Community Resilience Through Responsible Ecological Management  
Harvy King
Of all the many ways to describe Hawaii as a beacon of reckoning across the pacific, Aloha stands the test of time. Highlighting Rotary International’s monthly theme for April, Maternal and Child Health, globally, April is Earth Month. Locally, there is lots happening around “Sustainability.” This month is all about taking care of Mother Earth. This article will explore two local projects that members of the Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako have been tracking as being independently operated, community driven initiatives that meet all six focus areas of the Rotarian Action Group on Environmental Sustainability.
• Promoting Peace • Fighting Disease
• Providing Clean Water and Sanitation • Saving Mothers and Children
• Supporting Education • Growing Local Economies
The Kailapa Community Association of West Hawaii Island received a Department of the Interior grant to establish a Community Resilience Plan based on Hawaiian traditional knowledge systems. For the community leaders, the primary inquiry going into the project was, how can they be most proactive? The Kailapa Community Association is on Hawaiian Homestead land that is the Hawaii equivalent of a Native American reservation. The grant produced a 30 page resilience strategy that prioritized accessing available sources of fresh water, land, and engagement of their community members. Archeological discoveries on the homestead provided opportunities to reestablish the pre-existing methods of producing the staple cultivar Taro, or Kalo. The Kailapa Community Association is located at Kawaihae, on the Kohala Coast of West Hawaii, where the increased erosion has turned the once flourishing bay, known for the spectacular viewpoint for whale watching and subsistence fishing, black with sediment due to the lack of responsible management. Lessons learned from the one year project are that when it comes to sustainability, you can’t depend on anybody but yourself. The project has not yet achieved any actual conservation as regular dump sites present an obstacle to preserving access rights. Next step for the Kailapa Community is getting the next generation involved. “It’s only a matter of time before the entire island catches on because it’s an “Island Thing.” It’s a KAKOU thing. It’s for EVERYBODY.”
On the Island of Oahu, Windward Community College students in the Sustainable Agriculture  program investigate the parallels behind traditional management practices and Aquaculture. Taro plantings do not yield production value in circulating aquaponic systems as they do under the traditional Ahupua’a, or aquaculture resource conservation practice of indigenous Hawaiian stewardship. To solve for this, the study was conducted to “improve kalo corm development by modifying water nitrogen levels at targeted stages in plant growth, with the desired outcome of increased consumption of a traditional staple in Hawaiʻi households.” In this study, leaf and corm production increased noticeably yet the results of the nutritional analysis have not yet  been published. Food maintains the vitality of the people. Food is the highest priority and the best good that could be delivered by any economic model. Food is the literal root of ecological management that sustains Life on Earth. For this reason “Ua Mau Ke Ea o Ka Aina I Ka Pono” (translation of the Hawaii State motto, The Life of the Land Is Perpetuated In Righteousness), an eternal declaration by King Kamehameha III, sets the orientation of respect for Mother Earth. The cultural practice of love making is a sacred balance between the Masculine and Feminine forces that saturate the Natural world that is the very reason we exist.
Happy April Rotarians! 
Courtesies to Diane of the KCA and Neil from WCC.