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Right now, in Honolulu, Hawaii, about 10,000 people from 192 countries have come together to save the earth. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) holds its Congress every four years and is the largest gathering of its kind to focus solely on the future of our environment. In the upcoming week some 1,000 events will focus on a plethora of subjects from conservation of the earth’s natural assets to sustainable practices geared to protect smaller countries and indigenous peoples.


Participants in high level sessions to workshops are experts in their field. Among the participants in the high level session “A Changing Climate: Championing Nature-Based Solutions,” are Pulitzer prize journalist Tom Friedman of the New York Times, the honorable Enele Sosene Sopoaga, Prime Minister or Tuvalu, Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Xavier Sticker, Ambassador for the Environment, France, Tom Butler, President and CEO, International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM) Martha Rojas-Urrego, Secretary General, The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and Peter Seligmann, Chairman and CEO, Conservation International,

Of the numerous workshops, debates and sessions are “Preparing the Next Generation of Stewards through Work Opportunities,” “Interactive tools for Mapping and Analyzing Protected Areas,” “Interactive tools for mapping and analyzing protected areas,” Plant Extinction Prevention Program Model: Partnering for Effective Conservation on Oceanic Islands,” and “How to sell a Conservation project.”

From Faith based groups, academia, business and media groups speaker include Dr Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute, UK, Prof. Edward O. Wilson, Founder, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, USA, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Ocean Elder and Founder, Mission Blue, USA, Mr Peter Seligmann, President, Conservation International, USA.

US Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell at IUCN
US Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell at IUCN

The IUCN was formed in 1948 and today is a leading environmental organization known globally for setting an intent and aggressive international agenda on a range of issues including climate change. The IUCN is universally known for its Red List of Threatened Species which is a comprehensive, present status of plant and animal species.  The Red List is the ‘go-to’ list that guides governments and policy makers, NGO’s and scientific institutions.

President Barack Obama is expected to make an appearance at the IUCN Congress. The President just announced the creation of the world’s largest mainline reserve off Hawaii at the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, more than quadrupling the size of the reserve, now the largest marine protected area in the world.


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