EnVision Maunakea Report Delivers Insights Into Complexities
The result of 15 Aha Kuka listening sessions of Hui Ho‘olohe and various written submissions, involving over 100 diverse Hawai‘i Island voices, the report delivers great insight into the complexities surrounding Maunakea’s past, present and future.
“EnVision Maunakea was created so the different voices from our Hawai‘i Island community could be expressed in a safe, constructive, judgment-free space,” said Susan Maddox, executive team leader of Friends of the Future, which served as convener for the process. “Hawai‘i Island is wonderfully diverse, containing countless voices with significant insights, and the opportunity for everyone to gather and share stories of what the mountain means to them and what they see for its future was enlightening and powerful.”
While the voices in the report vary widely in opinion, several key themes emerged, ranging from the sacredness and spirituality of the entire mountain, the power of Maunakea to teach the world, and its place in childhood, to the negative impact of increasing traffic and people, the construction of more observatories, to the coexistence of nature, culture and science and more.
“Each of us are different creatures, from different places, with different opinions, outlooks and passions,” said an Aha Kuka participant. “We must allow ourselves to recognize our strengths, skills and abilities, as well as our faults and weaknesses; and we must strive to recognize the same in others. Too, we must understand that change may take longer than we wish.”
Social issues also came into play as participants inquired whether one voice is more important than another, discussed the concept of Native Hawaiian versus born-and-bred in Hawai‘i, and questioned whether management of the mountain should be assumed by the state, the county or a private entity. One thing is certain, the many ideas and opinions expressed open doors to understanding and the beginning of the collaboration essential to ensure a vibrant future for Maunakea.
“It’s my hope and vision that we can come together in cooperation and not conflict, that we can envision Maunakea, Hawai‘i Nei, our environment and our resources being stewarded in a pono manner, as our ancestors demonstrated they can be,” said a Hawaiian cultural practitioner in an Aha Kuka. “Together, we have a sacred kuleana to malama—to cultivate, sustain and pass on to future generations the vast legacy that we have inherited from our kūpuna.”
The EnVision Maunakea Report brings together the island’s extraordinarily diverse community and contains a variety of ideas that may serve as input for the policy and regulatory decision-makers.
About EnVision Maunakea
EnVision Maunakea was established in 2015 in recognition of the need for civil, productive dialogue about the issues surrounding Maunakea, what the mountain means to the island community and how the various perspectives can move forward together. Friends of the Future (FOF), a Waimea-based 501c3 community-based organization with a history of facilitating community dialogue around controversial issues served as convener for EnVision Maunakea. For more information, go online.