Island communities are quite literally on the front lines of the climate emergency. From Guam to the islands of Maine and from Oʻahu to Vieques, U.S. islands are already bearing the brunt of the powerful storms and chaotic climate the nation has been experiencing in recent years. Whether a lack of access to clean, reliable, and cost-effective energy or an over-dependence on imported food, medicine, and other basic supplies, islands face a growing array of challenges as climate change accelerates and disrupts infrastructure, economic activity, and critical services.
Time and again, island communities in the U.S. and around the world are left by the wayside, struggling with underinvestment and policies and programs that are not designed to meet their needs. Ironically, these same island communities often possess the potential to develop and deploy scalable solutions to thorny systemic challenges related to energy, food security?, transportation, solid waste, and water resources management.
In September 2019, while in New York City to support E Alu Pū members from Moʻomomi (Molokaʻi) and Hāʻena (Kauaʻi) at the U.N. Equator Prize ceremony and events KUA participated in the Climate Strong Islands Dialogue supported by the New York Community Trust. The dialogue included U.S. islands, Caribbean islands, the Philippines, and others as well as government, academic, nonprofit/civil society, and philanthropic institutions that came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with island communities and the climate crisis.
KUA is a founding signatory to the Climate Strong Islands Declaration released on February 26, 2020 in Guam and at the Second Climate Strong Islands Dialogue in San Juan, Puerto Rico with other U.S. islands and supporting partners. This declaration is a call to action that supports island leadership on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and local climate resilience solutions. It complements the Local2030 Islands Network launched at UN General Assembly that works as a global coalition of island leaders towards these objectives.
E maka’ala kākou! Today and tomorrow we will experience King Tides (just a fancy way of saying the highest of the high tides during the year). But this one is significant because the water levels around our islands are coming in at 6 inches higher than predicted tidal heights. So yeah, these tides will top our fishpond wall almost as much as they did 2 years ago when we had the highest tides in Hawaii EVER (those tides were about 10” higher than normal). If you’d like to participate in the King Tide Citizen Project and help document what these high tides look like around our islands, follow the link in our profile. Sea level rise is real and we gotta observe, document, plan, and prepare to adjust since this is our only island home and we ain’t going nowhere! #makaala #paytention #slr #indigenousadaptation #kingtidesView this post on Instagram