US Department of StateWASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — From August 18 – 28, 2013, twelve women climate leaders from across the Pacific region will visit Washington, D.C., Pensacola, Florida, and Honolulu, Hawaii to meet with policymakers, scientists, and innovators to share their experiences and to learn about U.S. efforts to combat climate change. This exchange, a joint initiative of the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, advances the Rarotonga Partnership for the Advancement of Pacific Island Women and broader U.S. efforts to support the critical role of women around the world in combating climate change.

It also builds on a 2012 International Visitors Leadership Program of women climate leaders.

In Washington, the group will meet with senior officials from the Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy; participate in a roundtable discussion with non-governmental organizations and a panel with World Bank experts on climate change; and receive training in social media at George Washington University.

In Pensacola and Honolulu, the participants will engage in a series of meetings and site visits to learn more about topics related to climate change, ranging from disaster risk management and emergency operations to environmental conservation to innovative renewable energy technologies. In Pensacola, the participants will learn more about life in the United States by engaging with local residents during home hospitality visits.

Representing the Cook Islands, Fiji, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu, these climate leaders will share practical skills and ideas learned with counterparts upon returning home.