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The University of Hawaiʻi integrates sustainability
across its Operations, Education, Research,
Campus & Community Engagement
and Cultural Connections.

Executive Policy 4.202

5 Pillars of Sustainability

Exploring the “meeting of wisdoms” between indigenous ancestral knowledge systems and western empirical sciences

Today, humanity is faced with planetary crises compounded by the disconnect between modern society and nature. We posit that these crises are rooted in the lack of understanding and engagement with deeper meaning and value of place.

Indigenous cultures and their systems and structures offer ways of thinking, being, and doing that can restore and sustain balance. An enriched sense of place offers both symbolic and empirical dividends to the communities it serves.

The vibrant Hawaiian culture that flourishes in harmony with the natural resources available to its people continues to offer a powerful and timely model for mutually beneficial relationships between human and natural systems in Hawaiʻi and the global community. Aloha ʻĀina invites innovation and creativity in our academic and scholarly enterprise to transform students and create engaged citizens who care for our people and our places in order to serve our islands and our planet.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is defined as “serving the needs of the present without jeopardizing the needs of the future.”

We refer to the principles of The Earth Charter which defines sustainability in all its dimensions: cultural, economic, environmental, and social.

We recognize the rich foundation of indigenous Hawaiian cultural values and knowledge, and seek to learn from this foundation in order to respond to climate change and sustainability challenges.

“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.”

– The Earth Charter

RSS News

  • Oʻahu marine protected areas offer limited protection of coral reef herbivorous fishes March 2, 2021
    Researchers found that of the four marine protected areas around Oʻahu, three did not provide biologically significant benefits for herbivorous fish populations. The post Oʻahu marine protected areas offer limited protection of coral reef herbivorous fishes first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • UH Mānoa net zero heroes improve energy efficiency, track progress March 2, 2021
    The Campus Operations Planning and Facilities team increases energy savings through infrastructure upgrades, moving the campus toward its net zero energy goal. The post UH Mānoa net zero heroes improve energy efficiency, track progress first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • UH Hilo alumnus, now employee thrives in agriculture February 25, 2021
    Caring mentors, philanthropist made Jake Rodrique’s career in agriculture possible. The post UH Hilo alumnus, now employee thrives in agriculture first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • Kapiʻolani CC, UH Mānoa co-host conference on racial, environmental justice February 17, 2021
    The virtual conference is free for all UH participants. The post Kapiʻolani CC, UH Mānoa co-host conference on racial, environmental justice first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • Coordinated architecture, urban planning courses receive national award February 11, 2021
    A set of courses in architecture, landscape architecture and urban and regional planning received the 2021 Course Development Prize in Architecture, Climate Change and Society. The post Coordinated architecture, urban planning courses receive national award first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • Climate change, bats linked to COVID-19 pandemic February 5, 2021
    Researchers found that the number of coronaviruses in an area is closely linked to the number of different bat species present. The post Climate change, bats linked to COVID-19 pandemic first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • ‘Niu’ initiative promotes food sustainability, Hawaiian cultural practices February 5, 2021
    Coconut seedlings help cultivate UH West Oʻahu’s Uluniu Project. The post ‘Niu’ initiative promotes food sustainability, Hawaiian cultural practices first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • $2M gift to develop local farmers, food supply January 31, 2021
    The gift supports GoFarm Hawaiʻi, one of the largest and most successful beginning farmer development programs in the nation. The post $2M gift to develop local farmers, food supply first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.

Sustainability, COVID-19 and more in UH Foundation magazine

May 13, 2020

“Our mission is to educate young people,” said MAʻO Organic Farms co-founder Kukui Maunakea-Forth, “to create a workforce and to create opportunities.” As Hawaiʻi embraces sustainable approaches to island living, problem-solvers bring forward advances in energy, agriculture and education; completely off-grid housing; and internships for careers in locally grown produce.

Also, the University of Hawaiʻi Office of Sustainability demonstrates what Hawaiʻi’s future can be. These stories, and UH’s many responses to the unpredictable flux of life during a pandemic, are highlighted in the spring 2020 issue of UH Magazine for alumni and friends.

Read the full story at: http://go.hawaii.edu/Ls3

Biocultural restoration of traditional agriculture contributes to Hawaiʻi’s sustainability goals

As part of the largest collection of scientific publications authored by Native Hawaiians that focuses on biocultural restoration in Hawaiʻi, an interdisciplinary research team from the University of Hawaiʻi at MānoaThe Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi (TNC) and the community-based non-profit Kakoʻo ʻŌiwidemonstrated how biocultural restoration of traditional agriculture (loʻi kalo) produces healthy local food, supports vibrant communities and provides clean water to downstream coral reef and fish pond ecosystems.

At the same time, the research team showed how such biocultural restoration efforts can significantly contribute to State of Hawaiʻi sustainability goals around local food production, carbon neutrality and ecosystem protection. Read full story at http://go.hawaii.edu/KRG

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Last modified: October 28, 2020
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