Conservation Conference to Celebrate Collaboration
The Hawaii Conservation Conference kicks off on Monday, marking the 23rd year that naturalists, researchers, and cultural practitioners will gather to explore ways to better protect Hawaii's environment and better manage its natural resources.
Local, national, and international experts will spend several days at the University of Hawaii at Hilo (and one off site), united under the 2015 theme of "Hanohano Hawaiʻi Kuauli: Celebrating Collaboration and Wisdom Across Hawaii's Ecosystems." More than 800 people are expected to attend.
Several leaders in Hawaii's conversation community will be featured keynote speakers. They include: state Department of Land and Natural Resources chair Suzanne Case, who served as the Executive Director of the The Nature Conservancy for 28 years;Kamana Beamer, president and CEO of The Kohala Center; Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele, President of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation; and internationally acclaimed Amazon researcher Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, who was instrumental in bringing the IUCN World Conservation Congress to Hawaii for its 2016 meeting.
There will also be a number of panel discussions, workshops, poster presentations, forums and other collaborative sessions.
Tuesday features off-site activities, with visits to a high-elevation dry forest on Mauna Kea, the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, the Volcano Rare Plant Facility, and Honohononui.
Alongside Wednesday programs, there will be exhibitors on hand to share their work, products and services. And as the designated conference "Community Day," late afternoon sessions will be open to the public, followed by live entertainment by Paula Fuga and Kainani Kahaunaele, remarks by master navigator Nainoa Thompson, and finally special dishes by local chefs Mark "Gooch" Noguchi and Sheldon Simeon.
And on Friday, there will be a service learning project at Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a ahupua‘a, located in North Kona. Participants will learn about the 39,000 acres of endangered forest encompassed by the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest (HETF), visit an ongoing research site for native plant restoration, and will plant native trees.
For more information, visit HawaiiConservation.org, where you can register online. There's a $150 student rates that's less than half of the $350 regular conference rate. You can also get updates by connecting with the Hawaii Conservation Alliance Foundation on Facebook. or follow @HCAFriends on Twitter.
Photos courtesy the Hawaii Conservation Alliance on Facebook.