DLNR NEWS RELEASE: Nearly three million dollars in state funds savings for 2016 World Conservation Congress

Posted on Apr 7, 2017 in Latest News

Final Accounting Delivered to Hawai‘i Lawmakers

(Honolulu) – Today, the Department of Land and Natural Resources delivered the Closing Report for the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress (Congress) to the Hawaii State Legislature. This follows closing of the accounting for the State’s hosting of the Congress as of March 31, 2017.

Held every four years, this was the first Congress to be held in the United States, drawing over 10,000 participants engaged in global and local conservation efforts, making it the most widely attended Congress ever. It was also one of the largest events held at the Hawaii Convention Center.

“DLNR is very pleased to report that the 2016 World Conservation Congress came in significantly under budget.  We expect approximately $2.9 million in State funds appropriated to host the Congress to be returned to Hawaii’s general fund to be available for other important public uses,” said Suzanne Case, Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

The State Legislature provided core funding to host the event, appropriating $3.9 million from the DLNR Special Land Development Fund and $4.1 million in general funds.

“The overall success of the Congress could not have been possible without the strong support of the Legislature,” said Case.  “DLNR has taken seriously its responsibility to properly steward the State’s investment.  We are grateful to our State lawmakers and Governor Ige for making this landmark global event possible for Hawaii.”

Oversight on the use of State funds was exercised at key points along the way.  “Due to the prudent fiscal management of Congress expenditures by the Host Committee and careful fiscal oversight by the Board of Directors of the Host Committee and DLNR, the event came in at 62% of budget ($8,162,797 expended out of a budget of $13,200,000 in public and private funds),” Tim Johns, Board Chair for the Host Committee, reported.

“Through this event, Hawai‘i has distinguished itself on the global stage as a leader in both conservation and conventions as well as related tourism. The people of Hawai‘i have been able to benefit economically as well as through advances in the protection of our natural resources,” said Gov. David Ige.

As part of the Congress, DLNR co-managed the Hawaii-Pacific Pavilion that hosted 52 cultural, political, and scientific events from across the Pacific, and served as a focal point for local community involvement in the Congress. Hawaiian organizations took the lead in introducing successful resolutions involving climate resiliency in the Pacific, the establishment of an international environmental court, and an affirmation of the role of indigenous cultures in conservation planning.

The Closing Report is available for viewing online at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/reports/.

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