Press release | 21 May, 2014

Hawaii to host the next IUCN World Conservation Congress

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Council has selected Hawaii, United States of America, as the host of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress – the world’s largest conservation event.

 Held every four years, the Congress brings together leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and indigenous and grass-roots organizations to discuss and decide on solutions to the world’s most pressing environment and development challenges.

“After a robust evaluation process and careful consideration of the two exceptional proposals received from Hawaii and Turkey, we are extremely pleased to announce Hawaii as the host of the next IUCN World Conservation Congress,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “I have every confidence that Hawaii, with its outstanding facilities, rich biological diversity, vibrant indigenous culture, ‘Aloha spirit’ and strong commitment to conservation and sustainable development, will provide an outstanding setting for our 2016 Congress.”

“I am delighted by this decision and thank both Turkey and the State of Hawaii in the United States for their excellent and enthusiastic proposals,” says IUCN President Xinsheng Zhang. “This decision is a great first step towards what I am confident will be a milestone in the world conservation agenda.”

"We are elated IUCN selected Hawaii as the ideal venue to host its 2016 World Conservation Congress," says Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. "The conference will allow the Aloha State to highlight its conservation efforts to the rest of the world and demonstrate leadership in addressing global environmental and development challenges.”

The proposal received broad support, including from US President Barack Obama, who wrote in a letter addressed to IUCN: “The United States would be honored to host the World Conservation Congress for the first time in the over-60 year history of the IUCN. As someone who grew up in Hawaii, I know the warmth and hospitality of the Hawaiian people will make a lasting impression on the delegates to the Congress.”

The Congress venue, the Hawaii Convention Center, is situated in central Honolulu’s Waikiki district on Hawaii’s third largest island Oahu. A modern venue abounding in natural light, the Center is partially open to the outdoors and includes terraces, courtyards, Hawaiian lanais and waterfalls alongside state-of-the-art technology and services.

The exceptional venue, generous financial support for sponsored delegates and the strong engagement in the Congress bid from local and national IUCN Members and the State and Federal Governments, all helped secure the final decision.

The United States boasts 85 IUCN Member Organizations, eight of which are in Hawaii. The country is also home to over 2,200 IUCN Commission members. This will be the first time the World Conservation Congress will be hosted by the USA, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the United States National Park Service.

The Hawaiian Archipelago hosts eight national parks, two renowned World Heritage Sites: Papahānaumokuākea, a Marine National Monument and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and an expansive Biosphere Reserve.

The IUCN Congress will be held from 1 to 10 September 2016. It will provide the host country with the opportunity to promote and demonstrate leadership on global environmental issues by profiling national conservation programmes and activities, as well as links to other sectors of government and the economy.

The last World Conservation Congress was held in 2012 in Jeju, Republic of Korea.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations,, +41 76 505 33 78