The State of Hawaii has announced it is conducting an official bid for the 2016 World Conservation Congress, to be held in Honolulu. The U.S. Department of the State has issued a letter to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in support of the State of Hawaii’s bid to host the 2016 World Conservation Congress (WCC). Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy sent the letter to IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre expressing the U.S. Government’s confidence that Hawaii has the necessary resources in place to secure the event. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie said, “Hosting this event in 2016 would be a tremendous honor for the state. The World Conservation Congress brings people together from around the globe to discuss the world’s most pressing conservation issues. This represents a unique opportunity to position Hawaii as a world leader in addressing and solving the environmental issues of today and formulating strategies to mitigate those of the future.”

PSA supports the Hawaii effort because the state is ideally positioned to bring together the nations of Asia and the Pacific, together with UN agencies, private sector representatives and global conservation partners, to facilitate discussions and agreements on biodiversity, climate change, species conservation, invasive species and how to integrate those goals with the needs of indigenous communities. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network – a democratic membership union with more than 1,200 government and NGO member organizations, and nearly 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. The most recent WCC was held in September 2012 in Jeju, Republic of Korea. The WCC attracts nearly 10,000 delegates from more than 160 countries and is considered the foremost venue for setting a global agenda for the conservation of nature and culture. Top government officials, leaders of the business community, conservation organizations, and academics meet for 10 days to deliberate on pressing global issues including energy security, food security, invasive species, climate change, and impacts to marine systems.