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.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has produced daily reports, daily web coverage, summary videos from the Forum and the Members Assembly, as well as a summary report from the IUCN Congress 2016, which is available in HTML and PDF format.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth and Diego Noguera
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