Pacific Islands Region

World Conservation CongressThe World Conservation Congress (WCC), held once every four years and sponsored by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, was held in the US for the first time and took place in September 2016 in World Conservation CongressHonolulu, Hawaii. Over 10,000 visitors, residents, and attendees participated in the event, and learned about NOAA’s role in marine conservation.

NOAA was out in full force with over 90 staff members manning 4 NOAA booths that attracted adults and children with vivid backdrops and interactive games and props that highlighted NOAA’s expertise and work in the Pacific. The Science on the Sphere featured 23 NOAA presentations that used newly developed datasets to demonstrate NOAA’s scientific and management efforts. NOAA actively used social media to reach out to wider audiences, in forms such as Twitter and Facebook Live, which was piloted for the first time at NOAA.

NOAA staff hosted WCC’s only public event, and led workshops, knowledge cafes, field trips, presentations, and tech corner mini-sessions during the WCC. World Conservation CongressNOAA debuted four new SOS modules bringing live coral bleaching data for the first time to the SOS network; the presentation was broadcast live on the web, drawing over 9,000 viewers.

Dr. Sullivan took a leadership role in the conference by participating in the Pacific Islands Conference of Leaders, where President Obama made the announcement on the Monument expansion; representing NOAA at the Opening Ceremony; leading the NOAA Pacific Partnership Panel; presenting at the Biodiversity Observing Network event; and participating in a High-Level Dialogue on ocean conservation. Eileen Sullivan and John Armor also led panels, including ones on MPAs.NOAA staff plan to leverage the outreach materials that were developed, as well as the new Science on a Sphere datasets and new SOS staff expertise, in future outreach efforts in the Pacific Islands.

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