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20th Annual Hawaii Conservation Conference

Videotaped remarks of Senator Daniel K. Akaka

Tue, July 31, 2012

Aloha, I'm so happy to share my mana'o with you as you begin today's symposium.  Mahalo to all of you who are working so hard to protect our islands and oceans from invasive species, land-use, and climate change.  You have made so much progress in the 20 years since I introduced and passed the Tropical Forest Recovery Act of 1992. 

I wish I could be with you in person at this 20th annual Conservation Conference.  Please accept my aloha from Washington, DC.  Let me tell you I am really looking forward to spending more time in Hawaii next year and seeing more of the beautiful, special places that you are working to preserve. 

All of us who call Hawai'i home - treasure the natural and cultural resources that bless us from mauka to makai.  The land and marine life that sustains, protects, and nurtures us, also needs our help.  We want all of Hawaii's unique species to be around to benefit and inspire future generations. 

Our forests are so critical to protect water resources, regulate climate and temperature, and maintain biodiversity.  It has been my hope that the Tropical Forest Recovery Act would aid in not only conserving, restoring, and improving our forests and watersheds, but also be a vehicle for nurturing partnerships between our people - providing a shared sense of stewardship of our beloved Hawai'i.

The law expanded coordination between the state and federal government through the creation of the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest, a partnership of the U.S. Forest Service, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, and Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife.  I'm so pleased that over the past two decades, cooperative work between federal, state, and private organizations - including Native Hawaiian organizations - has helped to advance scientific research and land management practices, benefitting tropical forests in Hawaii and around the world.

I wish you all continued success in protecting Hawaii's forests, watersheds, and marine ecosystems.  I look forward to hearing how I can support your good work. 

Aloha, and mahalo nui loa.


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