500 scientists convene to Aloha Kaho’olawe


NHLC ohanaAttached photo: Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation ‘ohana volunteering on Kaho’olawe

 

“Largest-ever” gathering of tropical biologists and environmental scientists express concern regarding restoration of the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve

 

Prompted by the KIRC’s most recent Legislative Session and subsequent Aloha Kahoʻolawe 2015 crowd funding and membership campaign (making progress every day at http://www.gofundme.com/alohakahoolawe2015), Kahoʻolawe became a focal point of the 52nd annual convening of the Association of Tropical Biology & Conservation (ATBC).

Currently underway at the a the Hawaii Convention Center at what is cited as the “largest-ever gathering of tropical biologists and environmental scientists to meet in Hawaii”, the ATBC will be hosting a press conference tomorrow, Thursday 16 July at 9:00am in room 303AB at the Hawaii Convention Center to present a collective testimony  declaring what they have identified as the greatest challenges and solutions for the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC ) to succeed. They have termed the imminent presentation as “the Honolulu Declaration.”

“We’re happy to see a dialogue about Kahoʻolawe being developed by this group of industry partners,” says KIRC Executive Director Mike Nāho‘opi‘i, “we strongly encourage involvement and invite collaboration in order to fulfill our mission of restoring, protecting, preserving and continuing to provide access to Kahoʻolawe within the periphery of due process. With the limited resources we are working with in light of this year’s legislative session, we simply cannot do this work alone.”

As a diverse community of science professionals, the ATBC provides a credible, collective, and authoritative vision of tropical biology and conservation issues that underpin public policy and management action. The annual meeting enjoys participation by more than 500 scientists from 50 nations.

“Kahoʻolawe presents an unique opportunity for the US government, conservationists, and Native Hawaiians to work together to restore an entire island to its original cultural and ecological state,” states Jose MV Fragoso, Co-Chair of the ATBC Conservation Committee, “this would be a globally significant project and process.”

Groups interested in a Kahoʻolawe stewardship partnership are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the collaborative plan for Kahoʻolawe, developed with Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and 200+ community members over the course of the last 2 years, at http://www.iolakanaloa.org/ and to contact the partner of your choice to get involved. All community members are encouraged to visit the LIBRARY section of kahoolawe.hawaii.gov to familiarize themselves with legal documents, plans, policies, reports and more.

 

Kelly McHugh

Public Information Specialist

Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission

811 Kolu Street, Ste. 201, Wailuku, HI 96793

kmchugh@kirc.hawaii.gov / 808.243.5886

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gofundme.com/alohakahoolawe2015