U.S. to Host IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2016

NWF applauds decision to hold world’s largest conservation gathering in Honolulu, Hawai’i

05-22-2014 // Les Welsh

Hawaiian Monk SealThe International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) today announced that it has selected the United States to host the 2016 World Conservation Congress (WCC). After a lengthy selection process, the IUCN has chosen Hawai’i as the site of the next WCC, making 2016 the first time a U.S. location will host the conference since the IUCN’s founding in 1948.

"This is truly an historic moment for the U.S., for Hawai’i and for conservation globally," said Les Welsh, National Wildlife Federation’s Associate Director for the Pacific. "It also represents a huge opportunity to bring the world’s attention to Hawai’i’s rapidly disappearing native flora and fauna, and to the many important climate and conservation issues we face throughout the Pacific."

Held every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest conservation gathering—bringing together thousands of delegates to discuss and debate the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

Hosting the WCC not only allows a country to highlight its leadership on global environmental issues, but also raises the profile of the country’s local conservation efforts and activities. After an extensive selection process that included site visits by IUCN delegates, the IUCN had narrowed the decision of where to host the 2016 WCC to two locations: Hawai’i and Turkey.

A founding member of the IUCN, National Wildlife Federation and its Hawai’i state affiliate, Conservation Council for Hawai’i, have worked closely with conservation leaders, Native Hawaiian cultural leaders and the State of Hawai’i to help bring the WCC back to the United States.

"For the past two years, National Wildlife Federation and Conservation Council for Hawai’i have participated in a working group to bring the World Conservation Congress to Hawai’i in 2016," said Marjorie Ziegler, Conservation Council for Hawai’i’s Executive Director. "Hosting the WCC is a wonderful opportunity to highlight both local and international collaborative conservation efforts."

National Wildlife Federation and the Conservation Council for Hawai’i will continue working with leaders at the international, national and state level to make the 2016 WCC as successful as possible. 

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