University of Hawai'i President Evan S. Dobelle and EARTH University‘s President Jose Zaglul will sign a memorandum of agreement committing both institutions to working together towards environmental and social sustainability. The signing ceremony will be at Maui Community College on Monday, November 10, 2003 at 11:00 a.m. Dobelle visited Earth University in Costa Rica last spring and it was during this visit that the partnership was solidified.
"This agreement, the first UH has entered into in Latin America, is an excellent example of how UH is quickly becoming a model global univeristy," said Dobelle. "Latin America is our closest neighbor - Hawai'i and Costa Rica have much in common including a strong dependance on agriculture and tourism and a deep commitment to the environment and social sustainability."
As both Costa Rica and Hawai'i strive to develop more diversified economic bases while preserving environmental and social sustainability in their respective regions, there is an increasing need for establishing sustainable agri-businesses. Therefore the primary focus of the partnership will be research and education fostering entrepreneurship and agricultural sustainability.
EARTH University is a premier international agricultural university dedicated to education in the agricultural sciences and natural resource management based on sustainable development. EARTH University is committed to educating professional future leaders, many of whom would not be able to attend college without EARTH's scholarship program.
UH Mānoa‘s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) is charged with filling UH‘s threefold Land Grant mission of instruction, research, and outreach. Through CTAHR's extension and outreach programs there is significant community interaction which EARTH University students will engage in. Additionally, Maui Community College will serve as host to EARTH University‘s student interns and will ensure that educational exchange opportunities extend to neighbor island and community college students.
A significant player in this new academic partnership is David C. Cole, the recently named president and chief executive officer of Maui Land and Pineapple Company. He has been instrumental in the development of this relationship and will actively support the community outreach component of EARTH University students in Hawai'i, particularly on Maui.
It is the intention of both universities that through this new agreement students and faculty members will be afforded opportunities to participate in academic exchanges, joint research projects, and collaborative endeavors that build a foundation for sustainable agriculture.