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Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals is now closed.


Session & Abstract Proposal Deadline:  January 26th, 2017

Revisions Deadline: Extended to April 7th, 2017

Deadline for Presenters to Register: June 1st, 2017

Conference Theme

“He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa”, translates simply as “the canoe is an island, and the island is a canoe.” This ʻōlelo noʻeau, or proverb, was shared by Clay Bertelmann and Na Kālai Waʻa and has been adopted by resource stewards throughout Hawaiʻi.  This theme reminds us that on a planet, as on an island, as in a canoe, we should care for our limited resources and for each other because our well-being and even our survival depends on it.  In Hawaiʻi and around the world, like on a waʻa, or voyaging canoe, we must work together to ensure the sustainability of our communities, our islands, our archipelago, and our planet.  Effective stewardship will require cultural knowledge as well as the best available science and technology, traditional and innovative management tools, and collaboration between all sectors.

The concept of “Mālama Honua”, caring for our earth, is being carried across the globe by the Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia, sailing waʻa of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.  At home, we honor their work by striving to leave a legacy of sustainability and reversed decline of natural resources.  In 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress was held in Honolulu, putting our islands on the global stage and compelling us to think of our impact around the world. As the waʻa return home in 2017, we reflect on our global ties, our legacy for the future, and the work we must do to keep on course.



The Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference Organizing Committee is soliciting proposals for symposia, forums, workshops, trainings and individual oral or poster presentations under the following four tracks, which align with the four strategic goals of the Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance (HCA). Integrated and transdisciplinary approaches to research, management and innovative solutions that involve community and/or cultural knowledge as a best practice are encouraged. We encourage all conservation scientists, managers, and practitioners to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations for the following tracks or for consideration in General Sessions.

1. Cultural Integration

A priority of the Hawaii Conservation Alliance is to ensure Native Hawaiian cultural values and practices are adequately integrated into contemporary conservation strategies.  In 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approved a motion introduced by HCA and other IUCN Members: Affirmation of the Role of Indigenous Cultures in Global Conservation Efforts. We are seeking proposals that explore the ways indigenous knowledge systems drive and inform conservation at local and global scales.

Guiding Questions:

  • What are the critical steps to implementing IUCN Motion 83 be operationalized locally and globally?
  • How has cultural practice and indigenous knowledge informed contemporary scientific inquiry?
  • How can community co-management increase cultural integration in resource stewardship?  Are there successes to build on and/or cautionary tales to learn from?


2. Effective Conservation and Restoration

Only in recent decades have we been able to systematically measure collective human impact on the natural environment of Hawaiʻi. This impact is recognized as profound and extremely difficult to reverse.  In 2014, more than 60 agencies and organization signed the Promise to PaeʻĀina o Hawaiʻi and in 2016, Governor Ige adopted sustainability goals (Governor Ige Adopts Goals) as informed by the Aloha+ Challenge (  We invite proposals that explore the research, tools, and stewardship approaches that will reverse human-driven ecosystem decline and help Hawaiʻi reach our goals and be a global leader in effective and equitable resource stewardship.

Guiding Questions:

  • What can we learn from conservation success stories and how can such efforts be duplicated or scaled up?
  • What is the state of co-management of natural resources in Hawaiʻi?  How can co-management be effectively implemented to meet shared stewardship objectives?
  • How are communities leading effective conservation efforts?  How can community-lead conservation be expanded effectively and equitably?
  • How can data be collected, standardized, and shared across scales to better measure cumulative impacts of conservation efforts?
  • Emerging technologies – technological advances in climate change adaptation, biosecurity, and ecosystem conservation
  • Stories of success — Mōhala ka pua, ua wehe kaiao: The blossoms are opening, for dawn is breaking.


3. Biosecurity and Invasive Species Management

As the most isolated land mass in the world, the Hawaiian archipelago is home to an abundance of species and ecosystems found nowhere else, making them particularly vulnerable to the threats posed by invasive species and disease.  In 2016, the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture partnered with state, federal, and county agencies, industry, and the general public to develop the Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan, highlighting the significance of the threat of invasive species to native ecosystems, agriculture, and the State economy.  We welcome proposals that explore the many components of biosecurity including prevention and remediation of invasive species, innovative technological tools, and emerging threats.

Guiding Questions:

What are the most urgent biosecurity needs for Hawaiʻi?  How do we prioritize for action Hawaii’s many invasive species issues, and how do we balance resources between existing invasive species management and prevention of new introductions?
What are some of the innovative tools and technologies available to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species as well as to mitigate existing and emerging threats? What opportunities do new technologies provide for increasing efficacy or lowering management costs?
What is the current state of knowledge of Rapid Ōhiʻa Disease and its impact on native forest systems?  What are the immediate and long-term management needs?  Are there similar disease experiences from around the world that could inform response to emerging biosecurity threats?
How will climate change impact invasive species management and biosecurity throughout the archipelago?


4. Building Capacity

Conservation capacity includes sufficient and appropriate human, technological, institutional, and financial resources to conduct effective resource stewardship.  Engaging youth and young professionals and providing them with the training and tools needed to become conservation leaders is a priority of the HCA.  Additionally, we recognize the need to build and maintain meaningful partnerships and to foster communication and exchange within the conservation community and across sectors.  As urbanization increases in our islands and around the world, we also recognize the need to engage with city dwellers to highlight conservation relevance and opportunities in the urban environment.  With growing interest and demand for conservation as well as increasing pressure on natural systems, we encourage submissions that address 21st century conservation capacity needs, programs, and opportunities.

Guiding Questions:

What innovative youth engagement and training programs are building conservation capacity in Hawaiʻi and around the world?
How can island conservationists learn from each other and multiply efforts across international networks? (e.g. GLISPA, IUCN)
What are the key elements of impactful conservation networks?
How should conservationists engage with urban constituencies?
Explore the relationship between human, community, and ecological health.


Submission Process

Session & Abstract Proposal Deadline: January 26th, 2017

*ALL abstracts, including those that are part of a symposium or forum, are due by January 26th, 2017.

Revisions Deadline: April 4th, 2017

*Authors must complete requests for abstract revisions by this deadline in order to be accepted into the conference.

Deadline for Presenters to Register: June 1st, 2017

*ALL presenters are required to register for the conference. Only presenters with accepted abstracts that are registered by June 1st, 2017, will be considered for inclusion in the program book.

Session proposals and abstracts must be submitted online. Please review the Submission Instructions for Session Proposals and Abstracts document for detailed instructions.  The submission form will be available by November 4th, 2016.


Format Descriptions

Oral and Poster Presentations: Formal, individual presentations on various conservation topics will be scheduled in general sessions depending on the specific “Track” in which it was submitted and the thematic content. The abstract submission form requires the selection of preferred presentation format (oral or poster) and whether you are submitting your abstract as an individual or part of an organized symposium. The review committee may suggest that you change your proposed format depending on the novelty, relationship to theme, available time in the program, and whether or not the content has been previously presented. All oral and poster presenters must be registered participants.

1. Oral presentation:

15-minute individual presentations (12-minute talk, 2 minutes Q&A, 1 minute for transition time)
All oral presentations will be scheduled in 2-hour blocks.

2. Poster presentation:

This is a visual presentation that showcases your work to attendees throughout the entire conference. Posters are particularly useful as a way to present quantitative research. More than one participant may author a poster, but at least one of the primary authors must be in attendance to discuss the poster at the Poster Reception on July 18th, 2017.

3. Symposium:

A formal moderated session with 5-6 presentations organized around a topic or theme; individual presentation time is limited to 15 minutes; moderator introduces presenters and conducts Q&A at end of session. Time limit: 2 hours per session. Abstracts for each presenter are required and due January 26th, 2017, along with a complete session agenda. All presenters and moderators must be registered participants.

4. Forum:

A less formal, more interactive session, a forum can be a panel, a roundtable session, or another structured format involving a variety of innovative facilitation methods. The moderator or facilitator guides presenters and the audience through a variety of participatory techniques. Time limit: 2 hours per session, with a minimum of 30 minutes of audience participation. Forum submissions require true audience participation that consists of more than a question and answer session. Detailed information on how the audience will be engaged is required. We encourage creativity. Abstracts for each presenter are not required unless requested by the forum organizer/chair. All presenters, facilitators and/or moderators must be registered participants.

HCC Workshops and Trainings: Organizations and practitioners are welcome to conduct trainings or workshops before or following the conference. The host organization(s) is responsible for organizing and supporting all aspects of their training or workshop. The HCA can contribute minimal logistical support. Please contact us for details about this opportunity.

5. Workshop:

An interactive, highly facilitated, “hands on” session that minimizes formal presentations and emphasizes the application of information and/or technology. Active audience participation and innovative facilitation methods are encouraged. To register, one cohesive workshop abstract is required that describes engagement technique used by the person(s) facilitating the workshop. Workshop facilitators must be registered participants.

6. Training:

Organizations have the opportunity to host capacity-building trainings and activities that focus on skill transfer to conservation practitioners, teachers, etc. or a time to engage a specific audience in a particular topic related to the conference theme. A description that explains training goals and target audience is required. Training facilitators must be registered conference participants.



For more information, please contact 2017 HCC Abstract Manager at (808) 944-7417,

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