Today, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) adopted the Hawai‘i Commitments, an innovative document that sets out the opportunities to meet key conservation challenges identified at the IUCN World Conservation Congress.
The Commitments were shaped by Congress debates and deliberations and were submitted for comment to some 8,500 participants who attended the event. The Hawai‘i Commitments address issues such as sustaining world food supplies, maintaining the health of the oceans, addressing wildlife trafficking, addressing the challenge of engaging with the private sector, and building resilience to climate change.
The Hawai‘i Commitments highlight nature-based solutions to climate change, such as the restoration of forests and peatlands, as essential components of climate mitigation and adaptation. The Commitments also stress the role of Indigenous peoples and women from local communities as critical to successfully implementing the Paris Agreement.
“Nature-based solutions have been shown – in many different settings, in both developed and developing countries – to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, help communities adapt to climate change impacts, reduce the risk of natural disasters, and support sustainable livelihoods,” the Hawai‘i Commitments document states.
Connected systems of protected areas, whether on land or sea, to preserve biodiversity and its benefits to humans were also among the solutions highlighted.
“Throughout the world, countries are embracing vast marine protected areas as an approach to support resilience and secure the future of humankind,” the Commitments state, citing a series of announcements made at the IUCN World Conservation Congress including that to expand the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, making it the biggest protected area on the planet.
Hawai‘i, in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, provided a context for the IUCN Congress, infusing it with the Aloha spirit and the tradition of living in harmony with nature. The Hawaiʻi Commitments reflect this, and will act to inspire the work of the Union.
The full text of the Hawai‘i Commitments can be accessed here.