Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Celebrates 25-Year Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee dedicated Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as a World Heritage Site. Today, there are only 21 World Heritage Sites in the United States, and 936 worldwide. This year, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will celebrate 25 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is Significant

What are the reasons UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee designated HVNP as a World Heritage Site? What makes a UNESCO World Heritage Site unique is its outstanding universal value. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park clearly demonstrates the ability to wow visitors every day—the park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. With two of the world’s most active and accessible volcanoes located within the park, HVNP serves as an excellent example of the creation of islands through volcanic processes. Due to the constant volcanic activity, the park’s landscape is always changing and features a diverse ecological system. Mauna Loa is the greatest volcanic mass on earth, when measured from the ocean floor.

Experiencing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

One way to experience the diverse landscape and cultural history of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park would be to take a Hawaii volcano tour on the Big Island. Another great way is to intern at the park. Two interns are currently learning how Hawaii Volcanoes National Park balances tourism and its preservation efforts. Li Lijuan, 27, works for a World Heritage Site in China’s Yunnan Province, the Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve. Jovel Ananayo, 35, is a National Park Service World Heritage Fellow. Jovel will apply what he learns at HVNP back home in the Philippines, where his time spent in Hawaii will impact his efforts to preserve the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines. “What amazes me here [in Hawaii] is how all the divisions and experts work together. You have experts on cultural and natural resource management and the eruption crew all providing information to the interpretation team who very effectively share their knowledge with visitors. That’s how it should be,” Jovel said.

How will you experience Hawaii Volcanoes National Park?

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