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.
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.