IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016: Planet at the Crossroads

Raising Voices: IUCN World Conservation Congress

We are increasingly seeing the collapse of entire ecosystems and the decimation of plant and animal species upon which our lives depend. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) underscores this urgency at its World Conservation Congress 2016: we are a Planet at The Crossroads. More than ever, we must reevaluate human needs and practices with our long-term impacts on the planet’s capacity to support life—if we are to speak of some kind of future. The world conservation congress invites new dialogues and just partnerships—between governments, NGOs, conservationists, scientists, innovators, artists, media producers, teachers, entrepreneurs, financial backers, grassroots organizations, indigenous peoples, elders, women and youth—to define a path for moving climate change and sustainability agreements into action. This motion forward also requires that we look back to more sustainable cultural practices and spiritual knowledge. Each one of us holds a vital piece of the puzzle—knowledge, tools and resources. Each one of us has a role to play. Global Mana is onsite in Hawai’i to document this historical event that connects conscious, caring global citizens to find, share and activate solutions to our most difficult social and environmental problems yet.

Global Indigenous Community Leaders Gather for Environmental Change

KUA is an innovative grassroots community-based initiative dedicated to protecting, restoring and caring for Hawaiʻi’s unique native species, ecosystems and interconnected way of life. Focused on heathy people, land, culture and justice, Kua hosted a global gathering of indigenous community leaders, eco warriors and environmental stewards from around the world to share diverse insights and experiences. This parallel event leading up to the 2016 World Conservation Congress provided a rare, grounding opportunity to meet people caring for the land, sea and community in their parts of the world, and share their invaluable wisdom.


 

John Aini is a fisheries officer from Papa New Guinea who has been awarded for his extensive efforts to protect the coral reefs and fisheries of his homeland. John has worked inexhaustibly to mobilize coastal communities to save their marine resources and unique way of life. His educational programs teach children and fishermen ways to protect the biodiverse ecosystem that forms both their sources of livelihoods and culture.


 

Mahana Puluto was born on a tiny coral atoll in French Polynesia with a population of under two hundred people. This community leader engaged in coastal conservation shares a simple story of the old ways her family used to dive for pearl oysters. Her story offers a subtle yet profound insight: thoughtful resource management practices of the past, temperance and a respect for restorative cycles are required.


 

Movement For A Sustainable Ocean

The Moana Pasifika Voyage brings the voices of Polynesian communities and the lessons from their traditions to “help chart our course…into a safer future.” The worldwide voyage is a movement for action on climate change and Pacific ocean health, which influences global weather patterns and 60% of the world’s economies. The Polynesian Voyaging Society’s (PVS) flagship vaka, the Hokule’a, sails by traditional navigational tools and techniques (rather than modern instruments), demonstrating the importance of a continuous, interconnected ocean system and community, and the need to protect our cultural and environmental resources through global sustainable action. Traditional wayfinding knowledge systems—weather, water, sea-life, stars—require deep understanding, care and attention to our natural world. The master navigators and crew, representing the Cook Islands, Fiji, Aotearoa, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga, speak to a tradition of courage, innovation and ingenuity in the face of great global challenges.


 

Pacific Ocean Summit: Action for a Sustainable Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean Summit, hosted by IUCN Oceania Regional Office on September 1, 2016 in Honolulu, amplified the urgency for collaborative action to protect highly valuable marine resources, and engage coastal communities in impactful stewardship. The summit propels a movement for action across the Pacific with goals of reducing the threats to ocean health, increasing marine and community resilience, and combating climate change. The state of our oceans demands a paradigm shift—on how we act upon oceans, the scale of action, and the kinds of partnerships and necessary investments that will make significant impact.  This requires a coalition of Pacific Island peoples working together as one large ocean state rather than small island nations. Meet some of the people that form the partnership for change.

 

 

 

 

 


 

As part of the IUCN World Conservation Congress official opening, three PVS voyaging canoes, the Hikianalia, Hawai‘i Loa, and Mo‘okiha o Pi‘ilani, will sail with a flotilla of outrigger and youth canoes to arrive on the shores of Duke Kanhanmoku Beach. We spoke with three master navigators to learn what the vaka and voyage means to them.  


 

 

Moana Pasifika Voyage Vaka Arrival Ceremony

In the early morning of September 1, the arrival of traditional canoes carrying the good intentions of Pacific leaders and dignitaries on the shores of Duke Kahanamoku Beach sent a message of environmental and cultural sustainability in Honolulu with the thousands of attendees here for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. The arrival ceremony opened with a ritual performance in which those aboard asked for permission to land and came bearing gifts. PVS President Nainoa Thompson joined Governor David Ige to officially welcome the Pacific leaders and dignitaries. The honored guests were then welcomed with remarks by Jerry Gibson, area vice president of Hilton Resorts Hawaii, President Peter Christian of Micronesia, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. of the Republic of Palau, and Inger Anderson, IUCN Director General.

 

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