Partners working to preserve World Heritage sites

Kamehameha butterfly on yellow lehua
Kamehameha butterfly on yellow lehua

HONOLULU (KHNL) - It's an effort to protect World Heritage sites and promote sustainable tourism.

The World Heritage Alliance for Sustainable Tourism,  the U.S. National Park Service and the Big Island Visitors Bureau teamed up to kick off a three-city training event starting Wednesday, July 23 at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

"World Heritage sites are places around the world that have been internationally recognized for their outstanding value as natural and cultural treasures," said Erika Harms, executive director of sustainable development at the UN Foundation.  "Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of over 800 World Heritage sites around the world.  We must all be committed to protecting these destinations and promoting sustainable tourism practices that preserve the sites for future generations to experience and enjoy."

The events will gather volunteers representing the tourism industry and local governments for a discussion about sustainable tourism and World Heritage preservation.

Volunteers will participate in direct conservation efforts by helping to remove invasive species which threaten the park's biodiversity.

Similar events will be held in Kona on Thursday, July 24 and Honolulu on Friday, July 25.

Photo courtesy of Dann Espy