In response to interest in the Paris Agreement and the COP 23 climate negotiation talks which recently concluded this month in Bonn, Germany, the UH Office of Sustainability is collaborating with the Hawaii Human Rights Institute and PACS 492 “Sustainable Development in Oceania” to produce an all-day symposium featuring films, workshops, and panels, culminating in a student-led model UN.

Presenters will include State of Hawaiʻi officials and delegates to COP 23, experienced climate negotiators, UH climate experts, and student leaders.

RSVP to any portion of the day’s event at:

2465 DOLE ST,



DAY’S AGENDA 11-27-17:

12pm Deep Waters UH Mānoa Film Series

     Short Film | Marshall Island Fresh Water Crisis
     Film | There Once Was an Island : Te Henua E Nnoho

Three people in a unique Pacific Island community face the first devastating effects of climate change, including a terrifying flood.  Will they decide to stay with their island home or move to a new and unfamiliar land, leaving their culture and language behind forever?

1:30pm Panel | Youth perspectives on climate change (student panel) 

Mālama Honua Youth Voyagers Share Wisdom from around the World:

  • Haunani Kane
  • Brad Kaaleleo Wong
  • Hina Keala

 2pm Panel | Sustainable Development in Oceania (student panel) 

Students from PACS 492 “Sustainable Development in Oceania” will discuss their research and perspectives of Pacific Island nation states in the context of global climate change and The Paris Agreement:

  • Vai Alefosio
  • Camra Hopper
  • Annabelle Le Jeune
  • Kaitlin Scowen

3pm    Workshop | Pathway to Poland 

Joshua Cooper, Dean of International Human and Peoples Rights Law Program in Vienna, Austria presents a workshop to help explain how you can be part of the “Pathway to Poland (COP 24)” in 2018 to achieve the Paris Agreement, UN Sustainable Development Goals in Hawai’i & Oceania, to realize a universal declaration of human rights, and to realize a UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

4pm Deep Waters UH Mānoa Film Series 
     Short Film | Marshall Island Fresh Water Crisis
     Documentary Film | Time & Tide

Time & Tide takes an unflinching look at the ironic and tragic fate of Tuvalu, a remote island country, walking the line between hope and unimaginable loss. Within an artfully woven tapestry that confronts these profound global issues, this film paints an honest and endearing portrait of a land and its culture on the brink of extinction.

5pm Panel | Climate Change: Worry and Hope (45min) 

For UH experts in climate science, every day is a tension between worry and hope. In this high-energy presentation moderated by UH System Sustainability Curriculum Coordinator Krista Hiser, the University’s climate experts share the climate impacts that keep them up at night….as well as the solution and points of hope that drive their work every morning. Invited:

  • Chip Fletcher, Associate Dean, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology studying climate change impacts to island communities, Coastal erosion analysis and Coastal flooding analysis 
  • Mark Hixon, Hsiao Endowed Chair & Professor of Biology studying marine ecology and conservation biology, especially involving fishes on coral reefs  
  • Thomas Giambelluca, Professor of Professor of Geography studying climate variability, both spatial and over time, including natural fluctuation and trends associated with global climate change and the interactions between the atmosphere and the land surface
  • Camilo Mora, Associate Professor of Geography studying biogeography, threats to biodiversity, global conservation assessments and methods for macroecology 

5:45pm Interactive | Resilient Oahu Interactive Survey (15min)

Participate in an interactive real-time survey with the Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency* is seeking public input on how O’ahu can become more resilient. our thoughts and comments will help formulate our resilience strategy.

*Resilience is the capacity to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses (housing shortage, income inequality, sea level rise, etc.) and acute shocks (storm, pandemic, earthquake, etc.) our island experiences.

6pm Panel | The Paris Agreement: What happens next?

The State of Hawaiʻi passed legislation in June 2017 committing the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement; for the first time, an official state delegation is participating at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) currently being held in Bonn, Germany (Nov 6-21, 2017). In a panel moderated by Celeste Connors, Executive Director of Hawaiʻi Green Growth, members from the official state delegation as well as local experts, we will discuss international climate negotiations, local action, and what happens next:

  • Scott Glenn, State Director, Office of Environmental Quality Control (official state delegate to COP 23)
  • Joshua Stanbro, Chief Resilience Officer, Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency
  • Amanda Ellis,Development economist, Frmr NZ Ambassador to the UN (Geneva)

Opening comments provided by the Office of Senator J. Kalani English.

7pm Workshop | Model UN (students welcome) 

Students will role play a model UN meeting to better understand how the levers of power work at high level international policy meetings, so that they can better understand how these processes impact our local communities.



June 1, 2017

President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be pulling out from its commitment to the Paris Accord, a global pact to respond to the threat of  climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

June 1, 2017

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner signed an open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local, higher education, and business leaders in an unprecedented action now known as #WeAreStillIn.

“We Are Still In” represents more than 2,500 leaders from America’s city halls, state houses, boardrooms, and college campuses who have signed the We Are Still In declaration since its initial release on June 5, 2017. This network of networks represents more than 127 million Americans and $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy.

June 7, 2017

The State of Hawaiʻi becomes the first in the nation to adopt legislation committing the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement, establishing the legal basis for Hawaiʻi to continue adaptation and mitigation strategies, despite the Federal government’s withdrawal from the agreement.

November 1, 2017

Hawaiʻi Green Growth hosts annual partnership retreat at the Thompson household in Niu Valley to reconnect with its roots in the Mālama Hawaiʻi movement, set strategic partner priorities to advance integrated green growth across sectors from 2018-2020 and identify opportunities to drive joint action on the Aloha+Challenge 2030 sustainability goals.

Over 70 leaders participate, representing organizations and networks from community, public and private spheres, and articulate “a need to support multi-generational knowledge transfer to cultivate the next generation of local- global leaders.” A Local-Global Working Group is established to support pathways from the “lo‘i to the UN” to demonstrate integrated local solutions have global relevance.

November 6-20, 2017 

Hawaiʻi sends an official delegation to represent the state at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) held in Bonn, Germany. Official delegates include representatives from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC).