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August 18, 2016

Inaugural ‘State of the Environment Hawai‘i 2016’ Report to debut in advance of World Conservation Congress

Categories: Press Release | Featured

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HONOLULU —The Hawaiʻi Environmental Funders Group (EFG), convened and coordinated by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, has today released Hawaiʻi’s first State of the Environment Report. “He Lono Moku*:  The State of the Environment Hawai‘i 2016” debuts in advance of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s quadrennial World Conservation Congress (WCC) (Honolulu, September 1-10) and highlights pressing issues and the greatest opportunities facing Hawai‘i’s environment. 

The Report is available at www.helonomoku.com

“Hosting the WCC in Hawaiʻi brings the world’s attention to our islands and is a wonderful opportunity for sharing and learning,” said Brant Chillingworth, senior program officer at Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation and chair of the EFG’s State of the Environment Report Working Group. “Our world is out of balance and faces daunting environmental challenges from climate change to endangered species. We can't keep passing on these growing challenges to the ‘next generation’ for them to figure out."

He Lono Moku is the first report of its kind. It is not a tool of agency or politics; rather He Lono Moku represents a common voice of the great majority of philanthropic institutions working to support the environment in Hawai‘i. It demonstrates an unprecedented public-private effort to annually track and share vital information on the status of an entire state’s environment as we strive to meet the state’s Aloha+ Challenge goals by 2030. 

Using data gathered by the Hawaiʻi Green Growth Initiative’s Aloha+ Dashboard and other sources, the report will provide an annual platform for the public and decision-makers to quickly see where Hawai‘i is making progress and where it is falling behind in protecting an environment that powers our economy and unique island quality of life.

Reflecting the belief of the 15 affiliate philanthropic organizations and individuals who make up the EFG, Josh Stanbro, Hawai‘i Community Foundation strategy, initiatives and networks director, said, “It is time for a renewed focus on sustaining Hawaiʻi’s priceless environment. Our society is not investing enough in protecting our watersheds, forests, and oceans. We needed a means to unify all of our voices and share the facts about the environment. Our collective efforts will become stronger and more effective when we are equipped with focused information and share that information with the broader community and policymakers.”

Each year, the Report will concentrate on different priority issues. The 2016 Report addresses Freshwater Security, Renewable Energy, and Community-Based Marine Management. Engagingly written and illustrated, it is designed to be accessible to a wide range of users, from policymakers to laypeople and students. 

The scope, style and desired outcomes of He Lono Moku were inspired by two global examples: the Human Development Report, an annual milestone published by the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme; and the Pacific Northwest Forest Inventory and Analysis, which measures and reports on forest conditions in coastal Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.

About the World Conservation Congress
Held every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 is the first milestone conservation and sustainable development event following the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s Congress takes place September 1-10 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, U.S.A., having received strong endorsement from President Barack Obama, his administration and the State of Hawaiʻi. Top policy-makers and global business leaders will come together with leading scientists, field technicians and civil society organizations to define sustainable options for moving last year’s global agreements into effect.

About the Environmental Funders Group
Formed in 2010, the Hawai‘i Environmental Funders Group (EFG) is a network of 17** local and national individuals and foundations that commits active, substantial investment in the environment and sustainability of the Hawaiian Islands. In light of limited funding and capacity to invest in our precious resources, the members of EFG came together to promote collaboration and steadily increase the amount of philanthropic support dedicated to environment and sustainability efforts in Hawai‘i. The EFG is convened and coordinated by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. For information, contact Josh Stanbro, strategy, initiatives and networks director, at jstanbro@hcf-hawaii.org or (808) 566-5541. 

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*He Lono Moku is Hawaiian for “an island update/report.” The EFG thanks Puakea Nogelmeier for his assistance in naming this project. 

** Hawai‘i Environmental Funders Group Affiliates are:
Atherton Family Foundation
Bill Healy Foundation
Ceres Trust
Dorrance Family Foundation
Frost Family Foundation
Harold KL Castle Foundation
Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation
Hawai‘i Community Foundation
Iwamoto Family Foundation
Kamehameha Schools
Marisla Foundation
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
Sacharuna Foundation
Ulupono Initiative
Wallace Alexander
Gerbode Foundation
Weissman Family Foundation