Monday, February 15, 2016

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) head speaks at HPU

Inger Andersen, Director General of the IUCN, was the featured speaker of Hawai‘i Pacific University's inaugural Presidential Lecture Series on Global Leadership and Sustainability launch on Feb. 9. More than 150 people from HPU and the community came to Aloha Tower Marketplace for the lecture "Investing in Nature for Resilient Societies and a Sustainable Future," which included the opportunity to meet Andersen and ask her questions. 

HPU President Geoffrey Bannister and Global Leadership and Sustainable
Development program chair Regina Ostergaard-Klem with Inger Andersen.

Andersen opened her talk and said, “Iʻve only been here for a few days...but I have tapped into an energy and desire for change.”

A few of the points she made throughout the lecture included:

• We need to be responsible for our “natural capital” and develop in ways that address people’s lives in a limited space.

• We also lose natural resources rapidly, like a soccer field’s worth of trees in seconds.

• Nature is very forgiving, if we do it in time.

• One way to address sustainability is to “buy local.”

Throughout the lecture, especially during the Q&A portion of the program, she encouraged students — the next generation — to be the leaders of conservation and sustainability. 

Inger Andersen with HPU Student Body President Nathaneal Howard,
Project Coordinator Dingilizwe Ncube and Hospitality and
Tourism Management student Shawn Saito.

In closing, Andersen made reference to Hawaii’s “island son,” U.S. President Barack Obama, and shared a quote by President Obama: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

In September, the IUCN will return to Hawaii for the 2016 World Conservation Congress, “Planet at the Crossroads.” It will be the first time the Congress, which is held every four years, will be held in the U.S., and 6,000 to 8,000 delegates from around the world are expected to attend.  

On the IUCN World Conservation Congress website, Andersen is quoted in a news release: The path we choose today will define nature’s ability to support us as a species during our lifetimes and for generations to come. The IUCN World Conservation Congress is a forum of dialogue and decision which will help us determine that path.

More photos from the Andersen lecture event.

On Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, HPU welcomes featured speaker of the 2016 HPU Presidential Lecture Series on Global Leadership and Sustainability, Neal F. Lane, Ph.D., former U.S. presidential adviser. Lane will give a free, open to the public talk titled “Can Science Save Us? Advice for the Next President of the United States.” Details here.

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