East Hawaii News

OHA Awards $500K to IUCN World Conservation Congress

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Kohala mountains. File image by James Grenz.

Kohala mountains. File image by James Grenz.

Half-a-million dollars has been awarded to the East-West Center and the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress National Host Committee/Hawai’i by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. The funds were provided in support of September’s IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i.

The nature forum is held every four years and brings together 8,000 to 10,000 delegates from across the world to discuss, debate, and decide environmental and development issues and policy.

Over a ten day period between Sept. 1 and Sept. 10, participants that include government officials, civil society members, business, and academia will debate and decide on how to best manage the natural environment for human well-being and economic development.


IUCN is made up of over 1,200 members, including 200 government and 1,000 non-government organizations. Ninty-four members are based in the U.S., including the U.S. Department of State, OHA, the National Park Service, the National Geographic Society, Conservation International, and the World Wildlife Fund.

IUCN Congress will be held for the first time in the United States, with Hawai’i selected as the host site.

OHA officials say their support of the meeting includes funding for the promotion of Native Hawaiian cultural sites across the state to all registered participants through education materials and tour packages. In addition, the support includes an expanded opening and closing ceremony with Native Hawaiian protocol and funding support for additional programmatic activities during the meetings.


IUCN’s work focuses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development.

The Congress National Host Committee/Hawai‘i 2016 is a Hawai‘i non-profit organization that was established in 2014 for charitable and educational purposes in support of the state’s commitment to serve as the official “host” of the IUCN Congress 2016. The East-West Center, a 501(c)(3) organization, serves as the fiscal sponsor to the IUCN Congress in Hawai‘i, related to the planning, development and convening of the forum.

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