DLNR/HTA partnership to help spread conservation messages
HONOLULU – As the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) was exploring ways to reach more visitors and kama’aina with information about conserving and protecting natural and cultural resources, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) was engaged in developing a five-year strategic plan.
“Coincidentally, the stars were in alignment, and what we were thinking turned out to be a perfect fit with the HTA’s strategic plan,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.
DLNR is charged with management and administration of state parks, historical sites, forests, forest reserves, aquatic life, wildlife, wildlife sanctuaries, game management areas, public hunting areas and natural area reserves.
HTA is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawaii’s marketing initiatives to support tourism, the state’s largest industry.
HTA President & CEO George D. Szigeti observed, “Instrumental to our strategic plan is supporting efforts to protect our environment and perpetuate it for generations to come. Travelers come here from around the world to explore the natural beauty of our islands, from the ocean to the mountains. HTA’s vision for preserving the quality of Hawaii’s environment goes hand-in-hand with the sustainability programs DLNR oversees every day statewide.”
HTA’s strategic plan reflects the adoption of a goal to “improve the integrity of the destination,” achieved through an objective of being “a better steward of the destination and to increase support for programs that manage, improve and protect Hawaii’s natural environment and areas frequented by visitors.
In a programmatic agreement signed between the two state agencies in June 2016, HTA agreed to provide funding for certain DLNR public communications efforts.
In this first year of the agreement, that funding has secured broadcast air time for three “DLNR & YOU” television specials: “Renegades, Risks & Rewards of the Napali Coast;” “Kauai’s Endangered Sea Birds;” and “Hawaii’s Endangered Forest Birds.”
Additionally the HTA is funding the design, development and placement of 25 large outdoor signs promoting conservation messages at strategic locations around Oahu.
The “DLNR & YOU” brand, according to Case, “Is our effort to include everyone in the kuleana (responsibility) of helping really malama (to care) for our limited and precious natural and cultural resources. When you think about the reasons so many people come to Hawaii, to experience and share those things that make this place one of the planet’s most diverse ecological and cultural landscapes, it really takes all of us.”
HTA funding to DLNR in 2016 amounts to $53,600. Szigeti noted, “We are proud to do our part in educating visitors and reinforcing to residents the significance of preserving Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources. The ‘DLNR & YOU’ initiatives are vital to reminding everyone that the quality of life we cherish requires a continual commitment to support conservation and protect the ecosystems that makes Hawaii such a treasured destination for travelers worldwide.”