rest of the world ­— a hub where we can all gather to share ike (knowledge), advance our people, and find solutions that plague our island Earth,” said Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong. “It also serves as a testament for our keiki as they see their indigenous ike, traditions of exploration, and Hawaiian culture have not been lost and are needed now more than ever to save our homes and planet.”

“Hawaii becomes this hub for global sustainability solutions where indigenous knowledge tested over a thousand years is multiplied against the power of science and technology,” Nainoa Thompson said. “Through this, we can share one of Hawaii’s greatest assets, which is that our culture is still kind.”

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