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Hawai‘i Becomes UN Sustainability Hub

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Hawaiʻi Green Growth, a public-private partnership committed to achieving economic, social and environmental goals, formally accepted the United Nation’s invitation to become a Local 2030 Hub at its annual partnership retreat today.

As a UN Local 2030 Hub, Hawaiʻi will continue to advance its climate and sustainability goals and provide leadership for the islands to achieve sustainability goals. Hawaiʻi’s local framework is already being scaled as an island model by Small Island Developing States, and will be the first Pacific and Island hub sustainability worldwide.


The UN invitation was extended in recognition of the Aloha+ Challenge, a statewide commitment to six sustainability goals that establish a local platform to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


Its also recognizes: the state’s open data dashboard to monitor progress; the collaboration of public and private leaders to develop culturally appropriate policy and strategies to achieve the goals; the Stateʻs Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative to advance public-private efforts; and Hawaiʻi’s signing of the Paris Agreement.

Kamehameha Schools will work with HGG to host the UN Local 2030 Hub by providing gathering, classroom and other identifying space on its ʻāina for statewide partners across public, private and community sectors to convene and accelerate local solutions to global challenges. This commitment builds on the Memorandum of Understanding among Kamehameha Schools, University of Hawaiʻi and HGG to support the Aloha+ Challenge, specifically on sustainability educational policy and leadership pathways.

“Action at the local level is key to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals. Hawaiʻi’s efforts and collaboration by public and private sector partners is being recognized by the international community as a model. Together with the United Nations, Hawaiʻi can implement and scale solutions and an island worldview that can have a major impact regionally and globally,” said Celeste Connors, executive director of Hawaiʻi Green Growth.


Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige stated: “As an isolated land mass, Hawaiʻi has long understood the challenges of finite resources and developed a culture of sustainability. We gladly accept this United Nations recognition as a UN Local 2030 Hub. Hawaiʻi will rise to the challenge of leadership, pointing the way for other island entities to create local and culturally appropriate responses to sustainability challenges.”

Governor Ige’s Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative launched at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress and is part of the statewide effort by public and private partners to achieve the Aloha+ Challenge goals.

“By working together, we create an amazing portal between Hawaiʻi and the rest of the world – a hub where we can all gather to share ʻike, advance our people, and find solutions that plague our island earth,” said Kamehameha Schools CEO Jack Wong.  “It also serves as a testament for our keiki as they see their indigenous ʻike, traditions of exploration, and Hawaiian culture have not been lost and are needed now more than ever to save our homes and planet.”


“Hawaiʻi becomes this hub for global sustainability solutions where indigenous knowledge tested over a thousand years is multiplied against the power of science and technology. Through this, we can share one of Hawaiʻi’s greatest assets, which is that our culture is still kind,” said Nainoa Thompson. “The sail plan for the hub in Hawaiʻi has already been mapped out by the Aloha+ Challenge. It is the sail plan that leads us to better leadership decisions, better policies, and is a way for all of us to be part of something special and work together to meet the challenges we face.”

“The UN Global Compact Cities Programme is honored to be partnering with Hawaiʻi Green Growth at a time when local level action is imperative to achieving the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and meeting the 1.5 degree climate change target,” said UN Global Compact Cities Program Director Michael Nolan. “Through our collaboration with the UN-wide Local 2030 initiative, we will jointly share the experience, solutions and innovations from Hawaiʻi and other Island nations to our vast network of businesses and cities in order to accelerate local level implementation of the SDGs.”

Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige (left) and Celeste Connors, executive director, Hawaiʻi Green Growth (right). PC: Hawaiʻi Green Growth.

Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools. PC: Hawaiʻi Green Growth.

(L-R) Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools; Kazumi Ogawa, Chief of Staff, UN-Habitat; Governor David Ige; and Celeste Connors, executive director, Hawaiʻi Green Growth. PC: Hawaiʻi Green Growth.

(L-R) Kazumi Ogawa, Chief of Staff, UN-Habitat; Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools; Governor David Ige; and Celeste Connors, executive director, Hawaiʻi Green Growth. PC: Hawaiʻi Green Growth.

(L-R) Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools; Kazumi Ogawa, Chief of Staff, UN-Habitat; Governor David Ige; and Celeste Connors, executive director, Hawaiʻi Green Growth. PC: Hawaiʻi Green Growth.


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