Improving Resource and Climate Policy Engagement in U.S. Territories

CHOW 2021: “Improving Resource and Climate Policy Engagement in the U.S. Territories”

Home to more than 4 million people, the islands of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, American Samoa and Guam sit on the frontlines of a rapidly accelerating climate crisis. There, the islands and the communities that live on them face disproportionate climate impacts because of their size, low elevation, relatively remote geographical location, and concentration of coastal infrastructures. Yet, they remain on the periphery of U.S. ocean and climate policy. The panel will discuss the specific ocean and climate issues facing island communities including public health, ocean and climate impacts, management of natural resources and how these islands’ people are rising to meet the challenges in their own communities.

The Honorable Talauega Eleasalo Vaalele Ale, Lieutenant Governor of American Samoa
The Honorable Sheila Babauta, Chair, Natural Resources Committee, Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature
Kemit-Amon Lewis, Marine Scientist, Perry Institute for Marine Science
Lirio Márquez-D’Acunti, Executive Director, Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust
Austin J. Shelton, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant, University of Guam

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