The Barometer of Life Comes to Hawaii

Saturday, September 10th saw the end of the biggest conservation event ever —IUCN’s World conservation congress--attended by 10K people who traveled to the most isolated island chain in the world to talk story. Conservation story, that is.


  1. It all started with a big bang: the announcement of expanding Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Then came the flashy opening ceremony to greet 10,000 delegates and welcome them to the largest ever 10-day conservation event.
  2. The excitement of getting all seven motions passed that UH Law students had worked on,
  3. and peers at Pace University's Law school who worked on motions discussed in contact groups and on the assembly floor were part of a total of almost 100 motions passed during this Congress.
  4. Everyone's eyes were on this one, of course, Motion 007, to close domestic markets for elephant ivory. Most of us are surprised this is still legal...
  5. Next came updates on the Red List (contains a total of ~83K species of which ~24K are threatened with extinction). A major goal announced at the Congress is to list160,000 threatened species within another four years, protecting vital information for endangered species conservation.
  6. IUCN is not all about species. It is also about habitat conservation. When I asked Prof EO Wilson what IUCN could do to be most effective, his response was: habitat conservation. We need to designate more protected areas because we have so few left.
  7. The protection of areas beyond national jurisdiction also passed!
  8. University of Hawaii Manoa Law student @JennEick featured in @anu_hittle's report on the penultimate day of the Congress: 
  9. IUCN Goodwill Ambassador, Jane Goodall speaks for all species--including humans.
  10. Indigenous people were included as a new category in IUCN membership.
  11. "Nature-based solutions" were the big buzzwords of this Congress.