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Special Issue "Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Kawika B. Winter

National Tropical Botanical Garden; Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: social-ecological system theory; biocultural conservation
Guest Editor
Dr. Kevin Chang

Kua'aina Ulu Auamo (KUA), Kane'ohe, HI 96744, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental law and policy; social movement networks
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: indigenous cropping systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hawaiʻi has been a regional leader in biocultural restoration as it is home to many projects which aim at restoring the health and function of systems that exist in the confluence of nature and humanity.  In this endeavor, there have been multifaceted approaches to facilitating the return to a state of perpetual resource abundance, known in the Hawaiian language as ʻāina momona. Several of the more successful attempts in this movement have merged both ancestral and contemporary science, technology, and philosophy to inform adaptive practices in multiple fields as a means to build projects, programs, and initiatives.

In this Special Issue, we will highlight viable models in the larger effort to restore ʻāina momona, with some focus on the management of forest, streams, nearshore fisheries, traditional crop diversity, traditional food systems, and health and wellness; as well as the legal and policy steps needed to build a foundation that can facilitate this change. We want to emphasize the biocultural foundation in social-ecological system theory; and the manners in which restoration of biocultural diversity, along with the health/function of social-ecological systems, can be founded in cultural values and aligned with community priorities. Manuscripts focusing on biocultural restoration in Hawaiʻi will be accepted for consideration.

Purpose and strategic opportunity:

  • Highlight the cutting-edge work that is happening in Hawaiʻi
  • Provide references for biocultural restoration policy and research in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Region
  • Collectively raise the conversation regarding mālama ʻāina in Hawaiʻi
  • Raise up some of Hawaiʻi’s “thought leaders” on this front (via publishing and editing)

○ Tenure track professors
Mālama ʻĀina professionals
○ Network hubs

  • Give voice to elders and those who follow in their footsteps
  • Connect research to on the ground community relevance

Dr. Kawika B. Winter
Dr. Kevin Chang
Prof. Dr. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • co-management
  • tradition ecological knowledge
  • traditional resource management
  • social-ecological system

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Hawai‘i in Focus: Navigating Pathways in Global Biocultural Leadership
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010283
Received: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
As an introduction to the special issue on “Biocultural Restoration in Hawai‘i,” this manuscript provides background for term ‘biocultural restoration,’ and contextualizes it within the realms of scholarship and conservation. It explores two key themes related to the topic. First, “Earth as Island, [...] Read more.
As an introduction to the special issue on “Biocultural Restoration in Hawai‘i,” this manuscript provides background for term ‘biocultural restoration,’ and contextualizes it within the realms of scholarship and conservation. It explores two key themes related to the topic. First, “Earth as Island, Island as Earth,” scales up an island-borne concept of sustainability into a global context. Second, “Hawai‘i as a Biocultural Leader,” examines the reasons behind the global trend of looking to the most isolated landmass on the planet for solutions to global sustainability issues. We conclude by summarizing the content of the special issue and pointing out the historic nature of its publication. It is the largest collection to date of scientific papers authored by Native Hawaiians and kama‘āina (Hawai‘i-grown) scholars, and more than 50% of both lead and total authorship are women. This Special Issue, therefore, represents a big step forward for under-represented demographics in science. It also solidifies, as embodied in many of the papers in this Special Issue, indigenous methodologies that prioritize working relationships and practical applications by directly involving those on the front lines of biocultural conservation and restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Kū Hou Kuapā: Cultural Restoration Improves Water Budget and Water Quality Dynamics in Heʻeia Fishpond
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010161
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In Hawaiʻi, the transition from customary subsistence flooded taro agroecosystems, which regulate stream discharge rate trapping sediment and nutrients, to a plantation-style economy (c. the 1840s) led to nearshore sediment deposition—smothering coral reefs and destroying adjacent coastal fisheries and customary fishpond mariculture. To [...] Read more.
In Hawaiʻi, the transition from customary subsistence flooded taro agroecosystems, which regulate stream discharge rate trapping sediment and nutrients, to a plantation-style economy (c. the 1840s) led to nearshore sediment deposition—smothering coral reefs and destroying adjacent coastal fisheries and customary fishpond mariculture. To mitigate sediment transport, Rhizophora mangle was introduced in estuaries across Hawaiʻi (c. 1902) further altering fishpond ecosystems. Here, we examine the impact of cultural restoration between 2012–2018 at Heʻeia Fishpond, a 600–800-year-old walled fishpond. Fishpond water quality was assessed by calculating water exchange rates, residence times, salinity distribution, and abundance of microbial indicators prior to and after restoration. We hypothesized that R. mangle removal and concomitant reconstruction of sluice gates would increase mixing and decrease bacterial indicator abundance in the fishpond. We find that Heʻeia Fishpond’s physical environment is primarily tidally driven; wind forcing and river water volume flux are secondary drivers. Post-restoration, two sluice gates in the northeastern region account for >80% of relative water volume flux in the fishpond. Increase in water volume flux exchange rates during spring and neap tide and shorter minimum water residence time corresponded with the reconstruction of a partially obstructed 56 m gap together with the installation of an additional sluice gate in the fishpond wall. Lower mean salinities post-restoration suggests that increased freshwater water volume influx due to R. mangle removal. Spatial distribution of microbial bio-indicator species was inversely correlated with salinity. Average abundance of Enterococcus and Bacteroidales did not significantly change after restoration efforts, however, average abundance of a biomarker specific to birds nesting in the mangroves decreased significantly after restoration. This study demonstrates the positive impact of biocultural restoration regimes on water volume flux into and out of the fishpond, as well as water quality parameters, encouraging the prospect of revitalizing this and other culturally and economically significant sites for sustainable aquaculture in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle Biocultural Restoration of Traditional Agriculture: Cultural, Environmental, and Economic Outcomes of Lo‘i Kalo Restoration in He‘eia, O‘ahu
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124502
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 24 November 2018 / Accepted: 25 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2343 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There are growing efforts around the world to restore biocultural systems that produce food while also providing additional cultural and ecological benefits. Yet, there are few examples of integrated assessments of these efforts, impeding understanding of how they can contribute to multi-level sustainability [...] Read more.
There are growing efforts around the world to restore biocultural systems that produce food while also providing additional cultural and ecological benefits. Yet, there are few examples of integrated assessments of these efforts, impeding understanding of how they can contribute to multi-level sustainability goals. In this study, we collaborated with a community-based non-profit in He‘eia, O‘ahu to evaluate future scenarios of traditional wetland and flooded field system agriculture (lo‘i kalo; taro fields) restoration in terms of locally-relevant cultural, ecological, and economic outcomes as well as broader State of Hawai‘i sustainability goals around food, energy, and water. Families participating in the biocultural restoration program described a suite of community and cultural benefits stemming from the process of restoration, including enhanced social connections, cultural (re)connections to place, and physical and mental well-being, which inspired their sustained participation. We also found benefits in terms of local food production that have the potential to provide economic returns and energy savings over time, particularly when carried out through a hybrid non-profit and family management model. These benefits were coupled with potential changes in sediment and nutrient retention with implications for water quality and the health of an important downstream fish pond (loko i‘a) and coral reef social-ecological system. Compared with the current land cover (primarily invasive grasses), results suggest that full restoration of lo‘i kalo would decrease sediment export by ~38%, but triple nitrogen export due to organic fertilizer additions. However, compared with an urban scenario, there were clear benefits of agricultural restoration in terms of reduced nitrogen and sediment runoff. In combination, our results demonstrate that a biocultural approach can support the social and financial sustainability of agricultural systems that provide multiple benefits valued by the local community and non-profit while also contributing to statewide sustainability goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle Restoration of ‘Āina Malo‘o on Hawai‘i Island: Expanding Biocultural Relationships
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3985; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113985
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 21 October 2018 / Accepted: 23 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3928 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Before European contact, Native Hawaiian agriculture was highly adapted to place and expressed a myriad of forms. Although the iconic lo‘i systems (flooded irrigated terraces) are often portrayed as traditional Hawaiian agriculture, other forms of agriculture were, in sum, arguably more important. While [...] Read more.
Before European contact, Native Hawaiian agriculture was highly adapted to place and expressed a myriad of forms. Although the iconic lo‘i systems (flooded irrigated terraces) are often portrayed as traditional Hawaiian agriculture, other forms of agriculture were, in sum, arguably more important. While pockets of traditional agricultural practices have persevered over the 240 years since European arrival, the revival of indigenous methods and crops has substantially increased since the 1970s. While engagement in lo‘i restoration and maintenance has been a core vehicle for communication and education regarding Hawaiian culture, it does not represent the full spectrum of Hawaiian agriculture and, on the younger islands of Hawai‘i and Maui in particular, does not accurately represent participants’ ancestral engagement with ‘āina malo‘o (dry land, as opposed to flooded lands). These “dryland” forms of agriculture produced more food than lo‘i, especially on the younger islands, were used to produce a broader range of resource crops such as for fiber, timber, and medicine, were more widespread across the islands, and formed the economic base for the powerful Hawai‘i Island chiefs who eventually conquered the archipelago. The recent engagement in the restoration of these forms of agriculture on Hawai‘i Island, compared to the more longstanding efforts to revive lo‘i-based cultivation, is challenging due to highly eroded knowledge systems. However, their restoration highlights the high level of place-based adaptation, demonstrates the scale and political landscape of pre-European Hawai‘i, and provides essential elements in supporting the restoration of Hawaiian culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle ‘Āina Kaumaha: The Maintenance of Ancestral Principles for 21st Century Indigenous Resource Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3975; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113975
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 25 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3941 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Globally, there is growing recongition of the essential role indigneous people have in biocultural conservation. However, there are few cases of applied indigenous resource management today, especially from the indigenous standpoint. In this paper, we provide an example of the maintenance and adaptation [...] Read more.
Globally, there is growing recongition of the essential role indigneous people have in biocultural conservation. However, there are few cases of applied indigenous resource management today, especially from the indigenous standpoint. In this paper, we provide an example of the maintenance and adaptation of an indigenous resource management system in Hawai‘i from the perspective of an instrumental ‘Ōiwi (Indigenous Hawaiian) social institution, Kamehameha Schools. Kamehameha Schools is not only the largest private landowner in Hawai‘i, but is uniquely tied to a lineage of traditional ali‘i (chiefs) resulting in present-day influence, decision-making authority, and wealth to fund a perpetual vision for its ancestral lands and communities. Notably, we share our journey from the perspective of indigenous resource managers, using the ‘Ōiwi methodology of mo‘okū‘auhau (genealogy and continuity) to guide our (re)discovery of what it means to steward in an indigenous way. First, we ground ourselves in ‘Ōiwi worldviews, recognizing our genealogical and reciprocal connections to ‘āina (land and sea). Then, we examine the functions of the traditional institution of the ali‘i and the chiefly principle of ‘āina kaumaha—a heavy obligation to steward the biocultural health of lands and seas in perpetuity. We detail how ‘āina kaumaha has manifested and transferred over generations, from traditional ali‘i to the royal Kamehameha line, to Kamehameha Schools as an ali‘i institution. Finally, we discuss how we endeavor to meet inherited obligations through Kamehameha Schools’ resource management approach today, which includes active stewardship of vast tracts of native ecosystems and Hawai‘i’s most important cultural sites, influencing biocultural well-being through representing ‘Ōiwi perspectives in diverse industries, and developing the next generation of ‘Ōiwi stewards. We provide a guide for indigenous organizations (re)defining their ancestral ways of stewardship, as well as for the many non-indigenous agencies with obligations to native lands and people today working to incorporate indigenous systems into their current management. Given that much of the world’s lands are indigenous spaces, we argue that the restoration of effective biocultural resource management systems worldwide requires the maintenance, and in some cases reestablishment, of indigenous institutions at multiple levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Breadfruit in Biocultural Restoration and Sustainability in Hawai‘i
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3965; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113965
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (980 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Hawaiian Islands today are faced with a complex mix of sustainability challenges regarding food systems. After European arrival, there was a change of dietary customs and decline in traditional Hawaiian agriculture along with the cultural mechanisms which sustained them. Recently, there has [...] Read more.
The Hawaiian Islands today are faced with a complex mix of sustainability challenges regarding food systems. After European arrival, there was a change of dietary customs and decline in traditional Hawaiian agriculture along with the cultural mechanisms which sustained them. Recently, there has been a resurgence for local food and culture alongside an enthusiasm for breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)—a Polynesian staple crop. To investigate the role of breadfruit and biocultural restoration in Hawai‘i, we conducted surveys and interviews with local breadfruit producers. Overall, we found that breadfruit has the potential to provide holistic, practical and appropriate solutions to key issues in Hawai‘i, including food security, environmental degradation and public health, while simultaneously lending to the revival of cultural norms and social relationships. As breadfruit cultivation expands rapidly in Hawai‘i, the opportunities for increased social and environmental benefits can be realized if appropriately encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle Ma Kahana ka ‘Ike: Lessons for Community-Based Fisheries Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3799; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103799
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 20 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indigenous and place-based communities worldwide have self-organized to develop effective local-level institutions to conserve biocultural diversity. How communities maintain and adapt these institutions over time offers lessons for fostering more balanced human–environment relationships—an increasingly critical need as centralized governance systems struggle to manage [...] Read more.
Indigenous and place-based communities worldwide have self-organized to develop effective local-level institutions to conserve biocultural diversity. How communities maintain and adapt these institutions over time offers lessons for fostering more balanced human–environment relationships—an increasingly critical need as centralized governance systems struggle to manage declining fisheries. In this study, we focus on one long-enduring case of local level fisheries management, in Kahana, on the most populated Hawaiian island of O‘ahu. We used a mixed-methods approach including in-depth interviews, archival research, and participation in community gatherings to understand how relationships with place and local governance have endured despite changes in land and sea tenure, and what lessons this case offers for other communities engaged in restoring local-level governance. We detail the changing role of konohiki (head fishermen) in modern times (1850–1965) when they were managing local fisheries, not just for local subsistence but for larger commercial harvests. We also highlight ways in which families are reclaiming their role as caretakers following decades of state mismanagement. Considerations for fisheries co-management emerging from this research include the importance of (1) understanding historical contexts for enhancing institutional fit, (2) enduring community leadership, (3) balancing rights and responsibilities, and (4) fostering community ability to manage coastal resources through both formal and informal processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle The Moku System: Managing Biocultural Resources for Abundance within Social-Ecological Regions in Hawaiʻi
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103554
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 1 October 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2961 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle Ritual + Sustainability Science? A Portal into the Science of Aloha
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103478
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 19 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we propose that spiritual approaches rooted in the practice of Hawai‘i ritual provide a powerful portal to revealing, supporting, and enhancing our collective aloha (love, fondness, reciprocity, as with a family member) for and dedication to the places and processes [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose that spiritual approaches rooted in the practice of Hawai‘i ritual provide a powerful portal to revealing, supporting, and enhancing our collective aloha (love, fondness, reciprocity, as with a family member) for and dedication to the places and processes that we steward. We provide a case study from Hawai‘i, where we, a group of conservation professionals known as Hālau ‘Ōhi’a, have begun to foster a collective resurgence of sacred commitment to the places and processes we steward through remembering and manifesting genealogical relationships to our landscapes through Indigenous Hawaiian ritual expression. We discuss how a ritual approach to our lands and seas makes us better stewards of our places, better members of our families and communities, and more fulfilled individuals. We assert that foundations of the spiritual and the sacred are required for effectively advancing the science of sustainability, the management of natural resources, and the conservation of nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle 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
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 20 September 2018 / Accepted: 21 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessArticle Nā Kilo ʻĀina: Visions of Biocultural Restoration through Indigenous Relationships between People and Place
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3368; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103368
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 20 September 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (256 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Within the realm of multifaceted biocultural approaches to restoring resource abundance, it is increasingly clear that resource-management strategies must account for equitable outcomes rooted in an understanding that biological and social-ecological systems are one. Here, we present a case study of the Nā [...] Read more.
Within the realm of multifaceted biocultural approaches to restoring resource abundance, it is increasingly clear that resource-management strategies must account for equitable outcomes rooted in an understanding that biological and social-ecological systems are one. Here, we present a case study of the Nā Kilo ʻĀina Program (NKA)—one approach to confront today’s complex social, cultural, and biological management challenges through the lens of biocultural monitoring, community engagement, and capacity building. Through a series of initiatives, including Huli ʻIa, Pilinakai, Annual Nohona Camps, and Kūkaʻi Laulaha International Exchange Program, NKA aims to empower communities to strengthen reciprocal pilina (relationships) between people and place, and to better understand the realistic social, cultural, and ecological needs to support ʻāina momona, a state of thriving, abundant and productive people and places. After 10 years of implementation, NKA has established partnerships with communities, state/federal agencies, and local schools across the Hawaiian Islands to address broader social and cultural behavior changes needed to improve resource management. Ultimately, NKA creates a platform to innovate local management strategies and provides key contributions to guiding broader indigenous-driven approaches to conservation that restore and support resilient social-ecological systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
Open AccessArticle The Social-Ecological Keystone Concept: A Quantifiable Metaphor for Understanding the Structure, Function, and Resilience of a Biocultural System
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3294; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093294
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 7 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Social-ecological system theory draws upon concepts established within the discipline of ecology, and applies them to a more holistic view of a human-in-nature system. We incorporated the keystone concept into social-ecological system theory, and used the quantum co-evolution unit (QCU) to quantify biocultural [...] Read more.
Social-ecological system theory draws upon concepts established within the discipline of ecology, and applies them to a more holistic view of a human-in-nature system. We incorporated the keystone concept into social-ecological system theory, and used the quantum co-evolution unit (QCU) to quantify biocultural elements as either keystone components or redundant components of social-ecological systems. This is done by identifying specific elements of biocultural diversity, and then determining dominance within biocultural functional groups. The “Hawaiian social-ecological system” was selected as the model of study to test this concept because it has been recognized as a model of human biocomplexity and social-ecological systems. Based on both quantified and qualified assessments, the conclusions of this research support the notion that taro cultivation is a keystone component of the Hawaiian social-ecological system. It further indicates that sweet potato cultivation was a successional social-ecological keystone in regions too arid to sustain large-scale taro cultivation, and thus facilitated the existence of an “alternative regime state” in the same social-ecological system. Such conclusions suggest that these biocultural practices should be a focal point of biocultural restoration efforts in the 21st century, many of which aim to restore cultural landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Open AccessCommunication Linking Land and Sea through Collaborative Research to Inform Contemporary applications of Traditional Resource Management in Hawai‘i
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3147; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093147
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (6070 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Across the Pacific Islands, declining natural resources have contributed to a cultural renaissance of customary ridge-to-reef management approaches. These indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCA) are initiated by local communities to protect natural resources through customary laws. To support these efforts, managers require [...] Read more.
Across the Pacific Islands, declining natural resources have contributed to a cultural renaissance of customary ridge-to-reef management approaches. These indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCA) are initiated by local communities to protect natural resources through customary laws. To support these efforts, managers require scientific tools that track land-sea linkages and evaluate how local management scenarios affect coral reefs. We established an interdisciplinary process and modeling framework to inform ridge-to-reef management in Hawai‘i, given increasing coastal development, fishing and climate change related impacts. We applied our framework at opposite ends of the Hawaiian Archipelago, in Hā‘ena and Ka‘ūpūlehu, where local communities have implemented customary resource management approaches through government-recognized processes to perpetuate traditional food systems and cultural practices. We identified coral reefs vulnerable to groundwater-based nutrients and linked them to areas on land, where appropriate management of human-derived nutrients could prevent increases in benthic algae and promote coral recovery from bleaching. Our results demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers, managers and community members. We discuss the lessons learned from our culturally-grounded, inclusive research process and highlight critical aspects of collaboration necessary to develop tools that can inform placed-based solutions to local environmental threats and foster coral reef resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview I Ke Ēwe ʻĀina o Ke Kupuna: Hawaiian Ancestral Crops in Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4607; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124607
Received: 19 August 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
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Abstract
Indigenous crops, tremendously valuable both for food security and cultural survival, are experiencing a resurgence in Hawaiʻi. These crops have been historically valued by agricultural researchers as genetic resources for breeding, while cultural knowledge, names, stories and practices persisted outside of formal educational [...] Read more.
Indigenous crops, tremendously valuable both for food security and cultural survival, are experiencing a resurgence in Hawaiʻi. These crops have been historically valued by agricultural researchers as genetic resources for breeding, while cultural knowledge, names, stories and practices persisted outside of formal educational and governmental institutions. In recent years, and following conflicts ignited over university research on and patenting of kalo (Hāloa, Colocasia esculenta), a wave of restoration activities around indigenous crop diversity, cultivation, and use has occurred through largely grassroots efforts. We situate four crops in Hawaiian cosmologies, review and compare the loss and recovery of names and cultivars, and describe present efforts to restore traditional crop biodiversity focusing on kalo, ʻuala (Ipomoea batatas), kō (Saccharum officinarum), and ʻawa (Piper methysticum). The cases together and particularly the challenges of kalo and ‘awa suggest that explicitly recognizing the sacred role such plants hold in indigenous worldviews, centering the crops’ biocultural significance, provides a foundation for better collaboration across multiple communities and institutions who work with these species. Furthermore, a research agenda that pursues a decolonizing approach and draws from more participatory methods can provide a path forward towards mutually beneficial exchange among research, indigenous, and farmer communities. We outline individual and institutional responsibilities relevant to work with indigenous crops and communities and offer this as a step towards reconciliation, understanding, and reciprocity that can ultimately work to create abundance through the restoration of ancestral crop cultivar diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Restoration in Hawaiʻi)
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Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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