By Jeff Yamauchi
Ka Lā staff writer
On the current cover of Hawaiian Airlines magazine, there is a wonderful composition of a flock of hovering terns seemingly looking at us expectedly. The cover story concerns the 10-year year anniversary of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. This year, President Obama, with the executive stroke of his pen, signed into being the expansion of the marine refuge to four times its former size, a whopping 442,000 square miles, the largest wildlife refuge both for land and sea.
For more information about the conference: http://iucnworldconservationcongress.org/planet-crossroads
The timing of the announcement was planned to coincide with the start of the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Conservation Congress, scheduled for Sept. 1–10. Held once every four years, the conference is considered perhaps the most important global conservation event. The overarching theme of the ten-day international gathering is “Planet at the Crossroads.”
Hawai‘i has much to share in the trials and tribulations in perpetuating the integrity of its precious and fragile island home that has seen both losses and victories. But the recent commitment to conservation and biodiversity with the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea gives everyone hope that we can find a balance between living sustainability and sharing this gorgeous blue planet with all life.
I encourage everyone, especially students, to go see part of the conference, itʻs an opportunity that rarely comes so close to home. And beyond the conference, I also encourage all of us to look for ways in our daily lives, both big and small, to live more sustainably and consciously in our larger island home called “Mother Earth.”