Keene, NH—On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, members of Antioch University New England’s (AUNE) Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience hosted a group of eight international environmentalists and discussed climate change and renewable energy topics. AUNE representatives shared an overview of the Center and its extensive current projects. The visitors were invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) as part of a multi-regional project. World Affairs Council New Hampshire organized the portion of the project in the Granite State. The group will spend a total of 21 days in the United States.
The International Visitor Leadership Program is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Through short-term visits to the United States, current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience this country firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. Professional meetings reflect the participants’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United States.
The group was specifically interested in learning about AUNE’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience best practice recommendations for disaster response and ways cities can better prepare for climate change.
“We appreciated the opportunity to meet with these leaders to share solution-oriented approaches to strengthening climate preparedness and community resilience,” said Abigail Abrash Walton, co-director of the Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. “We look forward to future communication and collaboration.”
Members of the IVLP included: Mr. Frederick Kenneth Appiah, principal program officer for the Ghana Energy Commission (Ghana); Mr. Karthik Ganesan , senior research associate for the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (India); Ms. Michelle McNaught, national coordinator for C-FISH Initiative and CARIBSAVE (Jamaica); Mr. Jude Isiayei, executive director for Coastal Heritage and Economic Watch (Nigeria); Ms. Agnes Arnadottir, executive personal advisor to the President for Bellona Foundation (Norway); Mr. Syed Shahid Hussain Kazmi, disaster risk reduction and climate change coordinator for Islamic Relief Worldwide (Pakistan); Mr. Randy Ramadhar Singh, renewable energy advisor to the Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs (Trinidad and Tobago); and Ms. Aysu Erdogdu Miskbay, co-founder and CEO of Eşya Kütüphanesi (Turkey).
“We were thrilled to meet with this group of visitors and to have the opportunity to discuss and learn from each other the effects of climate change and initiatives that promote alternative energy,” said Christa Daniels, program manager, Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience. “It’s important to our mission to encourage thoughtful discussions about environmental practices and to explore ideas and solutions to improve industry practices.”
According the Department of State, the professional objectives for this multi-regional project include the following:
- Expose participants to the players in U.S. energy policy formulation at all levels and to a range of views in the public, academic, and private sectors;
- Demonstrate effective actions taken against climate change by the private sector and U.S. national, state, and local government authorities;
- Facilitate discussion about energy policy issues, including energy security, development of alternative sources, efforts to promote efficiency, energy conservation, and industry best practices;
- Showcase state and local energy initiatives that promote the use of alternative energy sources, including support to develop new technologies for clean energy; and
- Highlight initiatives to create centers of economic activity around green technology and products across a variety of areas such as computer technology, agriculture, green building, green nanotechnology, energy usage, and electric mobility.
For more information about AUNE’s Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience and its 2016 Local Solutions: Eastern Regional Climate Preparedness Conference on April 4-6, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland, visit: www.communityresilience-center.org/conference-2016/. For more information on IVLP, visit: http://eca.state.gov/ivlp.