East Hawaii News

Several Big Island Organizations Awarded Funding to Help Preserve Natural Resources

January 6, 2022, 4:00 PM HST
* Updated January 6, 3:34 PM
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Seven Big Island groups were awarded funding in support of programs and projects they are working on to help preserve the island’s natural resources.

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation recently announced $1.575 million in funding to support 31 community-based programs statewide through its Aloha ‘Āina program for 2022.

Photos courtesy of Hawai‘i Community Foundation.

“The Aloha ʻĀina program is a way for the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to directly support the organizations making a difference in our environment by educating and engaging people in the stewardship of our natural environment,” said HTA Chief Brand Officer Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā. “We appreciate the efforts of these organizations and the communities that have embraced them as we collectively mālama our home.”

Recipients include qualified nonprofit organizations that are protecting and improving the natural environment, helping to “mālama ku‘u home” (“care for my beloved home”) and support a more holistic, regenerative tourism model for Hawai‘i.

Big Island recipients are:

  • Big Island Invasive Species Committee for protecting Wahi Pana of Hawaiʻi Island from invasive species.
  • Hawai‘i Forest Institute for Mahalo ‘Āina Discovery Forest Projects on the Big Island and Oʻahu.
  • Ho‘oulu Lāhui for a project called ‘Ike Honua o Keahialaka.
  • Hui Aloha Kīholo for a project named Mohala i ka Wai: Empowering our community to support a thriving Kīholo.
  • Kalanihale for protecting marine natural resources through cultural and traditional management.
  • The Kohala Center for its project, Aloha ʻĀina Kahaluʻu: Caring for a cherished place Hawai‘i Island.
  • Waikōloa Dry Forest Initiative for its Waikōloa Biocultural Program.
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Funds also were awarded to Kupu for the statewide Hawaiʻi Youth Conservation Corps.

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The Aloha ‘Āina program is an integral part of HTA’s 2025 Strategic Plan, which is aligned with the state’s Aloha+ Challenge framework for natural resource management. HTA also supports the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Since 2010, HTA has provided nearly $12 million ito support 345 community-based organizations and projects that help manage, improve and protect Hawai‘i’s natural environment.

HTA selected the Hawai‘i Community Foundation to administer the Aloha ‘Āina program for 2022 for its experience in working with nonprofits in the natural resource sector and the organization’s collective action approach through its CHANGE Framework.

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“HCF is proud to support HTA’s Aloha ʻĀina program because of its unique approach to engaging organizations across the state who are working to address natural resource issues,” said Michelle Kauhane, senior vice president of community grants and initiatives at HCF. “The awardees in this year’s cohort bring the strength of community-led solutions that truly emphasize collective action and shared goals of a more abundant and thriving ʻāina.”

For more information about the Aloha ‘Āina program, click here.

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