A new issue of the journal Sustainability focuses on “Biocultural Restoration in Hawai‘i. Edited by BCIP faculty Kawika Winter and Noa Lincoln, along with Kevin Chang, the 14 papers in this issue 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.”
The conference will cover eighteen broad themes, each of which will be led by the author of a review on that theme:
What is the importance of islands to environmental conservation? – Prof. Christoph Kueffer, ETH Zurich & University of Applied Sciences Eastern Switzerland
How have humans changed island ecosystems through history? – Prof. Todd Braje, San Diego State University
What are the future challenges for island ecology and evolution? – Prof. Rosemary Gillespie, University of California, Berkeley
How can island conservation contribute to human wellbeing? – Dr Iris Monnereau, FAO
How are islands dealing with the challenge of balancing development with sustainability? – Prof. John Connell, University of Sydney
How can we incorporate the value of island environments into conservation? – Assoc. Prof. Kirsten Oleson, University of Hawaii Manoa
How can indigenous and local knowledge (ILK) be used to improve island environmental futures? – Assoc. Prof. Matthew Lauer, San Diego State University
How can we build island communities that are resilient to the impacts of climate change and environmental hazards? – Dr. Ilan Kelman, University College London & University of Agder, Kristianstand
What role can the humanities play in island conservation? – Emeritus Prof. Garry Trompf, University of Sydney
How does environmental governance on islands currently operate and what forms of governance produce the best outcomes? – Prof. Marion Glaser, ZMT, Bremen
How can we improve island conservation through integrated marine and terrestrial management? – Dr. Stacy Jupiter, WCS Melanesia
What is the current state of knowledge of island extinctions and how can this be used to set baselines for restoration? – Dr. Jamie Wood, Landcare Research, New Zealand
How well are island conservation issues addressed in international conventions and agreements? – Dr. Arthur Dahl, President International Environment Forum & Retired UNEP Deputy Assistant Executive Director
What have we learnt about invasive species on islands and what are the best strategies for dealing with them in the future? – Dr. James Russell, University of Auckland
What is the role of environmental education on islands? – Drs. Fumiyo Kagawa & David Selby, Sustainability Frontiers
How is climate affecting patterns of island migration? – Dr. Maxine Burkett, University of Hawaii Manoa
What are the links between human health and environmental conservation on islands? – Prof. Kerry Arabena, University of Melbourne
How do island sovereignty and conservation relate to each other? – Dr. Alex Mawyer, University of Hawaii Manoa
Review papers on each of these themes have been commissioned and will be published in Environmental Conservation prior to the conference. As papers are published they will be listed here.
Please join the Biocultural Initiative for a talk by visiting scholars Priscilla Wehi and Hemi Whaanga, followed by a conversation over lunch (feel free to bring your lunch).
Pre European contact Māori culture had a strongly developed tradition of oral literature, and whakataukī (sayings passed down through the generations) enjoyed wide currency. Whakataukī provide an enduring record of tribal memory and represent an important method for transmitting critical information about aspects of life, society and the environment. However, their meanings may not be apparent without knowing the societal, historical, cultural and linguistic context out of which they emerged. Such codified knowledge depends on language use and structure as a key mechanism for cultural transmission.
In this research, together with our collaborators Tom Roa (University of Waikato) and Murray Cox (Massey University) we have identified linguistic markers and principles of textual reconstruction to derive time estimated patterns of knowledge embedded in this form of oral tradition. Our primary dataset of c.4,000 versions of whakataukī is drawn from collections published after European arrival ca. 200 years ago. We indicate the kinds of ecological information available. We will discuss how whakataukī shed light on the connections between humans and their environment that transcend prosaic uses, and illuminate deeper social and behavioural engagement with their surrounding environment.
Bio – Dr Priscilla Wehi
Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua, NZ
Priscilla Wehi is a conservation biologist at New Zealand’s government institute for terrestrial ecology, Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua. She is a 2014-2020 Rutherford Discovery Fellow with interests in biocultural diversity and stable isotope ecology. She completed degrees in Zoology and Animal Ecology, before finishing her PhD in 2006 at the University of Waikato on traditional resource management of harakeke by Māori. Cilla currently works on aspects of human-nature relationships, including past, present and future indigenous resource management, and socio-ecological relationships with introduced species that challenge native ecosystems. She is a mother to three young adults, and is related to Tainui, Tūhoe and Ngāpuhi through marriage.
Bio – Dr Hēmi Whaanga
School of Maori and Pacific Development, University of Waikato, NZ
Hēmi is a linguist and senior research fellow in Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao (The Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies) at the University of Waikato, Aotearoa / New Zealand. Hēmi finished a BA in Māori language in 1996, before completing a Masters degree that analysed Māori language structure and the teaching of Māori language. His 2006 PhD investigated discourse relationships between different language elements in Māori. He has worked as a project leader and researcher on a range of projects centred on the revitalisation and protection of Māori language and knowledge. He affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu and has two daughters with his wife Katrina.
The UH Biocultural Initiative of the Pacific is sponsoring this symposium bringing together traditional knowledge holders, guardians of sacred lands, natural scientists, academics and protected area managers. Discussions will focus on specific places and issues organized around three domains: lands, seas and skies. The goal of the symposium is to highlight possibilities for growing collaboration, mutual understanding and better protection of biodiversity, indigenous land rights and sacred natural sites and territories.
Whether perceived through the lens of science or the sacred, nature’s spaces and cultural diversity alike face tremendous threats and now more then ever we need innovative approaches, new thinking, and concerted efforts to provide creative solutions. Enhancing and fostering dialogue between different epistemic communities, different ways of thinking about and approaching western science, tradition and the sacred is the goal. A concluding roundtable and open-room dialogue will raise the meaning of the day’s conversations for our work as scientists and scholars, will inform the policies at our university, and will help clarify the research goals and directions of our community of teachers and learners.