Through research, restoration of agro-ecological sites, and a renaissance of cultural awareness in Hawaiʻi, there has been a growing recognition of the ingenuity of the Hawaiian biocultural resource management system. The contemporary term for this system, “the ahupuaʻa system”, does not accurately convey the nuances of system function, and it inhibits an understanding about the complexity of the system’s management. We examined six aspects of the Hawaiian biocultural resource management system to understand its framework for systematic management. Based on a more holistic understanding of this system’s structure and function, we introduce the term, “the moku system”, to describe the Hawaiian biocultural resource management system, which divided large islands into social-ecological regions and further into interrelated social-ecological communities. This system had several social-ecological zones running horizontally across each region, which divided individual communities vertically while connecting them to adjacent communities horizontally; and, thus, created a mosaic that contained forested landscapes, cultural landscapes, and seascapes, which synergistically harnessed a diversity of ecosystem services to facilitate an abundance of biocultural resources. “The moku system”, is a term that is more conducive to large-scale biocultural restoration in the contemporary period, while being inclusive of the smaller-scale divisions that allowed for a highly functional system.
Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) around the world are increasingly asserting 'Indigenous agency' to engage with government institutions and other partners to collaboratively steward ancestral Places. Case studies in Hawai'i suggest that 'community-driven collaborative management' is a viable and robust pathway for IPLCs to lead in the design of a shared vision, achieve conservation targets, and engage government institutions and other organisations in caring for and governing biocultural resources and associated habitats. This paper articulates key forms of Indigenous agency embodied within Native Hawaiian culture, such as kua'āina, hoa'āina, and the interrelated values of aloha 'āina, mālama 'āina, and kia'i 'āina. We also examine how Hawai'i might streamline the pathways to equitable and productive collaborative partnerships through: (1) a better understanding of laws protecting Indigenous rights and practices; (2) recognition of varied forms of Indigenous agency; and (3) more deliberate engagement in the meaningful sharing of power. We contend that these partnerships can directly achieve conservation and sustainability goals while transforming scientific fields such as conservation biology by redefining research practices and underlying norms and beliefs in Places stewarded by IPLCs. Further, collaborative management can de-escalate conflicts over access to, and stewardship of, resources by providing IPLCs avenues to address broader historical legacies of environmental and social injustice while restoring elements of selfgovernance. To these ends, we propose that government agencies proactively engage with IPLCs to expand the building of comprehensive collaborative management arrangements. Hawai'i provides an example for how this can be achieved.
The Circular Economy is gaining traction in the European Union and all over the world as a transition away from the extractive and exploitative linear economy. In Hawaiʻi, the cultural value of aloha ʻāina is a philosophy describing a set of values grounded in a relationship of kinship between people and the environment. Aloha ʻĀina structured centuries of sustainability and it has evolved over generations to frame community responses to crucial issues today, such as climate change, oligopolistic markets, and contemporary land management. This paper sits at the intersection of cross-disciplinary collaboration, sustainability, and sustainable development. Participative moderate observations and intentional cross-cultural exchanges of knowledge over five years between scholars and experts in the major fields of indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and industrial ecology inspired the concepts explored in this paper, which address the question of how aloha ʻāina and the Circular Economy can engage with each other in the collective effort to combat climate change, guide sustainable development efforts, and transition societies toward sustainability. Extensive literature reviews and insight gained through site visits to sustainability projects inform the discussion of best practices from opposite parts of the globe—Hawaiʻi and Germany—to put into conversation two worldviews and present resulting implications and lessons learned. Essential findings describe the benefits of knowledge exchange between members of global practitioner networks. By shifting expert and participant roles according to which projects are being observed, cross-cultural characteristics can be explored at a deeper level, which allow participants to employ best practices to their respective theories. The Circular Economy’s engagement with indigenous knowledge systems is an opportunity to ally and produce solutions to the challenges associated with changing the linear economy while addressing both environmental and social justice issues.
Accounts of the Hawaiian Kingdom (1810-1893) have typically argued that since the "discovery" of 1778, the islands have been progressively colonized-as if the first footfall of Captain James Cook set off a sequence of inevitable events that led to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893 and annexation by the United States in 1898. The Hawaiian Kingdom has been categorized as a colonial institution, where ali'i (native Hawaiian chiefs) were steadily duped by the invasion of Western people, ideas and institutions. This paper challenges such interpretations through a situated study of the first large-scale body of written law authored entirely in the Hawaiian language and passed by Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III) in June 1839. This paper also challenges a colonial analysis of the Hawaiian Kingdom prior to 1893, and argues that ali'i such as Kauikeaouli selectively appropriated aspects of Euro-American legal frameworks and used them for their own means.
We were sitting at a stunningly beautiful round table, made out of what looked to be a six-inch thick slab of koa. The wood grain was so spectacular that I inched my dinner plate over a bit so I could admire the pattern. Usually held at the second or third home of a one-percenter, such gatherings have never been entirely comfortable for me. I start feeling uneasy when security for the gated community grants me entrance. The food is usually good, and the con versations can be engaging enough to keep my interest. The problem is that I just can't get past this lingering disquiet-one difficult to describe, but what I will call a feeling of inequity. That night there was so much to look at. Stunning ocean views. A picturesque sunset. An infinity pool. And a front door that probably cost as much as the down payment on my house. Yet this was supposed to be a chance to gather insight and perspective from a person with national networks and powerful government con tacts who might assist us in reaching our last fundraising goal for a project. When I mentioned "ecological peace and social justice," and said that "we want to advance aloha ʻāina as a way of being for the world," 1 the expression on the face of our hoped-for comrade abruptly changed. So as not to incriminate anyone involved, let me just say that our proposal was not embraced-although we eventually did find the needed support. But inching toward transparency, I will report that I was suddenly defending myself against allegations that I was trying to take society back into a past where we lived in "grass huts" and survived "off of only the fish we caught. " Perhaps the most important lesson for me was how angrily some intelligent and decent Americans react to the idea that aloha ʻāina could shape our future. At that moment, I did not know that I would spend much of the next decade explain ing how aloha ʻāina could inform how we can envision and how we will operate our future economy. I had not even heard the term "circular economy" then, though the next few years of my professional career would take me on a voyage to where I can now clearly "see the island. " 2 But a colleague from the University of Augsburg, Germany saw it after my first presentation there. "This aloha ʻāina can help to save our world," he said. 3
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