Countries Underwater

Big Ocean was honored to attend a talk on Climate Change featuring His Excellency, Anote Tong, former President of The Republic of Kiribati. The dialogue was moderated by Maxine Burkett and Josh Stanbro, and hosted in partnership by the Honolulu Museum of Art and Ka Waiwai. The conversation centered around how sea level rise affects our Pacific Island communities and how Pacific Islanders can lead the way in addressing current issues of climate change.

As member site, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and World Heritage Site, was established and strongly supported by His Excellency across his presidency, Big Ocean representatives were not surprising that many of Hawai’i marine conservation community were in attendance.

Attendees listened, shared space, and learned. Joined by an amazing group of Hawaii-based climate champions, including the student leaders at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa who spearheaded a local Climate Strike, the dialogue was engaging and focused on the human dimensions of this global threat.

Click here to read the full story of the Honolulu Youth Climate Strike.

His Excellency, Anote Tong, with moderators, Maxine Burkett and Josh Stanbro at Ka Waiwai. Honolulu.

His Excellency, Anote Tong, with moderators, Maxine Burkett and Josh Stanbro at Ka Waiwai. Honolulu.

Modertor Bios

Maxine Burkett
Maxine Burkett is a Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. At Richardson, she teaches Climate Change Law and Policy, Torts, Ocean and Coastal Law, and International Law. An expert in the law and policy of climate change, she has written extensively in diverse areas of climate change law with a particular focus on climate justice—exploring policy responses to climate change’s impacts on vulnerable communities in the United States and globally.

Joshua Stanbro

With a background in law, conservation, and non-profit organizational development, Joshua’s work is devoted to fostering a more resilient and secure Hawai’i in the face of climate change and related challenges. Key areas of interest include: island energy independence, food security, and infrastructure for long-term water management. Joshua is currently the Chief Resilience Officer at City and County of Honolulu.

Naiʻa Lewis