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Public Forum on Climate Change Adaptation and Islands, September 22

Hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab
| Special Event

UPEI’s UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab will co-host a public forum on climate change adaptations and islands. The forum begins at 7 pm on Thursday, September 22 in the Florence Simmons Performance Hall on the Prince of Wales Campus of Holland College. Information gathered at the forum will be become part of a statement delivered at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change this November in Morocco and will inform public policy in local, national, and international jurisdictions.

“Despite being minor contributors to global climate change, many of the 600 million islanders of the world are seeing their way of life, and indeed the very existence of their islands, being threatened by human-induced global warming,” said Dr. Jim Randall, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. “This public forum and the larger symposium is an opportunity to show how islands and islanders are being adaptive and resilient; and at the same time provide practical lessons to the rest of the world on how we should adapt to climate change.”

Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, will prime the forum by presenting a summary of a two-day international symposium on small island resilience to climate change. “Building Small Island Resilience to Global Climate Change: An International Symposium” brings together 15 people from around the world to discuss how residents of small islands and coastal jurisdictions can build on their strengths and resourcefulness to respond to the consequences of climate change. The focus is on four areas: food security, renewable energy, innovation, and cultural heritage. Also hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab, the symposium is funded in part by the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA) and the province of Prince Edward Island.

"The Government of Prince Edward Island is a proud sponsor of this international symposium that will provide a platform for participants to engage on the topic of climate change and small Islands. Small islands, like Prince Edward Island, do face unique challenges and we have an opportunity to be leaders in confronting these challenges by making proactive decisions on how we adapt to these new realities. As the Minister Responsible for the Environment, I wish all event organizers and participants a successful and engaging symposium and I look forward to hearing the outcomes of this week's discussions," said the Hon. Robert J. Mitchell, Minister of Communities, Land and Environment.

“Taking action to address climate change is an important part of building a strong and sustainable economy,” said Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “That’s why the Government of Canada has made clean growth and climate change a priority under the Atlantic Growth Strategy. ACOA’s investment of $35,190 to support this conference is part of our commitment to encourage innovation and create jobs while at the same time protecting our environment.”

Symposium speakers include climate and island studies experts who who will bring their unique knowledge and skills to the table. They come from Australia, Vanuatu, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Gotland, Montreal, Toronto, St. John’s, Tignish, Lennox Island, and Charlottetown. Together with an invited group of engaged audience participants, the symposium addresses the pressing issue of climate change and small islands in an action-oriented and policy-focused series of dialogues that will provide public policy lessons for other jurisdictions.

“The symposium provides a great opportunity for us to focus on climate change and adaptation in respect to islands. The forum gives the public an important venue to have their input added to this discussion,” said Dr. Adam Fenech, director of the UPEI Climate Research Lab, who will help present the first draft of the symposium statement to the forum. The moderator will then invite comments and suggestions from the audience.

Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend. For more information, contact iis@upei.ca or 902-894-2881.

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.

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Dave Atkinson
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(902) 620-5117

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