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Case Studies
Convening a Global Conference for the Global Good

Convening a Global Conference for the Global Good



The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is the world’s largest environmental network. It is comprised of more than 1,300 member organizations.

Every four years, the IUCN convenes the World Conservation Congress (Congress), which brings
together thought leaders, technical experts and decision makers from government, business, academia, the non-profit sector, and indigenous groups. The goal of the quadrennial event is to identify actions to better manage the environment for human, social and economic development.

The State of Hawaii hosted the 2016 Congress, which was the first Congress held in the United States. The National Host Committee, created to support the State of Hawaii in its role as host of the 10-day event, engaged Carlsmith Ball as legal counsel. 

Carlsmith advised the National Host Committee on the following:

  • Providing guidance on the​formation, structure, and governance of the Host Committee
  • Developing policies for​operations, conflicts of interest, spending and ethics
  • Establishing procedures to ensure​goods, services and venues were obtained at reasonable costs and through competitive procurement processes
  • Serving as general counsel on​matters involving contract negotiation and performance, event planning and logistics, tax treaties and work authorizations, charity and fundraising
    requirements, community relations, hotel, travel and tours, intellectual property, security, insurance, and compliance

The Congress was attended by 10,000 people from 180 countries. Preceding the opening ceremony, President Obama delivered a speech to Pacific Island leaders about the urgent need to address climate change, emphasizing the importance of the global environmental event. The Congress earned ISO 20121 certification for sustainability – an acknowledgement of the many eco-friendly aspects of the Congress.