The 21st Annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference, put on by the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance, is scheduled for July 16-18 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. The theme this year is Live Today, Sustain Tomorrow: Connecting People, Places, and Planet. As always, the HCC conference is designed to be an inspiring, action-oriented event that drives positive change within our islands. This year, the conference will feature a special Community Connections Pau Hana on Wednesday, July 17 from 1-8:30 p.m. This portion of the event will be free and open to the public, including private and public entities, non-profit organizations, businesses, community groups and anyone interested in connecting with like-minded people.

Community Connections will be divided into two sections and the public is invited to attend both at no cost. From 1-5:30 p.m., the Hawai‘i Green Growth will host “Building Partnerships for a Sustainable Future.” This afternoon session will feature interactive revolving round table discussions sharing “Bright Spots,” examples of cross-sector collaboration. Visitors may also attend forums showcasing sustainability issues such as seafood security, water and climate change, tourism and environment, and more.

The evening session, “Kupa ‘Ai Kakou,” taking place from 5:30-8:30 p.m., will feature a variety of activities highlighting multisensory Hawaiian art, culture and cuisine. One of the most anticipated events of the day is the Pau Hana tastings featuring locally sourced food and drink by O‘ahu’s favorite chefs such as Mark Noguchi of Pili Group and Taste Table, Ed Kenney of TOWN, and Daniel Anthony of Mana Ai. Attendees will also have the opportunity to talk story with 40+ green market vendors and green organizations, view a pop-up art exhibition by Maoli Real Time Arts Gallery, listen to live Hawaiian music and view the film screening of Seeds of Hope. No registration for the free event is necessary.

Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance’s Community Connections Pau Hana happens Wednesday July 17 from 1-5:30 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, 1801 Kalakaua Ave. The event is free and open to the community. For more information, visit hawaiiconservation.org.