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June 25, 2021
News Pacific

Pacific Island Leadership Program Giving Participants a new Outlook in Life

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By Lillian Keneqa – EMTV News, Port Moresby

The Pacific Island Leadership Program, (PILP) is a 10-week US-Taiwan joint program designed to cultivate future leaders of the Pacific island region. The program has been conducted at the East-West Centre in Honolulu and the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs in Taipei every year since 2013.

In 2018, 22 participants from the region were recipients of this prestigious program. Among them, EMTV’s very own, Lillian Sopera Keneqa.

The Pacific Island Leadership Program with Taiwan is divided into two different phases combining the development of regional expertise with the enhancement of individual leadership capacity.

The first phase, which started on August 20th, covers a month long intensive leadership development which sometimes requires more than 35 hours of classroom and project work per week at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

During this time the cohort had many different classes, special lectures from guest speakers and went on site visits, ending the time off with the PILP version of TED Toks.

The second phase consisted of six weeks field study in Taiwan.

Taiwan is small in size but big in heart. It is an island nation that is leading in innovation and technology. During the field study, important issues such as climate change and green energy were discussed, and a diplomatic visit with the Vice President of Taiwan Chen, Chien-jen.

The cohort visited the Hualien District agriculture research and extension station where breeding of premium crop varieties and diversification of rice varieties were done, including a trip to the Eastern Taiwan organic farm.

Learning about disaster management was vital for the cohort as the Pacific Region is prone to natural disasters. A visit to the 921 Earthquake Museum put everything into perspective.

Among highlights was the trip to Fair Well Fishery Group’s indoor and outdoor aquatic farms and the Fisheries Research Institute Council of Agriculture, including the visit to Central Taiwan Science park.

A closing ceremony saw all the participants receiving not only a certificate but also a new outlook in life.

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