Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

ʻĀina Momona, Honua Au Loli: Productive Lands, Changing World Combining Models of the Human Ecological Footprint with Traditional Knowledge to Inform Future Sustainability in Hawaiʻi

Version 1 : Received: 2 August 2018 / Approved: 2 August 2018 / Online: 2 August 2018 (08:55:49 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Gon III, 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. Gon III, 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.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2018, 10, 3420
DOI: 10.3390/su10103420

Abstract

Pre-Western contact Hawaiʻi stands as a quintessential sustainability example of a large human population that practiced intensive agriculture, yet minimally displaced 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 Hawaiian land-use and its supplanting by Western land tenure and agriculture based on ranching, sugarcane, and pineapple, culminated in a landscape, in which over 50% of native habitats have been lost, while self-sufficiency has plummeted to 15% or less. Recapturing the ʻāina momona (productive lands) of ancient times can be accomplished through study of pre-contact agriculture, assessment of biological and ecological changes imposed 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 changes in climate rendering some pre-contact agricultural centers suboptimal. Modified agricultural methods will be required to counteract these limitations, and diversified agriculture to broaden the production base, without contributing to further degradation of native habitats.

Subject Areas

human ecological footprint; traditional ecological knowledge; biocultural restoration; social-ecological system; Hawaiian islands

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