In Hawai'i, we focus on the following priority areas:
Few places on Earth can rival Hawaii’s amazing diversity of life. On just eight main islands, with a combined land area of only 6,500 square miles, are all of the world’s major ecological zones and more unique species than any place of similar size on Earth.
But Hawaii’s rare beauty and natural diversity of life are exceptionally fragile. Today, the future of this spectacular natural heritage is severely threatened:
- Nearly one-third of the birds and plants on the U.S. Endangered Species List are from Hawai‘i
- The islands’ fisheries have declined by more than 75% over the past century
- More than half of the islands’ native native forest cover has been lost
- Hawai‘i has the worst invasive species problem of any U.S. state
Nevertheless, much remains to be save—and can be saved. The Nature Conservancy is focusing its efforts on four different conservation priorities:
- Forests and Watersheds: Despite sheltering thousands of unique species and providing the islands with almost all of its fresh water, Hawaii's native forests are among the most endangered in the world.
- Marine Conservation: Hawaii's coral reefs and nearshore waters contribute more that $360 million annually to the state's economy, yet are being altered and depleted at rates that far outstrip current conservation efforts.
- Climate Change: Climate changes such as increased temperatures and rising sea levels threaten Hawaii's native forests, its coral reefs and its natural and human communities.
- Invasive Species : The silent invasion of Hawai
‘i by insects, disease, snakes, weeds, and other pests poses serious risks to the state's natural environment — and its economy.
For more than a decade, The Nature Conservancy’s work has been guided by a framework we call Conservation by Design — a systematic science-based approach that determines where to work, what to conserve, what strategies we should use and how to measure our effectiveness.
Conservation by Design enables the Conservancy to preserve healthy ecosystems that support people and host the diversity of life on Earth. The basic concepts are simple: setting goals and priorities, developing strategies, taking action and measuring results.