IUCN 2016

Report #1


Today instead of burning carbon in my fossil fuel machine and bucking the security and traffic surrounding the Blaisdell, I stayed home and watched the opening ceremonies on `Olelo’s youtube live-stream. Later in the morning, while thousands were still attending those ceremonies, I went to the Convention center and picked up my pass. After that painless process, I spent about 4-h walking around taking pictures and meeting folks who were still setting up exhibitors booths. In short, I glimpsed how the exhibition hall was being assembled and how much work has gone into this massive conference.BizBiodiversity_IUCN2016

After walking into a nearly empty hall with half-setup pavilions made of recycled cardboard, I stumbled onto the IUCN Business and Biodiversity pavilion. I spoke at length with the director and her assistant, Nadine McCormick, about strategies for reaching out to the investor class. AlohaAina_IUCN2016


I wandered around some more and found this interesting graffiti board.

I found my alma mater HPU’s booth.HPUBooth_IUCN2016 Met some of the amazing talent coming through HPU in the coming years. Connected with my much admired teacher, Regina Ostergaard-Klemm. later, I was delighted to hang out with a teacher and friend, Dr. Art Whatley.

LihlaNoori_RK_IUCN2016Heard from across the hall, Rob Kinslow? Looking around I see my dear colleague, Lihla Noori, the former ED of Hawaii Conservation Alliance Foundation.

After catching up with her, another head spin revealed a talented educator, MihoAidaRK_IUCN2016dedicated Arctic Refuge activist, and friend of Arctic women, Miho Aida, who produced a short film Q`wichin Women Speak.

Hanging out with my friend James MacKay, a good man I do not see enough, both our heads swivel. We look at each other and ask silently, really? Walking down the hallway, a familiar face. Who? Where am I? I’m at the world-class conservation congress? That must be… no, yes it is. Should I chase after her to meet her or simply let her go. No. Yes, Here I go.

Who was it? One of my long-time heroines today at the #IUCNcongress, Jane Goodall. No pictures, yet her warm heart and eyes will be forever etched in my memory. Explained how honored and inspired by her example I’ve been, and as I shook the hand she extended, I looked into her heart to see the indomitable strength, persistence and passion for all living things. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jane Goodall.CallyONeillOrangutan_IUCN2016

Then I went upstairs and ran into an artist, Cally O’Neill. Some of her wonderful pictures co-painted by an elephant, Rama are featured on the third floor. I highly recommend that you visit her spacious gallery and chat with her to experience for yourself the tingling that her paintings evoke. After that, I dashed back home to exercise the joyful bundle of dog at a local park, then back down the hill to pick up a friend who had arrived from Maui, who coincidentally mentioned he knew an artist displaying at the #IUCNcongress. Yep, he knew Cally O’Neill. I love Hawaii synchronicity.

We then took the long escalator to the third floor reception, WOW! Thousands of peeps from all over. Met some gals from the ICCA Consortium. Ate some of the delicious food. By the way, this event is striving to be green and close to zero waste, but there sure was a lot of trash, even so. Walked around some more and bumped into a delegate from New Caledonia whilst listening to Jack Johnson. Stunning conversation touching on sustainability, #NatureConnects, eco-psychology and spirituality in educating our children. Wandered around some more and when the lights went out, we all went home. Tomorrow the workshops start and my posts should turn more substantive. To learn more about the programme, go here… Until then, a panorama of the rooftop reception. Goodnight!

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