An innovative program designed to establish the foundation for workforce development in an emerging green economy achieved a milestone this month by holding its first graduation.
The University of Guam’s Guam Green Growth Initiative recognized its first batch of conservation corps graduates on Friday, Nov. 19, at the Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex (Adelup) in Hagåtña.
The following Conservation Corps members graduated from the program: Nikomang Bradley, Joseph Certeza, Alana Chargualaf, Abby Crain, EnyDennis Dali, Claudia Rosalia Guerrero, Jacqueline Jones, Drake Kemp, Lusech Ngirakesau, Daniel Stone, Kaya Taitano, and Kevin Wong.
G3 launched the conservation corps program in partnership with UOG Center for Island Sustainability, NSF Guam EPSCoR and UOG Global Learning and Engagement in June. For the past five months, the 12 members trained full time on various sustainability topics, such as agriculture and aquaculture, island beautification, invasive species removal, reforestation, circular economy and recycling, to renewable energy.
“Through the G3 Conservation Corps program, the 12 corps member are now trained in these focus areas, and these can be applied in agencies, organizations, and businesses to help transition our island into a green economy,” UOG President Thomas Krise said on the conservation corps’ contribution to G3’s overarching goal.
Krise said the members will receive continuing education units for completing the workforce development program. “This is supported by our partnership with the Global Learning Education and the Center for Island Sustainability. This is such a great way to combine education with all your other successes,” Krise said, addressing the members of the conservation corps.
At the graduation, Austin Shelton, UOG Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant director, highlighted the contributions of the first batch of Conservation Corps members. “When Guam Green Growth started, I shared that sustainability is about human society, the natural environment, and the economy. And you [graduates] have been an important part of getting ready to prepare our community and our workforce for the emerging green economy.”
From Jun. 23 to Nov. 9, 2021, the conservation corps accomplished the following:
- Engaged community participants and leveraged 4,149 volunteer hours
- Picked up 578 extra-large bags of trash, removed 211 white goods and bulky waste;
- Collected and recycled 70,516 aluminum cans;
- Installed 641solar panels and changed 693 fluorescent bulbs to LED;
- Prepped 10 acres of land for reforestation projects;
- Planted 2,890 trees and 2,024 food crops;
- Built 690 ft. of erosion control devices;
- Completed 9 painting projects (murals, bus stops, safety barricades, etc.);
- Conducted 6 beach and 19 roadside cleanups, and;
- Removed 400 feet of chain of love and 212 invasive bamboo stalks.
At the ceremony, Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio commended the conservation corps graduates, “I am really happy and grateful for this great partnership with the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and really how all of you are pioneers in this movement to transform the island. In many ways and across many disciplines, the public sector, private sector and civil society.”
Guam EPSCoR is a catalyst for Guam Green Growth and the Conservation Corps.
WHAT IS G3?
Guam Green Growth or G3 is the island’s most comprehensive public-private partnership created to achieve a sustainable future. Aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, G3 cultivates an ecosystem for transformative action to achieve our island’s sustainable, prosperous, and equitable future. UOG facilitates the island-wide initiative in cooperation with the Office of the Governor of Guam and the 99 members of the G3 Working Group representing all sectors of our society.