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Visitors Bureau & County Begin ‘Pono Pledge’

September 20, 2018, 3:24 PM HST
* Updated September 20, 5:52 PM
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The County of Hawai‘i and the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau (IHVB) have partnered to launch the “Pono Pledge,” a new public information campaign aimed at educating and encouraging residents and visitors to be safe, responsible and respectful to each other and the environment while enjoying the bounty of the island of Hawai‘i.

(L – R) Frecia Cevallos, tourism specialist of the County of Hawaii, Ross Birch, executive director of Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Wil Okabe, managing director of the County of Hawai‘i and Representative Richard Onishi show their support of the Pono Pledge.
PC: Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau

Through funding from the County of Hawai‘i’s Research and Development Department’s Tourism Marketing Program, the Pono Pledge initiative hopes to build awareness to help protect and preserve the island’s natural resources and wildlife.

“The island of Hawai‘i is one of the most geographically diverse and awe-inspiring places on the planet, and it is our kuleana (responsibility) as an island community to encourage pono practices so that it remains that way for future generations,” said Ross Birch, IHVB executive director. “By committing to this pledge, residents and visitors are acknowledging their responsibility to have respect for place—no matter where you are.”

Ross Birch, executive director of Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau, announces the Pono Pledge, a new public information campaign aimed at educating and encouraging residents and visitors to be safe, responsible and respectful while on the island of Hawai‘i.
PC: Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau

IHVB and the County of Hawai‘i are looking to make an immediate impact with the launch of the Pono Pledge by educating residents and visitors on important topics, such as enjoying the island safely, respecting wildlife, observing no trespassing signs, properly preparing for weather and ocean conditions, and being mindful about protecting the island’s fragile environment.

The Pono Pledge reads as follows:

I pledge to be pono (righteous) on the island of Hawai‘i.
I will mindfully seek wonder, but not wander where I do not belong.
I will not defy death for breathtaking photos, or venture beyond safety.
I will malama (care for) land and sea, and admire wildlife only from afar.
Molten lava will mesmerize me, but I will not disrupt its flow.
I will not take what is not mine, leaving lava rocks and sand as originally found.
I will heed ocean conditions, never turning my back to the Pacific.
When rain falls ma uka (inland), I will remain high above ground, out of rivers and streams.
I will embrace the island’s aloha spirit, as it embraces me.
Lawe i ka maalea i kuonoono
“Take wisdom and make it deep.”
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The goal is to have 10,000 residents and visitors commit to and sign the Pono Pledge on a newly created website – PonoPledge.com – over the course of the campaign’s first year. Those who oblige will then be encouraged to spread word of the pledge to others via word-of-mouth and via their social channels.

“We in Hawai‘i County are happy to partner with Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau on this initiative,” said Mayor Harry Kim. “We believe it helps make our Island a nicer place to live, work, play and visit for everyone.”

Wil Okabe, managing director of the County of Hawaii discusses the partnership with Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau during the Pono Pledge launch on September 20, 2018.
PC: Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau

PonoPledge.com will also serve as a resource to the public. The website includes general safety information pertaining to various warnings, watches, advisories and outlook signs people may encounter. Full lists of lifeguarded beaches, endangered species and their protections, ocean warning flags, rules of the road, earthquake information, volcano updates, and emergency numbers are also available online.

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To engage the Hawai‘i Island community, IHVB is coordinating a “Live Pono” community service day on Saturday, Sept. 22. Select businesses and nonprofits will be hosting volunteer activities at various locations on the island. For additional information and to sign up, visit www.Facebook.com/IslandofHawaii.

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