International representatives address Pacific risk reduction and resiliency

U.S. Chamber of Commerce among sponsors of multi-national conference in Honolulu

University of Hawaiʻi
Lynne T. Waters, (808) 956-9803
Associate Vice President, External Affairs and University Relations
Posted: Jul 29, 2011

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – Experts in disaster preparedness, risk reduction and resiliency and resource sustainability throughout the Pacific Rim will gather August 7-9, 2011, at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Honolulu, for a two-day conference addressing the long-range goal of better preparing the Asia-Pacific region for environmental change and challenge in the decades ahead.
The Pacific Rim Disaster Risk Reduction and Resiliency Workshop (or “R-3” initiative) will take place at the APCSS, located at 2058 Maluhia Road in Honolulu, adjacent to Fort DeRussy in Waikīkī. It is being sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), The Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i and the University of Hawai‘i System. It is an evolution of the one-day conference between UH and PACOM in January where the two organizations determined they would work more closely together in addressing sustainability and resiliency issues throughout the Asia-Pacific. The initiative has gained urgency since the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Leaders from various organizations, including those sponsoring the conference and other interested parties such as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, will gather to solidify and explore ways in which they can develop plans and recommendations for comprehensive risk reduction strategies throughout the Pacific region. Conferees plan to present the agenda developed at the conference to the final Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting in September with the goal of having the topic placed on the annual APEC meeting agenda in Honolulu. U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are among the APEC delegates who will gather in Honolulu for the November 12-13 annual APEC meeting.
Planned participants and presenters at the “R-3” Conference in August include:
  • Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye, President, U.S.-Japan Council – keynote speaker
  • Mr. Al Martinez, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Ambassador Kurt Tong, U.S. Ambassador to APEC
  • Mr. Mark Ward, Senior Deputy Administrator, USAID
  • Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood, President, University of Hawai‘i
  • Lt. Gen. Dan Darnell, Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command
  • Dr. Zia Khan, Vice President, Strategy and Assessments, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Dr. Pablo Farias, Vice President, Economic Opportunity and Assets Program, Ford Foundation
  • Maj. Gen. Warren Edwards (Ret.), Director, Community & Regional Resilience Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratories
  • Ms. Margaret Davidson, Director, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center 
Conferees will address questions and topics such as:
  • Are our current disaster management plans too focused on planning and response?
  • Should they be more directed toward risk reduction, resiliency and sustainable development at the community level?
  • Are expensive federal responses outdated and ineffective?
  • What can be done to address economic vitality during a time of natural crisis?
  • How can we empower economies, countries, nations and states to rebound more quickly from environmental challenges, and to look beyond conventional intra-country and international aid? 
A panel of experts explore the topic more in-depth on the PBS Hawai‘i program Insights on PBS Hawai‘i, hosted by Dan Boylan. An encore presentation airs tonight at 9:30 p.m., Channel 10 on Time Warner Oceanic Cable on O‘ahu and statewide on local cable systems, and an audio rebroadcast Sunday mornings at 6 a.m. on KUMU 94.7 FM and KPOI 97.5 FM (visit for more programming information). 
The conference opens with a private reception on Sunday evening, August 7, convenes Monday morning August 8 in Waikīkī and concludes Tuesday afternoon August 9, by invitation only.