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Article

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103420

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. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103420

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gon, Samuel M., Stephanie L. Tom, and Ulalia Woodside. 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. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103420

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