Hawai`i Launches Efforts to Secure 2016 Global Conservation Meeting

Delegates from the Hawai`i IUCN 2012/2016 Alliance presented Hawai`i’s global conservation efforts at the 2012 World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea.

The Hawai`i Convention Center, among leaders from two-dozen organizations spanning the education, government, meetings, tourism, culture, and conservation sectors, has launched efforts to secure the 2016 World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  Held every four years, it is the world’s largest and most important conservation event, with an estimated 8,000 participants from 140 countries working to negotiate solutions to environmental and development challenges.

In the first of several major milestones on the road to securing the 2016 Congress, a delegation of 40 leaders from Hawai`i and the Pacific Rim traveled to the 2012 Congress in Jeju, Korea, from Sept. 6-15, 2012, to showcase the state as a premier meetings destination to the international conservation community.

Delegates from the Hawai`i IUCN 2012/2016 Alliance presented at and led workshops, knowledge cafes, and poster sessions, each providing a perspective on Hawai`i’s global conservation efforts.  In addition, Hawaiian dancers performed as part of the meeting’s formal program, and delegates hosted a Hawai`i Nature + Aloha reception, which included participation from top IUCN officials and representatives from international conservation and environmental organizations.

A delegation of 40 leaders from Hawai`i and the Pacific Rim traveled to the 2012 Congress in Jeju, Korea, from Sept. 6-15, 2012.

These efforts represent the largest collaboration to secure a Hawai`i meeting since the November 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting (APEC), including participation by the Hawai`i Tourism Authority, the University of Hawai`i, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Hawai`i Conservation Alliance; as well as a continuation of relationships built during APEC, including work with the U.S. Department of State, the official U.S. member of the IUCN.

Hawai`i Convention Center Puts Local Flavors to the Test for Hawai`i Agriculture Conference

Hawai`i Convention Center Executive Chef Jacob Silver prepares pan-roasted tilapia with red tomato crema live on KHON2’s “Hawaii’s Kitchen” with reporter Manolo Morales, showcasing the main entree for the Hawai`i Agriculture Conference’s 100 Percent Local Hawai`i Products Awards Luncheon at the HCC later that day.

It was a menu more than three months in the making.

As part of the sixth Hawai`i Agriculture Conference, the Hawai`i Convention Center food and beverage team served up a luncheon of fresh fish, salads, fruits, and desserts for 400 guests – with one catch:  Each ingredient had to be sourced from Hawai`i.

Although the Center features local ingredients in its menus as much as possible, it was only the second time that the team has been tasked with creating a menu from 100 percent locally sourced foods, following similar efforts for more than 400 guests at The World Congress of Zero Emissions Initiativesin September 2010.

Chef Mark Noguchi of Pili Hawai`i (far left) prepares a locally sourced steak and vegetables dish live on KHON2’s “Hawaii’s Kitchen,” while reporter Manolo Morales talks with taro farmer Daniel Anthony, founder of Mana Ai, about pounding taro. Noguchi and Anthony were featured chefs at the Hawai`i Agriculture Conference later that day at the HCC.

The two-day agriculture conference, from September 20-21, featured seminars and programs to highlight how partnerships and collaboration can strengthen the state’s agriculture sector.

Registered attendees and guests with a special “Foodie Pass” were able to attend the All-Hawai`i Products Luncheon on September 20, as well as a Pau Hana Reception later that evening.  The reception included nine demonstrations from Hawai`i chefs and farmers ranging from cooking with local invasive species to preparing meals with local produce easily purchased at the grocery store.  The kick-off demonstration, from Hawai`i Convention Center Chef Gary Matsumoto, showcased how to cook meals from a CSA – or community-supported agriculture – box.

Hawai`i Convention Center Chef Gary Matsumoto leads the kick-off cooking demonstration at the Hawai`i Agriculture Conference’s Pau Hana Reception at the HCC. Matsumoto showcased how to cook meals from a CSA – or community-supported agriculture – box.

“It’s a really important thing, cooking locally,” Hawai`i Convention Center Executive Chef Jacob Silver told KHON2’s Manolo Morales during a “Hawai`i’s Kitchen” morning show segment.  “It’s important everywhere, but especially in Hawai`i because we are so isolated here and it’s important to support our economy and get everyone on board with eating locally.  It’s always better to eat what’s near you and what’s fresh because it always tastes better.”

To best showcase the rich variety of foods available from Hawai`i’s farms, ranches, and waters, the Center created a multi-faceted luncheon menu that included pan-roasted tilapia raised in an aquaponics system in Waiawa; strawberries, lavender, and pickled onions from Maui; and brittle and oil from macadamia nuts grown on the Big Island.  The menu also included tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, mixed greens, and potatoes from farms throughout Oahu, as well as a red tomato crema and honey vanilla fromage blanc using cream from a North Shore Oahu dairy.

The menu did not come without challenges, including hand-making vinegar several months in advance for the pineapple citrus vinaigrette, and the lack of popular items such as flour, rice, black pepper, and shoyu.

Live segment #1: Chef Mark Noguchi

Live segment #2: Chef Mark Noguchi and Daniel Anthony

Live segment #3: Chef Jacob Silver

Live segment #4: Chef Jacob Silver

Laulima: Many Hands Working Together in Cooperation and Harmony

Our HCC Hawaiian Value of the Month is Laulima.

Laulima literally means “many hands working together,” but more importantly it represents a pillar principle within the Hawaiian culture.

In order to achieve our goals, working together is imperative.  Teamwork is stressed.  Individual achievement is encouraged, but success is found in the contributions of many hands working together.  Laulima embodies the essence of what it means to live aloha.

I recall a story in old Hawai`i, where Hawaiians would take a long cord or rope and tie ti leaves to it.  Then the entire group (many hands) would hold it and form a line in the ocean, holding this rope with the leaves in the water would ‘herd’ the fish towards the shore.  The group would slowly form a circle, to trap the fish.  If one person was out of sync, the fish could escape through that gap in the line.  Success or failure caused by one person would mean success or failure for the entire group.  It was important for people to help each other be successful.

As it applies today, regardless of what your job entails, we are all a vital part of our collective success… Laulima transcends into our work, family, social and economic behaviors.  Placing emphasis on Laulima in any situation will yield great benefits.

A`ohe hana nui ke alu`ia – No work is too big when shared by all.

Laulima paves the way to success!