Sustainability funding, food security, climate literacy and other updates from Guam Green Growth Steering Committee meeting
At this month’s Guam Green Growth (G3) Steering committee meeting, members reported several current initiatives that support food security, renewable energy, healthy communities as well as upcoming funding opportunities to achieve the action items under the G3 Action Framework.
Austin Shelton, Sea Grant and Center for Island Sustainability director, started the meeting with an update on the University of Guam Sea Grant institutional status ceremony this month. Shelton, the co-chairperson of the G3 Steering Committee, said the status upgrade will be a game-changer for the University, for the island, and for the region.
“That means we are bringing more resources to better research and understand our marine and our coastal resources on our island and help inform policies and management to ensure that there is a wise use of these coastal resources,” he said, emphasizing that Guam has the most diverse coral reef system in the United States.
Meanwhile, Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio, who co-chairs the G3 Steering Committee with Shelton, reported on the Inflation Reduction Act that was recently signed by President Joe Biden. Tenorio said the landmark law has provisions that support renewable energy projects, tax credits for consumers of energy efficient products, and other initiatives that support G3’s push for one hundred percent renewal energy by 2045.
Guam Economic Development Authority administrator Melanie Mendiola, who co-chairs the Healthy and Prosperous Communities team, provided updates in food security and economic prosperity. “One of the significant events that happened was the groundbreaking of the Guam Fishermen’s Co-op seawall. This will not only strengthen our fishermen economically but also strengthen access and availability to what is grown here as opposed to what is flown here,” Mendiola said. She also reported on the completion of the 8th cohort under the GUMA incubator training last week and the continuing partnership with Maker Space and Innovation Hub.
Vangie Lujan, the co-chair of Thriving Natural Resource team, reported on the partnership between the Micronesia Challenge and Sea Grant for the Young Champion program, which seeks to build a generation of conservation leaders in Micronesia. According to Lujan, they are looking for a UOG or GCC student who is interested in interning with the UOG Sea Grant program. Each champion will receive $5,000 a year to cover internship costs.
Guam Community College President Mary Okada, who co-chairs the Educated, Capable, and Compassionate Island team, reported on the groundbreaking of the newest LEED-certified building at the community college. Regine Biscoe-Lee, who co-chairs with Okada, provided updates on the government’s childcare initiative.
Sustainable Alliances co-chair Carlotta Leon Guerrero provided updates on the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders next month. According to Leon Guerrero, around 20 Pacific government leaders will be at the meeting. Climate change is on top of the meeting agenda.
The G3 Steering Committee is preparing for its next biannual meeting next month. At the meeting, the G3 category of action co-chairs will share their progress in achieving the G3 Action Framework items which are aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.