‘Pac-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability’ Created

July 9, 2014, 12:28 PM HST · Updated July 9, 1:21 PM
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State Sen. J. Kalani English. Photo by Wendy Osher.

State Sen. J. Kalani English. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

A measure that establishes the Pacific-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability was signed into law this week, creating a public-private partnership aimed at addressing disruptive changes through global collaboration.

Senate Bill 2742 was introduced by state Senator J. Kalani English of Maui who also chairs the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs.

“A lot of people put so much work into creating the Pacific-Asia Institute for Resilience and Sustainability and I am thrilled that the governor signed it into law today,” said Sen. English in a press release statement on Monday.

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“Right now, here in Hawaiʻi, we have concerns about rising seawater threatening our shoreline, and as lawmakers we are looking ahead at how we will face these challenges and adapt to changes. The foundation of the Institution is based on helping communities become resilient and sustainable through preventive measures: assess vulnerability, identify solutions and provide support,” he said.

English said the institute would in essence create a “significant and well-trained” network of support for the issues facing the Pacific-Asia region.

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor will act as the state’s liaison to assist the Institute in carrying out its duties, and the Institute will be eligible for grants and subsidies under chapter 42F, the announcement said.

“An example of the Institute’s work in practice is the collaboration of Hawaii’s Department of Defense , the Pacific Disaster Center with Hawaiian Electric, US Pacific Command, IBM and Mehta Tech Inc. to study the potential enhancement of the security, reliability and dependability of the electric grid on Oʻahu, and ways to apply analytics to better predict potential risks such as natural disaster,” said English.

“The partners will look at how to improve the overall grid reliability and bridge the gap between efforts to integrate alternative energy solutions and efficiently manage consumption. We’ll see more of these types of efforts thanks to the establishment of the Institute,” he said.

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