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Nā Kilo ʻĀina: Visions of Biocultural Restoration through Indigenous Relationships between People and Place
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle

ʻĀina Momona, Honua Au Loli—Productive Lands, Changing World: Using the Hawaiian Footprint to Inform Biocultural Restoration and Future Sustainability in Hawai‘i

The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3420; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103420
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 21 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
Pre-Western-contact Hawai‘i stands as a quintessential example of a large human population that practiced intensive agriculture, yet minimally affected native habitats that comprised the foundation of its vitality. An explicit geospatial footprint of human-transformed areas across the pre-contact Hawaiian archipelago comprised less than 15% of total land area, yet provided 100% of human needs, supporting a thriving Polynesian society. A post-contact history of disruption of traditional land use and its supplanting by Western land tenure and agriculture culminated in a landscape less than 250 years later in which over 50% of native habitats have been lost, while self-sufficiency has plummeted to 15% or less. Recapturing the ‘āina momona (productive lands) of ancient times through biocultural restoration can be accomplished through study of pre-contact agriculture, assessment of biological and ecological changes on Hawaiian social-ecological systems, and conscious planned efforts to increase self-sufficiency and reduce importation. Impediments include the current tourism-based economy, competition from habitat-modifying introduced species, a suite of agricultural pests severely limiting traditional agriculture, and climate changes rendering some pre-contact agricultural centers suboptimal. Modified methods will be required to counteract these limitations, enhance biosecurity, and diversify agriculture, without further degrading native habitats, and recapture a reciprocal Hawaiian human-nature relationship. View Full-Text
Keywords: human land use footprint; traditional ecological knowledge; biocultural restoration; social-ecological system; Hawaiian Islands; biocapacity; sustainability human land use footprint; traditional ecological knowledge; biocultural restoration; social-ecological system; Hawaiian Islands; biocapacity; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gon, S.M.; Tom, S.L.; Woodside, U. ʻĀina Momona, Honua Au Loli—Productive Lands, Changing World: Using the Hawaiian Footprint to Inform Biocultural Restoration and Future Sustainability in Hawai‘i. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3420.

AMA Style

Gon SM, Tom SL, Woodside U. ʻĀina Momona, Honua Au Loli—Productive Lands, Changing World: Using the Hawaiian Footprint to Inform Biocultural Restoration and Future Sustainability in Hawai‘i. Sustainability. 2018; 10(10):3420.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gon, Samuel M.; Tom, Stephanie L.; Woodside, Ulalia. 2018. "ʻĀina Momona, Honua Au Loli—Productive Lands, Changing World: Using the Hawaiian Footprint to Inform Biocultural Restoration and Future Sustainability in Hawai‘i" Sustainability 10, no. 10: 3420.

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