The World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or IUCN starts tomorrow at the Hawai‘i Convention Center and the Neal Blaisdell Center.
The conference is held every four years and creates a space for government leaders and policy makers to meet and plan with experts in global sustainability.
The gathering also sets the agenda for the IUCN’s 1,300 members… and organizers say it should have lasting impacts on efforts to preserve the environment. At last count, more than 9,000 people are expected to attend the nine days of meetings, forums and other social events.
IUCN Deputy Director Inger Anderson said environmental agreements made during the last year have set the stage for this week’s meeting.
Anderson says officials will be watching possible impacts from hurricane Madeline… but she remains confident the event will be safe.
President Obama is also expected to speak on his decision to expand the Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Monument. His arrival as wells as security and transportation of the high level attendees is expected to create traffic problems in Honolulu, and city officials advise avoiding the Ala Moana and Ward area on Thursday. Traffic should return to normal on Friday.
China Global Philanthropy Institute’s Sustainability Summit
The conference was preceded by a sustainability summit hosted by the China Global Philanthropy Institute and UH’s East-West Center. The two day meeting focused on creating dialogue towards philanthropic and sustainability goals in China. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was a guest speaker.
Organizers said while the concept of philanthropy is new to China, there are more and more people stepping forward to use their wealth and experience to help people and the environment. Ma Weihua is the Chairman of the China Global Philanthropy Institute.