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2014 Awardee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua Atwood has worked in Hawaii in various positions over the last decade, first as a community service trip leader, then as an intern with the Oahu Invasive Species Committee, and now as the Invasive Species Coordinator for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, where he coordinates the interagency Hawaii Invasive Species Council. Originally from Maine, Joshua's first experience with oceanic island ecosystems and cultures was through field study in Aotearoa. His time there and his subsequent work experiences in Hawaii impressed upon him the dedication with which island communities work to protect natural resources, as well as the importance those communities place on integrating indigenous cultural values into conservation work. Through the PEEP program, Joshua hopes to learn more about effective coordination of conservation efforts across islands that are geographically disparate, but are tied together by cultural and natural histories.

Joshua's PEEP mentor is Dr. Joel Miles, coordinator of the Palau National Invasive Species Committee and former chair of the Micronesian Regional Invasive Species Council, which reports directly to the Micronesian Chief Executives at the biannual Micronesian Chief Executives' Summit (MCES). During his time in Palau, Joshua will meet with government officials working under President Tommy Remengesau, a key figure in a number of conservation issues including the implementation of the Micronesian Challenge, the development of a network of invasive species coordinators across Micronesia, and the transition of the Micronesian Biosecurity Plan (which includes Hawaii in its scope of work) toward a Strategic Implementation Plan. At the December 2013 MCES, a joint communique was released supporting a formalized relationship between Hawaii and the Micro

nesian region in coordinating invasive species initiatives. Joshua's exchange with Dr. Miles will allow for better coordination of these efforts and an enhanced understanding of how work in these two jurisdictions can be mutually beneficial. Additionally, the Global Island Partnership recently invited Hawaii to make a conservation commitment similar to the Micronesian Challenge, consisting of quantitative sustainability targets with defined metrics to track progress. As Hawaii explores the development of such a commitment, Joshua's exchange will facilitate the creation of effective targets for invasive species prevention and control, and the integration of these targets with other sustainability initiatives.