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Pacific Exchange Emerging Professionals (PEEP) Program


The Pacific Exchange Emerging Professionals (PEEP) Program seeks to provide professional development opportunities for the next generation of conservation leaders. HCA recognizes that the global conservation effort has much to gain by enhancing dialogue between similar social, cultural, and/ or political systems. Through peer learning and the exchange of information and experiences, PEEP participants will become part of a larger network of conservation professionals who share resource stewardship concerns, across a large, complex biocultural area between Hawai‘i, and the Micronesian, Melanesian, or Polynesian archipelagos. HCA will support up to two successful PEEP applicants towards an exchange experience, funds permitting.

Isolated in time and space for millions of years, the Pacific islands have evolved unique flora and fauna. The region is presently subject to powerful vectors of ecosystem change such as alien species, disease, and habitat loss. The result is that these rare ecosystems are facing high rates of species extinction. Presently in the face of climatic change, the natural environments of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Islands have even more in common and greater opportunities to exchange management knowledge. The potential gains from interaction between these otherwise remote islands are enhanced by the astounding richness of culture and tradition, where community involvement is often not only a principle for successful management practice, but essential to reaching collective biodiversity conservation goals.

Dedicated researchers, managers and communities throughout the Pacific basin are working to address a shared conservation management ethic and challenges using unique approaches and philosophies. The collective progress of their efforts include advances and solutions that may also be applicable in the other island jurisdictions. Interactions between conservation professionals throughout the Pacific region have resulted in many progressive initiatives from one island migrating, transferring, and yielding outstanding results to other regions.

PEEP seeks to expand this knowledge exchange by highlighting topics surrounding the integration of social, cultural, and political approaches, techniques, and philosophies relevant to critical conservation issues.

Contact capacity@hawaiiconservation.org for more information.






Mesulame Tora, 2016 Awardee
Mesu hails from the Fiji Islands and is pursuing graduate studies at Massey University in New Zealand. He grew up learning traditional knowledge from his grandfather who was a farmer in the village and this upbringing has always inspired him on ethnobotany ...
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Emily Leucht, 2016 Awardee
Born and raised in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, Emily Leucht currently works as an education associate for ʻImi Pono no ka ʻĀina (ʻImi Pono), the education and outreach program for Three Mountain Alliance watershed partnership ...
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