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2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress
Planet at the Crossroads

1-10 September 2016 | Honolulu, US

Highlights for Thursday, 1 September 2016

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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 1 Sep | 2 Sep | 3 Sep | 4 Sep | 5 Sep | 6 Sep | 7 Sep | 9 Sep | 10 Sep | Summary

Traditional Hawai‘ian dancers at the opening ceremony


The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) started on Thursday with almost 10,000 participants. During the opening ceremony in the morning, Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige said an island is a “microcosm of Planet Earth,” and he announced the Hawaiʻi Sustainability Initiative. President Tommy Remengesau, Palau, said President Obama’s designation of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument “cements his legacy as an ocean leader.” Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), presented the UN Secretary-General's warmest congratulations and strong support, and reminded participants that “no task is too big if we act together.” IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng said the WCC is about moving the 2015 historical agreements to action.

In the afternoon, Pacific Island leaders, governors and mayors from the cities and states on the Pacific Rim attended the Pacific Ocean Summit to consider the actions and commitments required for the establishment of the 2030 Pacific Ocean Partnership. On increasing ocean resilience, Aliki Faipule Afega Gaualofa, President of Tokelau, said “the Pacific Ocean is our teacher, our elder and our home,” further highlighting that ocean health is interdependent with quality of life and climate change. Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands, emphasized that traditional approaches must be nurtured and integrated into ocean resilience efforts.

In the evening, participants joined a reception featuring tastings by 20 of Hawai‘iʻs top chefs along with live music by Hawai‘iʻs own Jack Johnson.

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Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth and Diego Noguera
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Opening Ceremony and Statements

Delegates watch traditional Hawai‘ian dancers during the opening ceremony





Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Office of Hawai‘ian Affairs

Sally Jewell, US Secretary of the Interior


David Ige, Governor of Hawai‘i

Brian Schatz, US Senator, Hawai‘i

Tommy Remengesau, President of Palau


Norbert Kurilla, Slovakia, EU presidency

Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Corbett Kalama, Kamehameha Schools Trustee


Zhang Xinsheng, President, IUCN


Press Conference

View of the dais during the press conference

David Ige, Governor of Hawai‘i

Sally Jewell, US Secretary of the Interior

Brian Schatz, Hawai‘i Senator

Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General

Participants asking questions during the session


Pacific Ocean Summit


Participants gather for the Pacific Ocean Summit


John De Fries, Department of Research and
Development, County of Hawai‘i

President Hilda Heine,
the Marshall Islands


President Peter Christian, the Federated States of Micronesia

Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UNEP

Alan Arakawa, Mayor,
County of Maui, Hawai‘i


Kosi Latu, Director General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

Aliki Faipule Afega Gaualofa,
President, Tokelau

Henry Puna, Prime Minister,
Cook Islands


Edouard Fritch, President, French Polynesia

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare,
Solomon Islands


Siaosi Sovaleni, Deputy Prime Minister, Tonga

Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu


Participants make personal commitments to protect the Pacific Ocean


Around the Venue


Braulio Dias, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Secretary, speaks with a participant

John Scanlon, Secretary-General, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), speaks with a participant



Delegates meet informally

(L-R): Aliki Faipule Afega Gaualofa, President, Tokelau; Irina Bokova, Director-General, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and Braulio Dias, CBD Executive Secretary

Delegates during the opening ceremony

Delegates from Tonga


Media throughout the day







Delegates during the evening reception



Daily Web CoverageAbout | 1 Sep | 2 Sep | 3 Sep | 4 Sep | 5 Sep | 6 Sep | 7 Sep | 9 Sep | 10 Sep | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of the IUCN Congress 2016, has been provided by
IUCN and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea
IUCN Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea