Seminar: Agri/cultural justice: Changing land use and water rights in Maui

January 24, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mānoa Campus, 443b Saunders Hall

This is a public seminar from Dr. Chris Knudson, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona, School of Geography & Development

After centuries of holding water rights on Maui, sugar companies reaped their last harvest in December 2016. This decline and cessation of sugar production has raised questions of how the great amounts of water the companies no longer need should be allocated: whether the companies can put the water towards other uses, or whether there will be sufficient water for cultural and ecological purposes in keeping with the public trust principles in the State Water Code. The water conflicts that have been playing out in a range of legal venues – from the Hawaii Supreme Court to the State Water Commission – have taken on broader significance, rooted as they are in the history of colonialism and unsettled questions of cultural rights to natural resources. In these conflicts, Native Hawaiians and environmental groups have formed alliances to push back on the powerful sugar companies. This talk examines the legal, cultural and political discourses that these groups are articulating. And it examines the work of those on Maui striving for a just transition from the monopoly use of water to an inclusive and diversified agricultural landscape.

Event Sponsor
Geography & Environment, Mānoa Campus

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