Hawai'i conservation alliance

Hawaiʻi Commitments: Inspiring Conservation at Home and Around the World

In 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) adopted the Hawaiʻi Commitments. Compiled by IUCN's over 1300 members from 160 countries at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, the Hawaiʻi Commitments set the direction for global conservation priorities over the next four years. This panel will examine the Commitments, Hawaiʻi's role in implementing them, and how Hawaiʻi can continue to grow as a global leader in conservation. Panelists will explore ways we can collectively address environmental challenges that threaten our biocultural resources as well as opportunities to foster a strong culture of conservation locally and around the world.


The Honorable David Ige
Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi

Governor David Y. Ige is the first governor of Okinawan decent in the United States. He was born and raised in Hawai’i, the fifth of six sons of Tokio and Tsurue Ige. He spent 34 years as an electrical engineer devoted to information technology, telecommunications and developing responsible public policy. Governor Ige began his political career in 1985 when he was appointed to the Hawai’i House of Representatives. In 1994, he was elected to the Hawai’i Senate and on December 1, 2014, he was sworn in as the eighth Governor of the State of Hawai’i. 

Chipper Wichman
CEO and Director, National Tropical Botanical Gardens
Vice Chair of 2016 World Conservation Congress Host Committee

Chipper has worked at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) since 1976 where he has become a recognized state-wide leader working to preserve the precious natural and cultural resources of Hawai‘i where he was born and raised.  Since 2003 he has served as NTBG’s CEO and Director.  One of Chipper’s greatest accomplishments is the creation of the award winning Limahuli Garden and Preserve in the early 1970s and 1980s and today Limahuli is one of the leading examples of community-based biocultural conservation. In 2013, Chipper received the Outstanding Leadership award from the Hawaii Conservation Alliance for his role in leading the effort to bring the IUNC World Conservation Congress to Hawaii in 2016 and over the past three years he has served as the Vice Chair of the WCC 2016 National Host Committee.

Denise Antolini
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Hawaiʻi Richardson School of Law
Deputy Chair of the IUCN Steering Committee for the World Commission on Environmental Law

Professor Denise E. Antolini is the Deputy Chair of the IUCN Steering Committee for the World Commission on Environmental Law. She has served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Hawaiʻi Richardson School of Law since 2011.  She joined the Law School faculty in 1996 and directed its nationally recognized Environmental Law Program for several years.

Ulalia Woodside
Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi

Ulalia Woodside is the Executive Director for The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, whose mission is the conservation of the lands and waters upon which all life depends. In Hawaiʻi, she and her staff do this through a statewide network of 14 preserves; partnership with other public and private landowners to protect the state’s key watershed forests; and in over 20 coastal communities where they collaborate to improve coral reefs and near shore fisheries. She also oversees Palmyra Atoll nature preserve and research station 1,000 miles south of Hawai‘i.


ʻAulani Wilhelm
Senior Vice President of the Center for Oceans, Conservation International

Aulani Wilhelm brings to CI more than 20 years of experience in natural resource management, primarily ocean conservation. She led the designation of what has become the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and World Heritage site, one of the largest protected areas on Earth and first of its kind to honor indigenous relationships to the sea and the importance of global ocean heritage.