Podcast Highlights Sustainability on Molokai

By Jack Kiyonaga | Editor  

Hawaii Public Radio (HPR) launched a new podcast last month called “O ko makou Hawaii keia: This Is Our Hawaii.” It is HPR’s premiere “digital-first” podcast.

Episode four in the series is called, “On Molokai, sovereignty starts with food” and examines Molokai’s efforts to establish local food and resource sustainability. The episode features interviews with Molokai’s own Todd Yamashita and Malia Akutagawa. 

“Molokai’s story is a vital piece of this podcast because of how the tight-knit community has come together to focus on food sustainability and resource sovereignty — efforts that can be an example to the rest of the state of how Hawaiians and locals can have more of a say in the future of our ʻaina,” said Russell Subiono, host of “This Is Our Hawaii.” 

“This Is Our Hawaii” explores the legacy of large land ownership in Hawaii. As such, the Molokai episode also focuses on the ongoing conflict over Molokai Ranch and the recent work of the Molokai Heritage Trust. In the episode, Akutagawa and Yamashita explain their perspectives on how sovereignty and sustainability relate to land-back efforts. 

On a broader scale, this podcast series asks questions relevant to not only Molokai, but Hawaii as a whole: who owns the Hawaiian Islands? Who makes the rules? And why do so many local people feel left out? Host Subiono visited more distant communities on Hawaii Island, Molokai and Lanai to arrive at more holistic, representative answers to these questions. 

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“As a nonprofit presenter of stories, HPR continuously strives to uplift community voices. ‘This Is Our Hawaii’ seeks to uplift voices directly from people in remote communities in ways you may have never heard before. We invite anyone who has a deeper curiosity about Hawaii to listen to this podcast,” said HPR President and General Manager Jose A Fajardo.

The Molokai episode was released last Friday at midnight on major podcast platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Stitcher. 


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