Sustainability

Water Conservation and Irrigation Workshop

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

UH CTAHR Molokai Extension News Release

There aren’t too many things in Hawaii we measure in the billions.  The size of the state’s economy is about $67 billion, the volcano at the Hawaii Volcano National Park produces about 6.4 billion cubic feet of lava per day and the 100-acre Molokai Irrigation System reservoir has a storage capacity of 1.2 billion gallons.  But if we want to see 50 percent of Molokai that is dry almost all year round to green up, it will require 389.6 billion gallons of water per year.  That is because Molokai has the highest recorded annual average pan evaporation rate in the state, at 118 inches per year according to historic data in DNLR reference “Pan Evaporation: State of Hawaii 1894-1983.”  Following Molokai, there are sites on Hawaii Island with 108 inches, Maui with 99 inches, Oahu and Kauai with 98 inches per year.…

Mana`e Moku Community Meeting

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Community Contributed

By Walter Ritte, Aha Kiole Planning and Consultation

The second meeting regarding the Mana`e Watershed Plan, which calls for extensive fencing of our mountains from Kapualei to Halawa, will be held Friday, Oct. 25. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Kilohana.

The first Mana`e Moku meeting was well-attended, and presentations were made explaining that the government and private landowners have formed a partnership to manage our mountains. A draft plan has been submitted and now community participation and input is needed.

The draft plan calls for the “improvement and protection of the existing watershed” in our mountains, relying on fencing as the primary solution.…

A Return to Konohiki

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Community-based proposal to manage Hawaii’s resources

Last month in Kalaupapa, the state-mandated Aha Moku Advisory Council presented a plan that could change the way natural resources are managed in Hawaii. The plan calls for a return to the konihiki system, in which those knowledgeable about the ways of the ocean set guidelines for marine food gathering using traditional Hawaiian methods.

“The Aha Moku is set up to look at evolving power back to the communities as far as resource management,” said Sen. Kalani English, who was among a handful of legislators who attended the Kalaupapa gathering. “How do we do that within state law… that’s what we’re figuring out.”

The konohiki were those in ancient Hawaii who continued teaching, assessing and learning generationally in an unbroken line of distinguished performance outcomes, according to the Aha Moku’s konohiki initiative.…

Global Land and Water Issues Hit Home

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

A community discussion held last Monday about how the world is handling its natural resources lead to call for unity after an emotionally charged debate arose over agricultural corporations and their use of land and water on Molokai.

The event, hosted by the University of Hawaii (UH), gathered a panel guests from the UH and across the globe to hold a week-long series of public discussions in Honolulu and on Molokai about natural resource security and appropriation on a local and worldwide scale. Molokai was their first stop.

“When we think about the kinds of impacts that humans have had on the planet in the last 50 years, it is more damaging than any other period in human history,” said Noe Goodyear-Ka`opua, a professor from the UH Political Science Department.…

Rising from the Rocks

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Rising from the Rocks

Native plants making a comeback

Editorial by Catherine Cluett

We’re bumping along a rocky track, ascending steeply through a landscape some would call lunar. Ahead of us is mostly gray—Kawela’s barren, stony slopes and gulches, topped by a thin line of green where the mountaintops meet the sky. But I can’t help turning in my seat of our all-terrain vehicle toward the view behind us—each bump expands a breathtaking panorama of Maui to the east, Lanai’s slender back, the turquoise fingers of Molokai’s south shore reef, and the slopes of Pu`u Nana to Molokai’s west.

In the years before European contact in the 19th century, these mountainsides were covered in lowland forests, according to historic records.…

Backyard Gardens, New Thinking

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

We have so many problems. Write down a list of the world’s most pressing problems and it will become clear that things are dangerously close to more widespread pain and suffering. Global warming, drought, flooding, starvation and warfare are increasing. Agriculture is the world’s biggest polluter in the form of soil erosion and pesticide and herbicide use.  But on the other hand, there’s a new kind of thinking out there that latches on to a certain kind of change and it’s called quantum physics. This new way of thinking is even favorably affecting farming methods and what to do with profits. …

Dream Green Team

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Talking trash isn’t usually a good thing, but a small team in Kalaupapa is changing the way people think about rubbish with their award winning solid waste management program. The Kalaupapa National Historical Park (KNHP) Green Team, comprised of five local Molokai employees, has received national recognition for the work they’re doing to make the peninsula a statewide model of waste management.

The team — Arthur Ainoa, Joseph Kahee, Brennan Lee-Namakaeha, Pa`oneakai Lee-Namakaeha, and Ryan Mahiai — has recently been named one of seven recipients of the National Park Service’s 2013 Environmental Achievement awards. The award recognizes their accomplishment of drastically reducing the peninsula’s solid waste through recycling, composting, conserving and reusing.…

A Decade of Environmental Leadership

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

A Decade of Environmental Leadership

As a child, Uncle Mac Poepoe fondly remembers fishing down at Mo`omomi Beach with family and friends, but as time passed, he began seeing the area increasingly populated with unfamiliar boats and people, over-fishing in its waters.

“I said, ‘Hey we’ve got to do something about this because if this continues, we’re not going to have many fish left for ourselves,’” said Poepoe.

He came together with a group of Molokai fishermen and community members who decided they needed more public input as to how environmental resources are managed.

Nearly 20 years later, his efforts have spread statewide. With the help of Kua`aina Ulu `Auamo (KUA)—formerly known as the Hawaiian Community Stewardship Network—a community-based management network formed incorporating more than 25 communities statewide dedicated to restore and sustain their environmental heritage.…

Partnering for Preservation

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Partnering for Preservation

Protecting Molokai’s Watersheds

An understanding of the connections between mountains and ocean — mauka and makai — is rooted in ancient Hawaiian culture. Today, invasive species and human impacts are threatening to clog Molokai’s reef — the most extensive coral reef in the Main Hawaiian Islands — with sediment washed down from the mountain slopes. Today, scientists are doing studies to provide proof of this evidence and offer their data to help find solutions. And today, Molokai residents are meeting together to discuss those solutions and taking action to protect the island’s most valuable resources — both the mountains and the ocean.…

Awards for Landscape Sustainability

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Awards for Landscape Sustainability

LICH News Release

The first landscape sustainability award in Hawaii is being held to showcase landscape projects that are in harmony with the natural environment, resulting in ecological regeneration with improved social and public health outcomes. The awards are being organized by the Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii (LICH) and entries are being accepted online at hawaiiscape.com/awards until August 30.

A big part of sustainable landscapes is incorporating cultural techniques for land management — a form of cultural sustainability, and Molokai has a strong history of understanding the importance and value of cultural landscapes and fighting to preserve what makes Molokai so special, according to LICH president Chris Dacus.…