In September 2015, world leaders adopted 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – which build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will guide development decisions and funding for the next 15 years. In December that year, 195 countries adopted the Paris Climate Agreement, the first universal, legally binding global climate deal to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.
The Aloha+ Challenge provides a framework for Hawai‘i’s to help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Climate Agreement, and has been recognized regionally and globally as unique local model that can be scaled and adapted. Hawai‘i and the US Department of State jointly announced the Aloha+ Challenge as an example of US action for green growth at the 2014 United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States in Samoa. As Hawai‘i’s legendary voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a completed the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hawai‘i’s important message was carried across the world’s oceans to help build a global community for action.
The Aloha+ Challenge was inspired by the Global Island Partnership and island commitments such as the Micronesia Challenge to develop a sustainable development statewide framework integrating environmental, economic and social priorities. At the U.S.-hosted 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress hosted in Honolulu, Hawai‘i Governor Ige and Palau President Remengesau jointly announced that Hawai‘i would work with the Global Island Partnership to scale the Aloha+ Challenge and local solutions with 3-5 islands through the Island Resilience Initiative. The Aloha+ Challenge continues to be recognized internationally as a unique local model that can adapted for other islands, states, coastal communities and sub-national contexts to support economic growth, environmental stewardship, and community resilience