DLNR Reports 2.9 Million in Savings from Conservation Congress
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) delivered the Closing Report for the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress (Congress) to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, reporting significant savings in 2016.
DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We expect approximately $2.9 million in State funds appropriated to host the Congress to be returned to Hawaiʻi’s general fund to be available for other important public uses.”
The report followed closing of accounting for the State’s hosting of the Congress as of March 31, 2017.
“Due to the prudent fiscal management of Congress expenditures by the Host Committee and careful fiscal oversight by the Board of Directors of the Host Committee and DLNR, the event came in at 62 percent of budget,” reported Tim Johns, board chair for the Host Committee.
That number translated to $8,162,797 expended out of a budget of $13,200,000 in public and private funds, according to Johns.
Held every four years, the Congress was the first to be hosted in the U.S. The event drew over 10,000 participants who are actively involved in global and local conservation efforts, making it the most widely attended Congress yet.
The State Legislature provided key funding to host the event, appropriating $3.9 million from the DLNR Special Land Development Fund and $4.1 million in general funds.
“The overall success of the Congress could not have been possible without the strong support of the Legislature,” said Case. “DLNR has taken seriously its responsibility to properly steward the State’s investment. We are grateful to our State lawmakers and Governor Ige for making this landmark global event possible for Hawaiʻi.”
DLNR co-managed the Hawaiʻi-Pacific Pavilion during the Congress that hosted 52 cultural, political, and scientific events from across the Pacific, and served as a focal point for local community involvement in the event.
Hawaiian organizations took the lead in introducing successful resolutions involving climate resiliency in the Pacific, the establishment of an international environmental court, and an affirmation of the role of indigenous cultures in conservation planning.
“Through this event, Hawai‘i has distinguished itself on the global stage as a leader in both conservation and conventions as well as related tourism,” said Gov. David Ige. “The people of Hawai‘i have been able to benefit economically as well as through advances in the protection of our natural resources.”