2021 World Conservation Congress

Updated April 17, 2023


Having been involved in various nature conservation projects and experiences from a young age, I have learned one very important thing and it’s this: Without plants, there is NO life! With this knowledge, I applied for an internship at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) on Kaua’i. There, I learned a lot about the propagation of ferns – the foundation species needed to begin the life cycle of all Hawaiian ecosystems. This study became the focus of my high school science project, titled “The Ideal Medium for Fern Spore Propagation”.

The president of NTBG, Chipper Wichman, saw my passion for environmental issues and invited me to speak at the 2021 World Conservation Congress, held in Marseille France. The focus of my presentation was on the importance of saving plants and how to best engage youth. This in turn launched a discussion on how to solve climate issues.

It was a real honor to have this opportunity to speak on the world stage and represent the voice of young activists. When my presentation was done, members of the audience asked me all kinds of questions. People came over to congratulate me for my dedication for trying to make a difference in the world. It was an empowering experience, and I strongly believe we need more young voices like mine to spread awareness on environmental issues and social justice. This event changed me deeply and taught me how to use my voice to spread the “aloha spirit”.. 

The World Conservation Congress is typically held every 4 years. In 2016, it took place in Honolulu. This was the first time in the event’s 68-year history that the congress was hosted in the United States. In 2020, the event was scheduled to take place in the South of France, but because of COVID, the event was pushed back to 2021. In 2024, the event is either going to take place in Canada or in Australia, and I’m hoping to once again participate in some ways.

In 2021, I was by far the youngest person to present at the congress. I was very nervous to go up on stage but things worked out great. I can only encourage everyone to speak up and not hold back. Don’t be afraid to use your voice and fight for what you believe in.