I’d like to extend a warm welcome to everyone here at the 1st Global Green Island Summit Forum.
The Global Green Island Summit began in accordance with an agreement to build a "green island partnership," signed at the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawaii. It is very meaningful that we take the first step of the GGIS in Jeju, a treasure Island of environmental assets. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people of Hawaii, Okinawa and Hainan for the journey together towards a sustainable island.
Raging global warming is threatening the Earth and we cannot be an exception because our islands, surrounded by the sea, are highly sensitive to external environmental changes. Islands boast diverse ecosystems and environments, various resources and unique cultural assets, which deserve development opportunities. But the development process often causes many issues such as waste management, groundwater pollution and resource conservation.
The GGIS aims to solve the environmental problems facing islands and gather wisdom to pave the way to a sustainable future. The theme of the 1st GGIS Forum is 'Sustainable Islands and Future'. Considering the present crisis caused by global warming, the theme is very timely and meaningful. For Jeju’s part, we preserve our clean nature and create an ecosystem where energy and resources can establish a virtuous cycle. We are also making an eco-friendly industrial structure and realizing the convergence of technologies, which is at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution. Jeju, a smart island of cleanliness and coexistence, will serve as a venue for discussing the urgent issues confronting islands and mutually enhancing cooperation to create a sustainable future. I look forward to seeing the GGIS advance to a sustainable global summit by building a solid, green network encompassing all the island municipal governments around the world.
Once again, I would like to celebrate the 1st Global Green Island Summit Forum. I wish all of you a great stay in Jeju, enjoying peace and healing, the gifts from of Jeju’s clean nature.
Hawai‘i is proud to be a founding member of the Global Green Island Summit. As island governments, members are in the best position to be leaders in protecting our precious natural resources in the face of climate change. Together, we are a microcosm of our planet Earth. As leaders, we can achieve our shared goals because we have always been better together than alone.
Like many other islands, Hawaiʻi’s natural environment provides the foundation of our livelihood. Many of our business sectors, including our critically important tourism economy, rely on a healthy environment. Yet, Hawaiʻi’s natural environment faces many threats, from invasive species, wildfires, development, unsustainable fishing practices, climate change, and so much more.
Through the Sustainable Hawaiʻi Initiative, we have established ambitious goals for sustainability. In addition to these goals, Hawaiʻi is the first state in our country to set a 100 percent renewable energy goal, and we’re the first to enact a law aligning with parts of the Paris agreement. Recently we have pushed even further and set a statewide target to be carbon neutral by sequestering more atmospheric carbon and greenhouse gases than emitted within the state by 2045.
As the governor of Hawai‘i, I believe the Global Green Island Summit is an important part of our holistic strategy to tackle climate change. We look forward to learning, sharing, and building lasting partnerships to better protect our island homes. We want to work with you to develop innovative solutions to the environmental challenges we face and learn from our neighbors in the Pacific and around the world.
Haisai gusuyo, chuu uganabira!
I am greatly delighted that the 1st Global Green Island Summit Forum is to be held in Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.
The verdant islands of Okinawa are home to a variety of flora and fauna, surrounded by blue oceans of beautiful coral reefs in a warm subtropical climate.
This invaluable natural environment is not only a world-class treasure, but also a rich source of environmental resources which continue to captivate people. Our island environment, however, is becoming greatly impacted by increased tourism, rising populations, and activities stemming from economic and regional development. This is not limited solely to Okinawa, but various island communities around the world.
The hope is that discussions and sharing information about environmental conservation, restoration, responsible utilization, and the realization of low-carbon societies will become a catalyst for all islands, including Okinawa, to consider and work toward a sustainable and environmentally friendly society.
In closing, I would like to express my sincere hope that other global islands who agree with the mission of GGIS join in and strengthen our coordination regarding environmental issues facing islands today.