World-renowned marine ecologist Dr. Jane Lubchenco opened the 22nd annual Hawaii Conservation Conference Tuesday morning with a message of hope. 

Hundreds filled the room in the Hawaii Convention Center to hear her explain why she believes people will be able to solve the “myriad escalating environmental problems” plaguing the planet.

For all the wrongs humans have inflicted, from depleting fish stocks to causing ocean acidification, she said there are bright minds and committed folks around the world who are breaking new ground in science and returning society to more sustainable practices.

Jane Lubchenco

Dr. Jane Lubchenco gives the keynote address at the Hawaii Conservation Conference, July 15, 2014.

Franz Schmutzer

Hawaii, Lubchenco said, is in the “sweet spot of knowledge,” benefitting as much from rich cultural traditions as top university scientists.

“Tangible and impressive progress is being made,” she said.

“I am hopeful. Cautiously so, but hopeful.”

The conference continues Wednesday and Thursday with a full slate of sessions and speakers. 

The conference is Hawaii Conservation Alliance’s signature event, aimed at providing a venue for sharing new and progressive approaches to conservation science and management, Lihla Noori, executive director of Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Foundation, said in a news release.

“By networking Hawaii’s scientists, managers, and community groups, and working together to solve critical conservation issues, we can reach our goals of protecting the natural resources that we depend upon,” she said.

Visit the Hawaii Conservation Alliance’s website here to learn more about the conference. 

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