Kauai News

County to Host First Youth Climate Summit

Posted April 25, 2022, 12:00 PM HST ·Updated April 25, 11:25 AM

The county is looking for input from island youth about how to combat and adapt to climate change.

Registration is now open for the county’s first ever Youth Climate Summit scheduled for 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 7, at the Kaua‘i Philippine Cultural Center in Līhu‘e.

“We know that the effects of climate change are real and already exist on our island,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami in a press release. “While the county has become more energy efficient in recent years, we must continue to build our resiliency and plan with urgency for our future generations. Gaining our youth’s perspectives during this summit is a key part of this important planning process and we hope you all will join us that day.”

The summit is free and aims to engage youth from 11-25 years old to share opinions and ideas about how the island can adapt to the impacts of climate change. It is being led by the county Office of Economic Development in partnership with the county Planning Department, which recently launched the planning process for the Kaua‘i Climate Adaption Plan.

“According to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, more than 27% of our island’s population is under 25 years old, a significant amount that will witness the impacts of climate change,” said the release.

Breakfast will be served, and there will be opportunities to win prizes. Youth who attend also can gain up to two hours of community service, and additional volunteer hours are available for youngsters interested in facilitating and preparing for the summit.

“We invite all youth to join us that morning as we hear from youth leaders about their journey towards climate action,” said Office of Economic Development Director Nalani Brun in the release. “You’ll learn of local climate hazards that will impact our island and how daily activities could be affected. It will be an opportunity to talk story and collaborate with fellow youth on how we can prepare as a community.”

To register, click here.

For additional information, to sign up as a volunteer or to share climate-related projects at the summit, contact Ana Española at aespanola@kauai.gov.

The Kaua‘i Climate Adaption Plan will include an islandwide hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment and adaptation actions for communities and infrastructure.

“We recently completed our first round of community open houses after launching the Kaua‘i Climate Adaptation Plan last month, and we received valuable feedback that will help shape our next steps in the planning process,” said Planning Director Ka‘āina Hull in the press release. “This summit is a great opportunity to engage directly with our youth and give them a voice on issues that will impact their own future.”

For more information about the Climate Adaptation Plan, click here.

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