Molokai Climate Change Collaboration Lessons Learned
The Molokai Climate Change Collaboration project, supported by the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative, endeavored to: build relationships between Hawaii’s leading climate scientists and Molokai’s natural resource managers; provide Ka Honua Momona with a greater understanding of the impacts (current and future) of climate change on our loko i‘a (fishponds); and act as a catalyst for community-wide dialogue and action. Through a series of workshops, focus group meetings, the formation of a grassroots climate change task force, the production of a landscape change video featuring Molokai kūpuna, and a community-wide meeting, we have been able to successfully realize the initial goals of the project, while also identifying community goals we will continue to work toward.
One of the key benefits we’ve realized through this project was the strengthening of relationships between a diverse group of people that share the common goal of protecting Hawai‘i’s environment and people. This group has included resource managers, cultural practitioners, kūpuna, scientists, community members, state agency employees, and funders. These relationships continue to remain critical to our ability to navigate Ka Honua Momona’s, and Molokai’s, future.
It is our hope that other rural island communities throughout Hawai‘i and the Pacific might experience successful collaborations of this nature to better protect the inheritance of future generations. Indeed, the unprecedented challenges before us posed by climate change, demand a joint approach that brings into service the highest and best of both traditional knowledge and modern science. This document has been created to share some of the lessons we’ve learned in implementing the Molokai Climate Change Collaboration Project, as well as provide a base level of understanding specific to Molokai collaborations. We’ve also included brief explanations of local customs as well as a glossary of terms commonly used in local communities for those who are new to Hawai‘i.