Island Conservation Science Maui

IUCN World Conservation Congress Kicks Off in Hawaii

The IUCN WCC brings conservationists and politicians together to discuss the world’s major environmental issues.

Today is the first day of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC), a 10-day conference attended by more than 8,000 delegates from over 190 countries who will be attending more than 1,300 events. The IUCN has helped to set international agendas on ecotourism, climate change, protecting indigenous rights, and endangered species.

island conservation science whale kahoolawe

Humpback Whale off of Kaho’olawe Island, HI. Island Conservation is working on Kaho’olawe to protect native species from extinction. Credit: MJ Mazurek

Taking place in Hawaii, this is the first time the WCC has come to the United States. This is also the first time the WCC has ever taken place on an island.

Hawaii is actively involved in many of the issues the IUCN is focused on, including water conservation, protecting endangered species, combating invasive species, protecting marine habitats, reducing dependency on fossil fuels and developing clean, renewable energy sources.

Hawaii has come to be named the “extinction capital of the world.” Invasive species constitute a primary threat to native species on the Hawaiian islands. Chipper Wichman, president and CEO of the National Botanical Garden on Kauai, and a member of the IUCN organizing committee, said,


When we look at the return on investment in terms of impact on conservation, not only for Hawaii, but for the world, it’s incredible…It’s going to be catalytic.

island conservation kaho'olawe by MJ

Kaho’olawe Island, HI. Credit: MJ Mazurek

This conference presents many exciting opportunities, including the potential to influence local policy decisions. Island Conservation is excited have a team of 16 staff attending the conference this year. Tune in to our WCC updates by following us on social media:

Twitter: @NoExtinctions
Facebook: @IslandConservation

Featured photo: Aerial view of Maui. Olivier Langrand/Island Conservation
Read the original article at Honolulu Civil Beat


About Sara Kaiser

Sara received a BA in anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. As a freelance writer and editor, she seeks to clarify the importance of biodiversity, ecological awareness, and the urgency of extinction prevention efforts. She embraces the philosophical dimensions of conservation and seeks to better understand how patterns of thinking play into our relationships with ourselves and the natural world.

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