Hawai‘i Bidding for Major Conservation Gathering
By Maui Now Staff
The state is showcasing its position in a bid to host the 2016 World Conservation Congress, presented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
If Hawaiʻi is successful in its bid, it would be the first time for the US to host the international event.
“Based on our success hosting the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, I believe we have a compelling case as to why the United States and Hawaiʻi provide the ideal venue to host this gathering,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie in a department press release.
“The Aloha State is the anchor of the Pacific, and our bid is financially competitive and highlights the unique benefits of our location and host culture. We’re encouraging the IUCN evaluating team to review all that Hawaiʻi has to offer for this preeminent conference,” he said.
A four-person delegation representing the International Union for Conservation of Nature is visiting Hawaiʻi this week, with site visits planned on Hawaiʻi Island, Oʻahu, and Kauaʻ‘i. The visit also includes meetings and receptions with government, hospitality industry, conservation and Native Hawaiian leaders.
State officials say that if the state is selected, it “would provide a unique opportunity to share with the world, the state and nation’s values and dedication to conserving nature on both national and international levels.”
State officials project that as many as 8,000 delegates are expected to attend the 2016 meeting.
Hawaii is one of two locations in the running to host the event–the other is Istanbul, Turkey–with a decision on venue to be announced in May of 2014.
“With environmental and conservation issues very much at the forefront of worldwide attention, Hawaiʻi is in a unique position to demonstrate what we are doing to advance conservation issues like climate change, watershed management, coral reef protection, and traditional knowledge,” said DLNR Chairperson William Aila in a department press release.
“Having Hawaiʻi host the 2016 Congress will show the world how our core values of Aloha ʻĀina connect to nature and our diversity,” he said.