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EPA Hosts 26th Pacific Islands Environment Conference in Saipan

Release Date: 05/28/2009
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Territorial environmental leaders gather to further environmental protection in their areas

(05/28/09) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Islands Office, together with the governments of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are hosting a four-day conference, June 22-25, at the Saipan World Resort at Susupe Village, Saipan, CNMI.

This year’s conference, themed “Climate of Change: Energizing a Sustainable Future for Pacific Islands,” will be attended by environmental officials and representatives from the U.S., CNMI, Guam, American Samoa, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and other countries in the Pacific.

“The conference will bring together leaders in government, the community and industry from around the Pacific to examine environmental challenges and issues facing the Pacific Islands, such as climate change and implementing alternative energy strategies,” said John McCarroll, manager of the EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Pacific Islands Office. “The sessions will discuss efforts toward making a difference in protecting the island environments and will provide island leaders with the latest ideas and tools on preserving fragile ecosystems.”

The agenda will focus on a wide range of topics, including:

* CNMI Energy Summit and alternative energy options for the islands;
* Adapting to climate change impacts;
* Increasing sustainable and green infrastructure efforts;
* Tips for increasing community and non-governmental activities to protect the environment;
* Success stories on improving the environment in the Pacific;
* Water and wastewater infrastructure issues;
* The latest efforts to address solid waste and recycling in the Pacific; and
* Protecting coral reefs.

The conference will include a CNMI Energy Summit, co-sponsored by the CNMI Energy Division, and other pre-conference workshops on June 22; the main conference program and working sessions for the EPA, territorial environmental, utility, and public works agencies runs from June 23 to 25.

For questions regarding the 26th Pacific Islands Environment Conference, please contact Nuria Muņiz at (415) 972-3811, muniz.nuria@epa.gov; or Michael Mann at (415) 972-3505 mann.michael@epa.gov.

For information on exhibit and sponsorship opportunities, contact Fran Castro at 670-664-8500, or francastro@deq.gov.mp

For additional information and registration: www.regonline.com/PIEC2009
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