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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

  • ‘Vegan leather’ study by students gains international attention September 12, 2020
    Fashion design and merchandising students received ITAA’s 2020 Paper of Distinction Award for their sustainable material discoveries. The post ‘Vegan leather’ study by students gains international attention first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • Can aquaculture help repair Hawaiʻi’s economy? September 11, 2020
    A nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was awarded to the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture. The post Can aquaculture help repair Hawaiʻi’s economy? first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • $510K to research climate impacts on Hawaiʻi fisheries August 27, 2020
    The PacIOOS Ocean Modeling Group was awarded $510,000 in grant funding by NOAA. The post 0K to research climate impacts on Hawaiʻi fisheries first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • Heʻeia Fishpond restoration, research continue with UH assistance August 25, 2020
    Building on a previous project which resulted in improvements to the ecosystem and the fishpond’s water quality by removing invasive red mangroves. The post Heʻeia Fishpond restoration, research continue with UH assistance first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • 1st taro genome assembly developed by researchers August 17, 2020
    UH Mānoa and UH Hilo researchers helped publish a study in the hopes of advancing the fight against an infectious disease that wipes out taro. The post 1st taro genome assembly developed by researchers first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • $1.5M to help Native Hawaiian students in agriculture and sustainability August 14, 2020
    Programs at nine UH campuses will increase opportunities for Native Hawaiian students. The post .5M to help Native Hawaiian students in agriculture and sustainability first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • UH energy simulation aims to save money for residents, home builders August 11, 2020
    The research will help Hawaiʻi developers, builders and residents identify energy-saving strategies to cut energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. The post UH energy simulation aims to save money for residents, home builders first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.
  • UH Hilo expertise critical to native forest restoration bill July 29, 2020
    The bill would allow private landowners to receive reduced property tax rates for native forest restoration on Hawaiʻi Island. The post UH Hilo expertise critical to native forest restoration bill first appeared on University of Hawaiʻi System News.

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

Journal publishes largest collection of scientific publications by Native Hawaiians

February 11, 2019

Biocultural restoration in Limahuli Valley, Hāʻena, Kauaʻi (Photo credit: Kim S. Rogers)

An interdisciplinary group of researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi teamed up with colleagues from other universities and several Native Hawaiian communities to compile conservation findings in a special issue of Sustainability that will be the largest collection of scientific publications made by Native Hawaiians. The group’s work focuses on biocultural restoration in Hawaiʻi.

The work collectively highlights Hawaiʻi as a global leader in the realm of biocultural restoration and aims to influence policy both locally and internationally. Read the full story at http://go.hawaii.edu/tDG

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Last modified: September 17, 2020
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