Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Secretary Salazar to Promote U.S. Tourism, Safe Energy, Open Government Initiatives in Brazil
Last edited 4/27/2016
BRASILIA – During his upcoming visit to Brazil, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will promote key strategic partnerships in tourism, energy development and open government as part of President Obama's efforts to create jobs, enhance offshore energy safety and make government more transparent and effective.
On Monday, Salazar will host a travel and tourism roundtable in Brasília to hear from local business leaders on efforts to boost tourism to the United States. The roundtable is part of the Obama administration's initiative – launched in January – to create a new national tourism strategy focused on generating jobs through more effective promotion around the globe. In 2011, the United States welcomed 1.5 million Brazilian tourists, making Brazil the fourth largest source of overseas visitors.
On Tuesday, Salazar will join Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Open Government Partnership Meeting, an international forum in which representatives of 50 nations, including heads of state, ministers and non-governmental organizations, will discuss progress in their common commitment to promote transparency, increase civic participation, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to make government more open, effective, and accountable.
As the senior official charged with U.S. implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a key component of the United States National Action Plan, launched as part of the U.S. commitment to the global Open Government Partnership, Salazar will lead a plenary session at the meeting on “Using Transparency to Transform Lives Online and Offline.” His presentation will discuss progress in setting a global standard for managing revenues from natural resources that will help ensure fair returns from development.
The United States has the largest and most complex extractive industry sector of any country that has attempted to join EITI. This voluntary international effort provides a framework for governments to disclose revenues received from oil, gas, and mining assets belonging to the state, with parallel disclosure by companies of what they have paid the government in royalties, rents, bonuses, taxes and other payments. These disclosures are followed by independent third party verification and reconciliation. The design of each framework is country-specific and developed through a multi-year, consensus-based process by a multi-stakeholder group representing government, industry and civil society. More than 35 countries have now committed to implement EITI.
During his visit, the Secretary and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy Beaudreau will also meet with leaders in the Brazilian government to advance cooperative efforts on safe offshore energy development. The discussions build on Salazar's Ministerial Forum on Offshore Drilling Containment, which he convened last year, to share best practices on how to strengthen containment capabilities for potential deepwater well blowouts and how to develop global solutions for offshore containment technologies. Ministers and senior officials from 12 countries and the European Union, including Brazil, participated in the forum.