Dalton Kuen-da Lin (Princeton-Harvard China and the World Programs) Named 2015 Winner of Islands Society’s “Security Threats in the Pacific Essay Contest” – 11/12/2015

Essays from Fiji, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Tonga selected as finalists in essay competition for young scholars

Today, the Islands Society announced that essays by five young scholars on Asia-Pacific security have been selected as the top submissions to this year’s “Security Threats in the Pacific Essay Contest.” These essays will now be featured on the think tank’s website alongside commentary from senior thought leaders on foreign policy and insular affairs.

This summer, the Islands Society issued an open call to young scholars across the region to submit opinion pieces on a contemporary security challenge facing the region. Specifically, young scholars were asked to answer: “What is the biggest security threat facing Pacific Islanders today?”

The Islands Society is proud to present responses to this question from the following young scholars (in no particular order): Melania Baba (Fiji,) Tevita Motulalo (Tonga), Adi Litia Cakobau Nailatikau (Fiji), Dalton Kuen-da Lin (Taiwan), and Genevieve Neilson (New Zealand / United States). The selection committee is also proud to announce that the essay by Dalton Kuen-da Lin was selected as the winner of the essay competition.

Below is a brief outline of the selected essays:

All of the selected essays will appear on the official blog of the Islands Society, The Islander, later this week.

About the Islands Society

The Islands Society is an international 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to inspire and empower islanders to participate in foreign affairs and overseas engagements in order to affect positive change in their local communities. The nonprofit develops and implements projects that are designed to help islanders realize their full potential on the world stage. These projects are currently organized around two main themes: community projects and next generation leaders. The community projects center on ten issue areas, including charity, conservation, democracy, disaster relief, education, equality, health, innovation, security, and sustainability. Meanwhile, the next generation leader projects support artists, athletes, chefs, incubators, musicians, policymakers, storytellers, and technologists. To implement these programs, the nonprofit has launched local constituent societies around the world. These include the Pacific Islands Society, Baltic Islands Society, Sea Islands Society, Arctic Islands Society, Caribbean Islands Society, and Remote Islands Society (Japan).

Website: www.islandssociety.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/The-Islands-Society/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/islandssociety

Climate Change: An Existential Security Threat in the Pacific – Tevita Motulalo

As underground water tables become poisoned with salt water intrusion, agricultural fields whither, and receding shorelines are further punctured by super cyclones and crackling droughts, the Pacific Islands are subtly moving beyond the early stages of an existential crisis. Unfortunately, climate change is just the latest in the series of non-traditional security challenges besieging Pacific Island counties, their citizens, and how they relate to the world. In aggregate, these non-traditional security challenges threaten the very survival of Pacific Island countries. Not since the Assured Destruction of the Cold War has the region faced such an existential problem.

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Security Implications of Geopolitics and Governance in the Pacific – Dalton Lin

The biggest security threat facing Pacific Islanders today is the potentially gloomy ripple effects of the ongoing geopolitical reconfiguration in the Asia-Pacific region. The security of Pacific Islanders relies upon deftly dealing with a variety of daunting issues, such as sustainable economic development and rising sea levels as well as food and water shortage resulting from global warming. To effectively manage these challenges, Pacific Island countries need the capacity of good governance. Unfortunately, looming shifts in the geopolitical landscape of the Asia-Pacific region, including uncertainty in China-Taiwan relations on the horizon and contestation between Beijing and Washington for regional predominance in the longer-term, threaten to seriously undermine the governing capacity of Pacific Island countries.

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