Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Sunday, May 25, 2014

Amanda, off the west coast of Mexico, is this year's first hurricane. Image from The Weather Channel
INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE will hold its September 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawai`i. This will be the first time a U.S. location is hosting the WCC since IUCN’s inception in 1948. 
      In February, a four-person delegation from IUCN visited Hawai`i for one week. The delegation toured natural and cultural sites on Hawai`i Island, O`ahu and Kaua`i and held meetings with government, non-government organizations, nonprofit and private industry representatives who will be involved in the planning and execution of the 2016 gathering. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will continue to lead a multi-agency, private-public sector team up to and through the 2016 World Conservation Congress.
      IUCN World Conservation Congress has two main parts. The Forum is a hub of public debate bringing together people from all walks of life to discuss the world’s most pressing conservation issues. There will be many types of events, which will enable participants to explore the depths of conservation and innovation. The Members’ Assembly is IUCN’s highest decision-making body. A unique global environmental parliament, it involves governments and non-government organizations – large and small, national and international – making joint decisions.
      The WCC is held every four years and is considered the only global summit that represents every aspect of conservation. It aims to improve management of our natural environment for human, social and economic development. The event is considered a place to set aside differences and to work together to provide the means and mechanisms for good environmental governance, engaging all parts of society to share both responsibilities and the benefits of conservation.
      President Barack Obama expressed his support for the decision: “Hawai`i is one of the most culturally and ecologically rich areas in the United States, with a wealth of unique natural resources and a distinctive traditional culture that draws from the United States and the Asia-Pacific region. After successfully hosting the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting, it is appropriate that Hawai`i now turn its focus to the intersection of economic development and environmental sustainability. The diversity and vulnerability of Hawai`i’s natural resources, as well as their importance to the islands’ economy, make Hawai`i a perfect location to discuss these challenges.”
Gov. Neil Abercrombie with Hawai`i IUCN 2016 Steering Committee co-chairs
Chipper Wichman, at left, and William J. Aila, Jr.
Photo from Office of the Governor
      Gov. Neil Abercrombie said, “This is both an honor and opportunity for us to show the entire conservation community, the world over, how Hawai`i has adopted a leadership role in preserving and protecting resources, developing sustainability programs on multiple fronts and addressing many of the issues associated with global climate change. The IUCN World Conservation Congress is the largest and most prestigious of all gatherings of the conservation community. We look forward to welcoming as many as 8,000 delegates to Hawai`i in 2016.”
      William J. Aila, Jr., chair of the state Department of Land & Natural Resources, said, “Hawai`i’s unique culture, location and environment are the perfect attributes for this worldwide conference. We have a lot to offer in how we manage our limited resources and integrate indigenous knowledge and practices in our changing world.” 
      Sen. Mazie Hirono said, “Hawai`i is a top global venue for high profile international events. Hawai`i also faces challenges as our nation’s only island state with unique ecosystems and the highest percentage of threatened and endangered species in the country. Our track record as a gathering place, and in balancing conservation with economic growth, make us a solid choice for the first U.S. host of IUCN. Mahalo to the leaders in Washington and Hawai`i who helped make this momentous announcement possible, including Senators Inouye and Akaka.”
      Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “As the world’s largest and most important conservation event, the WCC will shine a positive spotlight on Hawai`i as leaders from around the world converge on our beautiful islands. … We welcome this exciting news and look forward to hosting these distinguished leaders as we work toward our shared goal of preserving our environment for generations to come.”
      The last World Conservation Congress was held in 2012 in Jeju, Republic of Korea.
Amanda is expected to weaken as she heads north.
Image from The Weather Channel
      For more information, see http://iucn.org.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

AMANDA IS THE FIRST HURRICANE THIS YEAR, located in the east Pacific region. According to The Weather Channel, Amanda is the strongest eastern Pacific hurricane on record for the month of May, with wind speeds reaching 155 miles per hour. As it travels north off the coast of Mexico, stirring up cold water and experiencing increased vertical wind shear, it is expected to weaken to a tropical depression and not threaten land.
      See weather.com.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

LIVING IN HARMONY WITH VOLCANOES: BRIDGING THE WILL OF NATURE TO SOCIETY will be the featured theme at the Cities on Volcanoes meeting in September in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on the island of Java, and in the shadow of Merapi volcano. Indonesia, with over 60 historically active volcanoes and the fourth largest population on Earth, all situated on a combined island area about the size of North Carolina, “is clearly a place on the planet that’s acutely aware—on a daily basis—of what living with active volcanoes means,” reports USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in the current issue of Volcano Watch.
Kawah Ijen, a hot, acidic crater lake in East Java, Indonesia, will be the location of
a workshop studying wet volcanoes. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
      According to HVO, an estimated half-billion people worldwide live on or near active volcanoes. COV meetings, held about every three years, bring together scientists studying volcanic phenomena and emergency managers to exchange ideas on how to meld science and public policy in order to lessen the effects of volcanic unrest on communities worldwide.
      Following the weeklong meeting, there will be several field trips and specialized workshops. “One of the workshops will be dedicated to studying eruptive characteristics on volcanoes that have large-scale systems in which magma and water are continuously in close proximity,” the article states. “Many of these so-called ‘wet volcanoes’ host large crater lakes whose water can be thrown out abruptly when the volcano becomes restless. When wet volcanoes erupt violently, they often produce deadly volcanic mud and debris flows, called lahars, and surges of scorching-hot rock debris. They can also produce gas- or steam-driven eruptions similar to those at Kilauea in 1924.
      “The recent anniversary of Kilauea’s May 1924 explosive summit eruptions reminds us of the sometimes violent interactions that occur when relatively cool water near the Earth’s surface comes into contact with much hotter magmatic material found at depth. … Even relatively small, steam-driven eruptions like those of 1924 can affect people who live on and near active volcanoes.
      “Long before 1924 – indeed for over a thousand years – Hawaiians recognized the significance of magma-water interaction and depicted their understanding through oral tradition and dance. In this way, native Hawaiians have taught, during many generations, that living in harmony with volcanoes like Kilauea and Mauna Loa means respecting their power while appreciating their beauty.”  
      For more, see hvo.wr.usg.gov/volcanowatch.
      To comment on or like this story, go to facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter KISKA, LCDR Shawn Deweese,
is keynote speaker at Kilauea Military Camp tomorrow.
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony on tomorrow from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the KMC Front Lawn in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. LCDR Shawn Deweese, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter KISKA in Hilo, is keynote speaker. Sgt. Rita Miller, of the 291st Combat Communications, Hilo, is guest speaker. Park entrance fees will be waived from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for those notifying gatekeepers that they will attend the ceremony. 

A MEMORIAL DAY BUFFET FOLLOWS Kilauea Military Camp’s Memorial Day ceremony Monday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Crater Rim Café in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Menu includes Kalua pork sandwich, local-style fried chicken, Volcano chili con carne, tossed salad, potato salad, buttered corn, steamed rice, biscuits and honey, ice cream sundae bar and beverage. $18 adults; $9 children 6-11. Open to authorized patrons and sponsored guests. Park entrance fees apply.
      Call 967-8356 for more information.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2014.swf.
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