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Aloha ʻĀina Guidance Document

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (sanctuary) is considering an ecosystem-based management approach for the natural and cultural resources within its boundaries. The sanctuary is currently focused on a single species, the koholā (humpback whale), and is evaluating the potential management transition through a management plan review process. In January 2012, the Sanctuary Advisory Council recommended that the sanctuary convene a workshop for experts to discuss incorporating Native Hawaiian cultural management practices and Western scientific knowledge into the sanctuary management plan.

In July 2012, a group of technical experts gathered in Maunalua, Oʻahu, to reflect on the implementation of aloha ʻāina (deep love for the land and sea) in an ecosystem-based management approach that has a strong basis in customary Native Hawaiian management practices and traditions. Workshop participants were invited based on their roles in their communities and relevant research or academic expertise in marine ecosystems or Native Hawaiian practices. Many of the participants represented experience in all of these areas.

The Aloha ʻĀina workshop provided guidance that can be applied to a range of resource management entities and their respective kuleana to resources and communities, and this framework was presented to the Native Hawaiian and Research Subcommittees of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. After review by both standing subcommittees, the framework was presented to the entire Sanctuary Advisory Council in September 2012. The council voted unanimously and enthusiastically to send the framework forward to sanctuary management for consideration in the management plan review. Additionally, the council advised that the document be used as a basis for both a handbook and trainings for conservation managers.

Download the Aloha ʻĀina Guidance Document here.

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