How the WPFMC and Kitty Simonds Crashed Conservation’s Biggest Event

Irreverent might be the best way to describe Kitty Simonds’ feelings about the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress, a 10-day event currently taking place at the Hawaii Convention Center. “It’s all about making money,” Simonds said as she looked dismissively at two preteens taking selfies with cardboard cut-outs of elephants and tigers at an environmental exhibition on the convention center floor. Simonds is the executive director of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council — or Wespac, as it’s more commonly known — a quasi-governmental agency charged with monitoring Pacific fish stocks from Hawaii and American Samoa to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. She’s a highly contentious figure in conservation circles, which made her organization’s involvement in the world’s largest environmental conference all the more curious. Simond’s brazen attitude was on full display at the Hawaii Convention Center this week. The agency had it’s own exhibition booth alongside the likes of the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. The exhibition stuck out, too. (Kudos to Kitty!) Read the story here 07:51

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