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OHA Releases ʻĀina Summit Report & Call to Action

April 28, 2019, 9:12 AM HST
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Coinciding with Earth Day Monday, April 22, 2019, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) has released a community-driven report that details the current challenges of protecting the ʻāina and o fers recommendations to improve the sustainable management of Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources.

“The dramatic environmental changes affecting our planet are amplified here on our remote islands,” said Kamanaʻopono Crabbe, OHA CEO/Ka Pouhana. “The goal of this report is to pull the ‘ike (knowledge) of leaders from across our communities, government agencies and the private sector into one voice, one vision for the how we care for our home today and into the future. We must look to integrate the traditional stewardship techniques of our kūpuna with modern science and best management practices to tackle these tremendous global challenges.”

E Hoʻolau Kānaka: ‘Āina Summit Report and Call to Action 2018-2019 is a nearly 60-page document that resulted from the inaugural E Ho‘olau Kānaka: ʻĀina Summit, held in June 2018, in Kāneʻohe, O‘ahu. Spearheaded by a robust planning committee and sponsored by OHA, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Kamehameha Schools, the summit brought together more than 120 participants representing over 80 community groups, non-government organizations, traditional Hawaiian practitioners, private companies and government agencies.

The E Ho‘olau Kānaka: ʻĀina Summit was designed to be a true community-public-private partnership to convene experts and create a call for integrated action across and between sectors. The summit aimed to build on the our collective ‘āina-based work by better coordinating efforts and resources, sharing information and setting collective goals to address accelerating threats to our lands and waters.

“Our vision was to bring the people stewarding the land together with those who make policy for the land,” said Dr. Davianna Mcgregor, co-chair of the summit and a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. “We come together, so those of us in our own little ahupuaʻa and moku, and our entire pae ʻāina become more sustainable and resilient.”

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“This is a great opportunity for us to all come together to envision a new future for Hawaiʻi,” said Dr. Kekuewa Kikiloi, an assistant professor at Hawaiʻinuiākea, School of Hawaiian Knowledge at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. “I think a lot of times we’re all stuck in our own little siloes trying to work for the lāhui, but it’s hard for us to focus on the bigger picture of how we’re all going to come together to integrate towards a larger vision. It’s for the lāhui.”

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“Governance is about our environment,” said Kevin Chang, executive director of Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo/KUA, an organization focusing on advancing community-based natural resource management. “Hawaiʻi being 2,500 miles away from everybody and either independent or overly dependent on the outside, requires us to talk more to each other, not just to have opinions in isolation.

The E Hoʻolau Kānaka report identifies the following six major themes for action to strengthen the sustainability and stewardship of Hawaiʻi through the empowerment of our communities:

  1. Culturally Grounded Governance and Policy-Making
  2. Protection of Ancestral Lands
  3. Enhancing Collaborative Management
  4. Economic Sustainability for Land Stewardship
  5. Best Practices for Stewardship and Management
  6. Climate Change and Resilience

The E Ho‘olau Kānaka: ʻĀina Summit planning committee members are: OHA, DLNR, Kamehameha Schools, The Trust for Public Land, Hikaʻalani, Hawaiian Island Land Trust, Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo/KUA, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, City & County of Honolulu, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana, and the Hui ʻĀina Momoma, Department of Ethnic Studies & Center for Oral History, UH Mānoa.

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For more information or to read the report, go online.

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