Sustainability

Planting Seeds for the Future

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Before Western contact, Native Hawaiians were able to feed a population of one million while following a sustainable way of life, according to the documentary, “Na Kupu Mana`olana — Seeds of Hope.” But in the last 50 years alone, half of Hawaiian farmland has been developed and today, 85 percent of the state’s food is imported.

“We are currently in a crisis,” said Robert Harris, director of Sierra Club Hawaii, in the documentary.

The film, produced by The Hawaii Rural Development Council (HRDC), premiered on Molokai at Kalaniana`ole Hall Saturday night. It highlighted the state’s agricultural evolution and the unsustainable challenges we’re currently facing as a community.…

The Poop Scoop

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

What happens after you flush

You flush your toilet an average of five times per day, but have you ever wondered what happens once it leaves the porcelain throne? By the time it reaches the end of the sewer line and completes a lengthy purifying process, not only is your wastewater cleaner than it started, but one more thing is clear. The wastewater facility workers who sort through the thick of it, surface with this message: If you think you can dispose of your strangest unmentionables down the drain, you’re wrong.

“There are no secrets. If you flush it down the toilet, we see it,” said Guy Joao, an operator at the Kaunakakai Wastewater Reclamation Facility.…

Molokai Represented at World Wilderness Congress

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Molokai Represented at World Wilderness Congress

Community Contributed

By Maile Naehu

Photo courtesy of Maile Naehu

Recently my husband Hano and I were invited to be delegates at the 10th World Wilderness Congress, or “Wild 10.” As we prepared for a presentation on Ocean Resource Management emphasizing fishponds, we had no idea what was in store of us in Salamanca, Spain.

On Oct. 1, we left our humble home to embark on a day and a half journey to Europe where the oldest university on the planet calls home. We arrived to a primarily Spanish speaking land until we met up with the other thousand or so delegates from around the globe.…

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.

Panorama from about 3,000 ft. elevation showing Maui on the left, Kaho`olawe, Lanai in the center, and Molokai’s south shore reef.…

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.…