PRiMO Conference

About the Conference

The Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana (PRiMO) conference is the premier venue for community leaders interested in protecting Pacific Island communities from natural hazards. Each March, hundreds of participants gather to make connections, learn from each other, discuss ongoing initiatives, and design action plans.

This year’s conference theme is “Navigating Toward Security and Sustainability,” and will take place in Honolulu, Hawai’i on March 20-23, 2017, at the Hawai’i Convention Center. The conference will feature relevant keynote speakers from the region, a public community night, and engaging sessions led by resilience experts from across the Pacific. PRiMO’s hui, or working groups, will gather during the conference to discuss progress from the previous year and action plans for the coming year.

This year’s conference will cover these wide-ranging topics and more:

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The diverse group of attendees includes heads of state, representatives from business, nonprofits, and environmental groups, and concerned citizens. Topics range from water quality to disaster management and economic sustainability. This diversity and collaborative focus is what makes PRiMO work. People and organizations must work together if communities are to become more resilient. The action plans must be far reaching if Pacific Island natural resources, quality of life, infrastructure, homes, economic framework, and citizen health and safety are to be preserved. This is a tall task that requires inhabitants of the region to work and learn together. PRiMO provides that opportunity.

PRiMO conferences offer at least 25 different sessions, many led by distinguished leaders and innovators. Field trips and preconference training sessions provide opportunities to increase professional skills and gain firsthand knowledge about active hazard-reduction activities. Participants return to their organizations with new skills, information, ideas, contacts, partners, and perspectives. They leave better equipped to find the creative solutions today's coastal hazard challenges require.

Each conference has a community resilience-focused theme. Attendees are encouraged to submit an abstract, for it is through sharing with one another that we all become stronger!

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PRiMO session in progress

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Registration Information

Important Dates

Start Date End Date
Early Bird November 8, 2016 Extended to January 31, 2017
Regular January 1, 2017 March 15, 2017
Late March 16, 2017 March 20, 2017

Pricing for Government, Non-Profit, or Community Members

Pass Type Price
Early Bird Full Week $490
Early Bird Single Day $225
Regular Full Week $590
Regular Single Day $250
Late Full Week $750
Late Single Day $350
Register Today
*For late registration, please register onsite at the conference.

Pricing for Industry Members

Pass Type Price
Early Bird Full Week $590
Early Bird Single Day $250
Regular Full Week $690
Regular Single Day $300
Late Full Week $750
Late Single Day $350
Register Today
*For late registration, please register onsite at the conference. Back to Top

Pre-Conference Trainings

All pre-conference training sessions are on Monday, March 20, 2017. See times below. Please note that classes may be cancelled due to low registration.

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AWR-347 Climate Adaptation Planning for Emergency Managers
Training Organization: National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC)
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

This eight-hour awareness-level course will prepare participants to describe the principles of climate adaptation planning for emergency management and first response processes. This course will train participants to be able to discuss the impact of weather hazards on critical infrastructure and key resources, and explain how climate change projects will affect those impacts. The processes of common weather hazards, climate variability, and climate change will be addressed alongside risk assessment paradigms.

Community Resilience
Training Organization: National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC)
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

This course equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to increase resilience in their communities. The course introduces participants to the concept of resilience and offers them hands-on tools to assess their community’s exposure and vulnerabilities to natural hazards. It also includes tools and recommendations for participants to assess the capacity of their community in order to increase resilience and effect positive change. The course uses interactive studies and readily available tools and techniques that allows for participants to turn resilience theory into action.

Natural Disaster Awareness for Caregivers
Training Organization: LYON Associates, Inc.
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM


  • Identify the natural hazards that may affect an eldercare facility or home and explain how risks associated with hazards are identified may be minimized
  • Describe the constraints and vulnerability factors associated with senior citizens
  • Application of knowledge of material covered in Modules 2 and 3 for at-risk-senior citizens and their caregivers impacted by tsunami, hurricane or tornado

Wildland Fire Risk and Mitigation Strategies for Pacific Islands
Training Organization: University of Hawaii
8:00 AM – NOON

The proportion of land area affected by wildland fire in Hawaii and western Pacific Islands such as Yap, Guam, and Palau is equal to, and in some years greatly exceeds, that of states in the Western US. The impacts of fires can be particularly acute on Pacific Islands given the proximity and tight linkages among communities, watersheds, and nearshore resources. Understanding the social and environmental factors that drive fire risk and the available strategies to reduce that risk is critical information for planners, community outreach and education efforts, and both marine and terrestrial resource management programs. This half-day training, co-developed by the Pacific Fire Exchange and the Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, will first cover the ways in which climate, vegetation, and human activities affect fire occurrence on Pacific Islands and the impacts of fire on cultural and natural resources. The training will then provide an overview of current strategies, informational resources, and funding opportunities available that target fire risk reduction. This will include federally recognized Community Wildfire Protection Plans and public outreach, pre-fire planning and fuels management and risk reduction at both landscape and household scales, as well as mitigating social and ecological impacts after fires have occurred. In addition to these topics, the training organizers will present available informational resources and illustrate the application of these resources using case studies from their extensive work on wildland fire issues throughout the region. The training will conclude with a facilitated discussion with training participants about current needs and potential partnerships between fire-related projects and other natural disaster work in the Pacific.

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Keynote Speakers

The Honorable Eddie Baza Calvo

The Honorable
Eddie Baza Calvo

Governor of Guam

EDDIE BAZA CALVO is the eighth elected Governor of Guam. Much of the work the Calvo Tenorio administration started in their first term, which started in 2011, made its mark. The economy improved, the government’s finances were being better managed, and more police officers were hired, among other things — the job isn’t done.

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In 2015, the Governor launched efforts to create a community plan to guide the island’s development with the status for the next 50 years. What was dubbed Imagine Guam 2065 brought together professionals, entrepreneurs, single parents, middle and high school students — people from all walks of life — together to discuss what life on Guam should look like. The vision of the island created by the hundreds of Guamanians coming together is being discussed now as we go into the planning stage. Guam 2065 also looks to find a balance between allowing economic development, supporting the growth of new industries, and protecting the environment as well as the cultural practices that rely on the land and the oceans.

Education & Guam’s future
It is this focus on children that drives the signature pieces of Governor Calvo’s tenure. Looking toward the long-term viability of the island, the Governor saw the disconnect between the standards of the workforce and the performance of students by the time they graduate, if they graduated. He brought the community together to develop a plan for education reform, one which swaps the 100-year-old American education system of inputs with one that values standards and outputs in a classroom culture of collaboration that embraces technology.

Affordable housing
In his first four years in office, Governor Calvo started an affordable housing initiative that would build 30,000 new affordable homes by 2017. This required a strong partnership between the local government, the federal government and the private sector. As of 2015, about 20,000 new homes have been built, are being built or are in the planning stages.

Governor Calvo is a plain-spoken man, who can regularly be seen in the community speaking with the people and helping them. He is a man of deep faith, guided more by Christian values than any rule of politics. He is an avid reader and student of history and a former athlete. He is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and has never wavered in his decades-long support for his beloved San Francisco 49ers.

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Harlan Hale

Harlan Hale

Harlan Hale serves as a Regional Advisor on USAID/OFDA’s East Asia/Pacific team, and is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. As a Regional Advisor, with over 30 years of experience, Mr. Hale represents USAID/OFDA in matters concerning humanitarian assistance, including disaster response and recovery; risk reduction and capacity-building; and coordination and support to technical assistance provided by other USG agencies and by other donors, specifically for the countries of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Mr. Hale served as USAID/OFDA’s Principal Regional Advisor for Southern Africa, based in Pretoria, South Africa from 2003-2012 and prior to that served as Senior Program Officer for USAID/OFDA in Indonesia from late 2000 till 2003. Prior to working for USAID/OFDA, Mr. Hale worked with CARE from 1986-2000, serving in complex emergency and natural disaster responses in Somalia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Rwanda/Zaire/Tanzania, Georgia, and Macedonia, among others, in a variety of capacities.

Mr. Hale has a BA in History and Political Science (African History and International Relations) from the University of Georgia and an MBA (Transportation and Logistics Management) from the University of Tennessee. Mr. Hale served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire from 1980-1983.

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Honorable Hilda Heine

Honorable Hilda Heine

President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands

Dr. Hilda Heine was elected as the eighth President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) in 2016 and is the first woman to hold the office. She is also the first female president of any Micronesian country and only the fourth woman to serve as head of government for any independent Pacific nation. Until her election to the presidency, she was one of only three women serving in the Nitijelā, RMI’s legislature. She was the first individual in the Marshall Islands to earn a doctorate degree, and the founder of the women's rights group Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI), a women’s rights group, the Minister of Education.

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Prior to assuming office, she had a long career in education, serving as a classroom teacher and counselor (1975-1980) and Counsellor (1980-1982) at Marshall Islands High School, Majuro. She then moved to become the Director of Continuing Education, Community College of Micronesia, Majuro (1982-1986) and then became the Director of Continuing Education, Community College of Micronesia. She serves as the President of the College of the Marshall Islands (1986-1990). From 1990-1992 Hon. Dr. Heine was President, College of the Marshall Islands. Following her college presidency, she served as the Secretary of Education, Ministry of Education in Majuro (1992-1995). Dr. Heine also serves as a Learning Scientist with Pacific Islands Climate Change Education Partnership, a program of the Pacific Resources for Education and Learning. She has also been associated with in the Leadership Pacific Advisory Board, the Commission on Education in Micronesia, and the Human Resources Health Task Force.

Heine attended college in the United States where she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon in 1970. She earned a master's degree at the University of Hawaii in 1975, and an educational doctorate at the University of Southern California in 2004.

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Cristelle Pratt

Cristelle Pratt

Pacific Island Forum Secretariat Deputy Secretary General for Strategic Partnerships & Coordination, Corporate Services Programmes

Ms. Cristelle Pratt has extensive experience in the public and private sectors working for national government and in various regional roles with the most senior being that of CEO of SOPAC (the Pacific Applied Science Geoscience Commission) which is now the known as Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the SPC from 2004 to 2010.

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She has also provided policy, technical and strategical advice, in the areas of ocean governance and in climate and disaster risk resilient development to various regional and international organizations, including the World Bank and AusAid.

Ms. Pratt holds tertiary qualifications in marine law, policy, and geosciences from Dalhousie University, Canada and the Australian University in Canberra, Australia, respectively.

Ocean governance sustainable use remain a deep passion and commitment for Ms Cristelle Pratt who believes that the ocean that connects us as a region offers many opportunities for us all and deserves increased attention and efforts at all levels.

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Raymond Renfro

Raymond Renfro

Dr. Raymond Renfro is a recently retired director and lead economist from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with over 30 years of international development experience with ADB and USAID in over 15 countries in Asia and the Middle East. His areas of expertise include natural resources (water, forestry, and biodiversity), agriculture; food and nutrition security; economic and financial analysis, project management and evaluation; value-chains and farmer-agribusiness development; climate change adaptation and mitigation; sector analysis and policy reforms; infrastructure development (transport, energy, waste disposal, pollution control, etc.); microfinance and rural banking; private sector development; programming development assistance and proposal writing; agricultural research and extension; and capacity building and training.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho

Head of Information,
Data and Public Relation Center, Badan
Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB),
National Disaster Management Authority, Indonesia

Dr. Sutopo is the Head of Data Information and Public Relations, Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), Indonesia’s Disaster Management Organization. Prior to current role, he served as BNPB’s Director for Disaster Risk Reduction. Dr. Sutopo earned his PhD degree in the Natural Resources and Environment Management Program from Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB), by defending a dissertation on “Carbon Flux in the rivers in island of Java.” Dr. Sutopo is responsible for technology development, standard establishment, and data, information and public relation implementation in disaster management. During his current assignment at BNPB, some disaster information systems that he has created received awards including: InaSAFE (Rookie of the Year 2012 from Black Duck) and DIBI (Indonesia Disaster Data and Information, Best Disaster Database Systems in Asia from UNDP). Dr. Sutopo has been awarded The Best National Public Relations by the Government of Indonesia.

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Dr. Sutopo has built a very close relationship with media, so that in the case of disaster in Indonesia, he is requested by nearly every media outlet to give a statement and to represent Indonesia’s disaster management authority. Data and evidence-based information are always provided by Dr. Sutopo whenever he appears before the public. His office maintains the the highest standard for information reliability.

He is frequently asked to speak on various topics of disaster management. Additionally, he also spends time teaching and lecturing at several universities, including: Universitas Pertahanan (Defense University, managed by Ministry of Defense); Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, as part time lecturer in Post-Graduate School; Institute Pertanian Bogor (Bogor Agriculture Institute), Bogor as Guest Lecturer; and Military Command School as lecturer. Finally, Dr. Sutopo has prepared 11 international journals, 78 national journals, 11 books and numerous scientific papers and printed publications.

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Community Night is Back!

Hawaii Prepares 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 3:30-7:00 p.m.

Learn about hurricanes, tsunamis, sea level rise, and other disasters on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Hawaii Convention Center. Come attend free PRiMO conference sessions, visit free exhibits, get free samples of emergency food products, and get the latest information on how to be prepared.

More Information here.

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Ala Moana Hotel
410 Atkinson Drive
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814

A room block for the 2017 PRiMO Conference has been secured at the Ala Moana Hotel, located just across the street from the Hawaii Convention Center. A number of their Waikiki Tower rooms are being held for us at the government rate of $177 per night (plus taxes).

The room block cut-off date is Friday, February 17, 2017. Room requests after the cut-off date are not guaranteed, but the hotel will extend the group rate if there is availability. Please note that the conference is during “spring break” and the hotel will fill up quickly.

To book your reservation, please click below to access a special reservation site for our group.


You can also reach the hotel’s group reservations at the following phone numbers:

Reservations Toll Free: (800) 367-6025
Reservations Local Phone: (808) 955-4811


Cancellation Policy: No later than seventy-two (72) hours prior to the date of your arrival. Any cancellations made within the 72 hours will be assessed a one-night room and tax penalty.

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2017 Award Nominations

PRiMO is seeking nominations to recognize outstanding partner efforts that foster collaboration while embodying the spirit of PRiMO. Award nominations are reviewed and selected by the PRiMO Navigators and awards are given at the annual meeting, March 20-23, 2017 in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

PRiMO Leadership Award

This award recognizes exemplary individual or team accomplishments that enhance the sustainability, effectiveness, and public image of PRiMO and PRiMO partners.

PRiMO Partnership Award

The award recognizes outstanding partnership efforts that enhance the resilience of Pacific communities.

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Sponsorship Information

You're invited to help support the 2017 Pacific Risk Management 'Ohana (PRiMO) Conference!

Sponsorship opportunities are tailored to showcase your organization and enhance its visibility throughout the duration of the conference. Connect with resilience professionals, discover the value of partnerships, and interact with participants at PRiMO!

Sponsorship levels:

  • Morning and Afternoon Breaks
  • Exhibitors' Showcase and Networking Reception
  • Exhibit Booths
    • Title ($25,000 and above)
    • Platinum ($10,000)
    • Gold ($5,000)
    • Silver ($3,000)
    • Bronze ($1,500)
Learn More

Custom sponsorships or exhibition packages are available. Please contact Lori Leong at for more information.

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Relive the Past Conference

A Note from The Chair

In March 2016, at the 14th meeting of the Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana brought together over 200 stakeholders including heads of state, disaster and climate risk managers, and the public from throughout the Pacific region to build capacity to prepare for the effects of climate change. The week of events included several professional training opportunities, regional coordination meetings, research presentations, keynote speakers and a first-ever community night that brought in over 500 members of the local community to learn about resilience to climate change and disasters. Highlights of the conference included keynote remarks from the Prime Minister of Tuvalu and the former President of Kiribati, Anote Tong who were recognized for their leadership on addressing the impacts of climate change in the Pacific Islands. In addition, Blue Planet Foundation founder Henk Rogers and President Tong hosted an intimate conversation on energy solutions for the Pacific.

Watch Henk Rogers and President Tong's Energy Solution Discussion

View the PRiMO 2016 Program

Learn more about past conferences

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