Lessons Learned From Loko I‘a Culture: How Hawaiian Ecological Knowledge Influences Environmental Policies
Lyles, Jillian Mariah
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The goal of this thesis is to better understand effective community-based governance initiatives through a case study of loko i‘a management in the State of Hawai‘i. Loko i‘a, or fishponds, are traditional aquaculture systems developed by ancient Hawaiians to sustainably farm and harvest finfish, invertebrates, and other nearshore marine species. An organization of loko i‘a practitioners, Hui Mālama Loko I‘a (HMLI) has been highly active in the management of loko i‘a and nearshore environment, having played a major role in the recent adoption of a more streamlined permitting system, implementing cultural best management practices, and advocating for fresh water rights for traditional and customary practices. Through an analysis of HMLI’s organizational culture, this study examines how the organization influences environmental policies. The study attributed HMLI’s effectiveness to the organization’s dominant culture (clan culture), the members shared history, the role of facilitation played, support of partner groups, and the organizations enriched understanding of the environment. Based on these factors, it is recommended that HMLI be involved in a formal role in order to sustainably manage the coastal environment in Hawai‘i.
- Marine affairs