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  • Association Affairs


A. 7th International Conference on Environmental Future: Humans and Island Environments

The Foundation for Environmental Conservation (FEC) will hold the 7th International Conference on Environmental Future (7ICEF) in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, in 2018 (provisionally 16 – 20 April 2018). The meeting, titled “Humans and Island Environments,” will be co-organized and sponsored by the East-West Center and University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The goal is to bring together islanders, researchers, managers, and NGOs from a broad array of disciplines to discuss and understand the role of islands in conservation and human-environment interactions. PSA Past-President Nancy Lewis and PSA Executive Secretary Burke Burnett are collaborating with the organizers of the 7ICEF meeting.

The overarching questions for the conference are as follows: How have islands aided our understanding of human-environment interactions? What are the latest directions in island biological and cultural conservation? Where should island conservation efforts be focused? And what lessons do islands have for conservation efforts in other parts of the world?

The 7ICEF meeting will consist of a series of focused topics with a panel and discussion. The topics are as follows:

  1. 1. What is the importance of islands to environmental conservation?

  2. 2. How have humans changed island ecosystems through history?

  3. 3. What are the future challenges for island ecology and evolution?

  4. 4. How can island conservation contribute to human well-being?

  5. 5. How are islands dealing with the challenge of balancing development with sustainability?

  6. 6. How can we incorporate the value of island environments into conservation?

  7. 7. How can indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) be used to improve island environmental futures?

  8. 8. How can we build island communities that are resilient to the impacts of climate change and environmental hazards? [End Page 167]

  9. 9. What role can the humanities play in island conservation?

  10. 10. How does environmental governance on islands currently operate and what forms of governance produce the best outcomes?

  11. 11. How can we improve conservation through integrated marine and terrestrial management?

  12. 12. What is the current state of knowledge of island extinctions and how can this be used to set baselines for restoration?

  13. 13. How well are island conservation issues addressed in international conventions and agreements?

  14. 14. What have we learned about invasive species and what are the best strategies for dealing with them in the future?

  15. 15. What is the role of environmental education in islands?

  16. 16. Climate change and island migration

  17. 17. Human health and environmental conservation

  18. 18. Sovereignty and conservation

Each topic will also be the focus of an article to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Environmental Conservation.


The International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) have agreed to pursue a merger between the two organizations. The agreement to pursue the merger was made by an overwhelming vote at their joint meeting in Oslo in October 2016. The decision to approve/ratify the merger will be made in a vote of both organizations’ members at their upcoming meeting in Taipei in October 2017.

In Oslo, two working groups were formed for the merger process: a Transition Task Force and a Strategy Working Group. The Transition Task Force is tasked with developing new statutes and rules of procedure for the merged organization, and the Strategy Working Group is preparing a high-level strategy for a new, merged organization. ICSU and the ISSC have a long history of successful collaboration dating back many years, and particularly in more recent mutual endeavors such as Future Earth.

The two organizations have now begun the process of developing a joint vision and structure for a new, merged council that can consolidate the strengths of both ISSC and ICSU while blazing a new trail for international science in the twenty-first century.

PSA is a Scientific Associate member of ICSU (although voting privileges are for national members and scientific unions only). This merger will have very important ramifications for how science is structured and pursued, and both PSA President Yonglong Lu and PSA Executive Secretary Burke Burnett plan to attend to better understand how the new organization will function, and how to position PSA to both support them...