Sustainable Hawai‘i

Sustainable Hawai‘i featured image

The Trust for Public Land’s vision for Hawai‘i is ‘āina momona – islands that are self-sufficient and abundant, with the ability to feed and nourish our people and provide ample clean water for the future.

Although Hawai‘i was once self-sufficient, feeding a population estimated at one million, we now import 90% of our food. Studies have shown that a major barrier to improving Hawai‘i’s food security is access to land, yet agricultural land in Hawai‘i is being sold for development without regard to the effects on our community’s ability to grow its own food to nourish and sustain our people. Most farmers cannot afford to purchase land in Hawai‘i, where the price of agricultural land often has no relation to the land’s true agricultural value and financial return. By working with private landowners to conserve working lands, opportunities are created for farmers to own and lease land at affordable prices and for longer terms, increase Hawai‘i’s food security and self-sufficiency, and diversify our economy.

As islands, our water resources are limited to what is generated in our aquifers, streams, and springs. Yet half of Hawai‘i’s original watershed forests have been destroyed. Sea level rise, warming temperatures, and changes in our historical trade wind pattern threaten drinking water supplies. By protecting our upland native forests, we protect our water – wai or waiwai (wealth). By doing so, we also enhance and support traditional Hawaiian practices and food production, connect people to the outdoors, and preserve the beauty of Hawai‘i and its scenic viewplanes.

Current Projects: Kāne‘ohe Pali to Lo‘i, Kiolakaʻa

Completed Projects: