Aloha from from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu!
Okeanos is thrilled to be participating at the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016, the largest conservation event on the planet where world leaders and organizations represent their role in environmental advocacy and sustainability.
With an unprecedented 9,000 attendees participating in this year’s congress, Okeanos Foundation and its mission of building a pan-pacific vaka network could not have a better world stage. During the event’s pre-ceremony on September 1st , Pwo Master Navigator and Okeanos Advisory Board Member Nainoa Thompson delivered a powerful speech to a crowd on Waikiki beach, stressing the importance of the vaka as a symbol for sustainability. The Okeanos-built vaka ‘Hikianalia’ sailed in the distance as Nainoa gave special recognition to chairman Dieter Paulmann for his outstanding efforts in keeping vaka culture alive.
In the following days of the Congress, Dieter gave a presentation in the Hawai’i Pacific Pavillion on the future of traditional voyaging and introduced the screening of Emmy-nominated Okeanos film Racing Extinction. In both talks, Dieter spoke about the challenges of both extensive projects and the value of overcoming them to deliver messages of sustainability to future generations.
On the exhibit floor, Pwo Navigator and Okeanos Vaka Fleet Commander Peia Patai was joined by David Czap and Linda Brembs of Soel Yachts – the company responsible for our vaka’s state-of-the-art solar panel system and the design of the upcoming Vaka Hapua (SoelCal 12) – in our multimedia Okeanos booth.
The booth featured intricate models of both the Okeanos Aotearoa and Vaka Hapua, clips of the Okeanos Our Blue Canoe documentary series, and a 360º headset immersing guests with the crew of the Tonga Voyaging Society (TVS). Tonga Voyaging Society members Aunofo Havea and Melissa Sinclair also made special appearances in a livestream feed from their office in Tonga to announce their newly acquired whale-watching license, the next milestone in TVS’ ecotourism business.
There’s much to celebrate from the Aloha State!