U.S. Ambassadors ‘Bike Across Borders’ in Zambia and Zimbabwe

Tourism is one of the great drivers of economic growth worldwide.  According to the U.S. Travel Association, the average international tourist in the United States spends $4,300, and those tourist dollars directly support 1.2 million jobs.  Tourism is also a big growth sector in sub-Saharan Africa.  Contributing 94.3 billion dollars to the region’s economy in 2012, travel and tourism as a part of the region’s GDP is expected to increase by 5.1 percent over the next 10 years through much needed economic expansion and job creation.  If managed with foresight and attention, travel and tourism will promote wildlife conservation, local handicraft skills, and cultural preservation. MORE

In Bhutan, Conserving the Natural Environment and Biodiversity

About the Author: Timothy Neely serves as Environment, Science, Technology and Health Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.

Do you know which country’s constitution promises that a minimum of 60 percent its land area will be maintained as forest for all time? Which country’s government pledges to protect, conserve, and improve the pristine environment and safeguard the biodiversity of the country; prevent pollution and ecological degradation; secure ecologically balanced sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development; and ensure a safe and healthy environment? The answer is the Kingdom of Bhutan, a small Himalayan country located between China and India. Bhutan’s use of a “Gross National Happiness” index to measure progress, rather than GDP, is well-known, but fewer people know of the importance that Bhutan attaches to conserving its natural environment and biodiversity.

The Second Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation held in Thimphu, Bhutan… more »

A Conservationist, Woman Leader, and Peacemaker

Members of the Turkana tribe near Shaba in Kenya, 2012 [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Wenchi Yu serves in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

Since 2008, the drought-induced food crisis that affected many countries in the Horn of Africa not only cost the regional economy billions of dollars, but also exacerbated regional instability, insecurity in distressed communities, and tribal competition for scarce resources.

Josephine Ekiru, a 26-year-old conservationist from the Turkana tribe near Shaba in Kenya, was determined to do something for her community after witnessing the devastating impact of frequent conflict on both the region’s people and wildlife. She started by talking to the women in her community, hearing about their common concern of losing husbands and sons in the conflicts. She also reached out to women of the other major tribe, the Borana, with which the Turkanas were in conflict. After years of work, she gained trust from both groups. In May 2010, Josephine’s work helped unite the two tribes… more »

Solar Panels Bring Electricity to Remote Areas of Suriname

Jeremy Peterson of the U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname, visits New Aurora, a village on the Upper Suriname River, to see solar panel projects funded by the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) in October 2012.

About the Author: Jeremy Peterson serves as the General Services Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to participate in the Peace Corps Legacy Project, which documents the sustainable projects people of Suriname have carried out with the help of Peace Corps volunteers during the organization’s 17 years in country.

The group I traveled with visited villages on the Upper Suriname River to see solar panel projects funded by the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) and put into place by Peace Corps volunteers and Suriname citizens. ECPA is a flexible, voluntary framework for countries to collaborate and cooperate on clean energy and climate change issues. Peace Corps Suriname’s ECPA initiative focuses on energy poverty and climate change efforts and is supported by an interagency agreement between Peace… more »

Increasing Access to Affordable Electricity Across the Hemisphere

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, alongside Columbian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin Cuellarmeets, center left, addresses the Connecting the Americas meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 27, 2012 in New York. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Roberta S. Jacobson serves as Assistant Secretary of State forWestern Hemisphere Affairs.

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of participating in a meeting with Secretary Clinton that she co-hosted with Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Ángela Holguin to advanceConnecting the Americas 2022 (Connect 2022), the newest initiative under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. The meeting included many foreign ministers from the Western Hemisphere and focused on how Connect 2022 aims to increase energy access to citizens across our hemisphere.

More than 31 million people in the Western Hemisphere lack access to affordable, reliable energy services. Compared to the rest of the world, the Americas has high rates of electricity access, but far too many… more »

Namibia: A Model for Community-Led Conservation Efforts

Zebras, as seen on Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats' travel to Namibia [State Department photo]

About the Author: Robert D. Hormats serves as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.

Frequently we can learn a lot from seeing what other nations are doing to improve the lives of their citizens. I did, on a recent visit to Namibia.

Namibia has pioneered significant innovations in community engagement designed to protect its spectacular natural resources — particularly its wildlife — and provide a new source of income for its people. Its practices also give its people an opportunity to became more engaged in the decisions that affect their lives and their communities.

During my visit to Namibia, I met with the leaders of the King Nehale Conservancy, bordering on the magnificent Etosha National Park, to learn how Namibia’s system of conservancies is benefiting local community members and encouraging those same members to play a greater role in both the management of wildlife and the development of sustainable tourism enterprises. These… more »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks after signing an agreement on improving cooperation on the Antarctic, wildlife conservation, sustaining the cultural heritage in the Bering Strait Region with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week in Vladivostok, Russia, September 8, 2012. [Go to http://video.state.gov for more video and text transcript.]

Strengthening People-to-People Ties With the Pacific Islands

Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell and Admiral Cecil Haney pose for a photo with members of civil society in Phonpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, August 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Anusha Seneviratne serves as a Pacific Islands desk officer for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

The United States and the Pacific Islands have enjoyed an enduring partnership and a steadfast friendship for over a century. Community engagement and the strengthening of people to people ties is an important component of my travels this week. I am accompanying Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell and other U.S. government officials from the Department of Defense and USAID to the region, and this trip has only reinforced my belief in the profound possibilities for deeper engagement with the peoples of the Pacific Islands.

Earlier during the trip, while staying in the Marshall Islands, I was able to meet with a fantastic group of community leaders… more »

Pacific Partnership 2012 in Cambodia

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees offer a course in fisheries management under the auspices of Pacific Partnership 2012 in Cambodia, July 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Tom Weinz serves as the dedicated Foreign Service Officer for Pacific Partnership 2012.

Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) has arrived in Cambodia, the final host nation for this year’s mission. American Charge d’affaires Jeff Daigle welcomed participants at the opening ceremony on July 29 in Sihanoukville and emphasized PP12’s contribution to overall USG efforts in the kingdom. Rear Admiral Russell Penniman and Vice Admiral Tea Vinh spoke for the U.S. Navy and Royal Cambodian Ministry of Defense respectively. Vice Admiral Vinh offered his country’s appreciation for both the initial Pacific Partnership visit to Sihanoukville in 2010 and the current mission.

Transportation logistics is the key challenge to the Cambodian effort, as PP12 will operate along two major corridors running between the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s second city, and the capital of Phnom Penh about five hours to the northeast. PP12’s two SH-60 helicopters have been working steadily… more »

Remarks at the Climate Clean Air Coalition and Green Embassy Event

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Helsinki, Finland
June 27, 2012

Thank you so much. I am absolutely delighted to be back in Helsinki and to have some time to visit about the issues that we are working on together, the challenges we are facing together, and I’m grateful to the Ambassador for his leadership. I personally want to thank Bruce and Cody for their enthusiastic expression of American interests and American values and their outreach to Fins everywhere. Because it’s not just about government-to-government, it is about people-to-people, and I’m extremely impressed by what they have done. And Bruce, this innovation building behind us is a perfect example of economic statecraft, of partnership, of innovation, and I’m excited about what you’re going to be able to accomplish there.

I want to thank the ministers for being here. Of course, I have had the chance to work with Alex before when he served in a different capacity. And I’ve heard that really terrible southern accent before, but the good spirit with which it is delivered has never failed to bring a smile to my face. And it has been very important to follow through on a lot of the good work that sustains itself between our two countries regardless of what government, what party, what individuals hold positions. MORE.