The presidents of eight island colleges and universities made several collective commitments toward sustainability on Tuesday.

This was during a presidential summit prior to the start of the 10th University of Guam (UOG) conference on island sustainability at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

“All of our universities are uniquely well-suited to help society figure out how to meet the challenges that we’re facing in terms of sustainability.” said Thomas W. Krise, president of UOG.

The leaders present for the summit were from the University of Guam, Guam Community College, Northern Marianas College, the College of the Marshall Islands,University of Hawaii, Western Philippines University in Palawan, Jeju National University in South Korea, and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

The university heads shared with one another the specific initiatives underway on their campuses to address sustainability issues.

This including renewable energy, rainwater catchment, and transportation projects as well as the challenges like waste reduction and food security in island sustainability that they continue to face.

They then agreed upon the following list of commitments in terms of educational programming and university activity:

  • Seek indigenous/island solutions to island problems
  • Connect heads of research with one another
  • Connect heads of workforce development with one another
  • Create an inventory or website to connect best practices or solutions
  • Exchange visits among institutions to foster future exchanges of faculty, staff, and students

“Universities were not built for themselves — they were built for their communities” said Dale Webber, pro vice chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Jamaica. “We are islands apart, but we are all in this together.” He added.

The conference on Island Sustainability continued through Thursday. (PR)