By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii will host a major conservation conference in 2016 that will draw leaders from 1,200 organizations worldwide.
The World Conservation Congress is expected to attract 8,000 attendees from UN agencies, businesses and organizations that are part of The International Union for Conservation of Nature.
President Barack Obama wrote a letter supporting Hawaii's bid. He says the warmth and hospitality of the people of Hawaii will make a lasting impression on the delegates.
The meeting will be hosted at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.
Governor Neil Abercrombie says the event will have a ripple effect on tourism and will give the Convention Center international exposure.
This will be the first time that the United States hosts the gathering since the group's creation in 1948. It's held every four years.