He ali’i ka ‘āina, he kauwā ke kanaka
(The land is chief; man is its servant) Pukui, 1983
Hawaii is made up of more than 4.1 million acres, spread across eight main islands. Our lands are sacred and have cultural significance for our people. Our ancestors worked hard to protect our lands. We need to educate ourselves about today’s developments and teach ourselves how to protect our natural resources throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago. Since our island lands are limited, we must carefully plan how to realize our sustainability goals of food security, renewable energy and water management. To manage our sacred lands, grassroots community groups must work with Federal and State agencies. You can have a say, too! Just ask the activists at Hawaii’s land trusts, forest stewardship programs and ocean conservation nonprofits. These eco warriors, and others, are working hard to preserve Hawaii’s sacred natural resources. And they need your help! As more of Hawaii’s land is developed, her conservation lands become more vulnerable. So, pull on your work boots and tromp over to a wildlife refuge. If getting dirty ain’t your scene, you can be a voice for the ‘aina at town meetings. Bone up first on the State of Hawaii’s land use plans and priorities! We as a larger lāhui (group) of kiaʻi ʻāina (land stewards) can protect our natural resources.