Contemporary societies need science to apply the insights of Indigenous ecological knowledge to address the compounding crises of climate change, ecosystem loss, and resiliency. Indigenous cultures are biocultural, meaning they developed historically as part of a resilient and life-supporting social-ecological system. Because of this, Indigenous cultures hold immense ecological knowledge of how to manage regional resources sustainably. As Indigenous and local community groups in Hawaiʻi and around the world have worked to restore biocultural relationships with place, they’ve created biocultural restoration zones that offer opportunities to unlock innovations in natural resource management, resilience design, computational and network systems for data-driven decision-making, regenerative economic development, and inclusive and equitable educational/workforce practices.
While biocultural restoration can apply anywhere, our focus is coasts and waterways. Coasts are boundary zones of immense ecological and economic importance. A focus on biocultural restoration of coats can inform emerging coastal and fisheries management technologies and scientific insights. And as human-induced climate change contributes to sea-level rise, the importance of coastal management and resilience is greater than ever.
We know that re-establishing and nurturing Indigenous biocultural systems and relationships is not only the right thing for Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) and Indigenous peoples in many places--it’s right for the ʻāina (that which feeds--the land) and it’s what leaders and power-holders are asking for in the face of unprecedented challenges.
Now is the time to come together and define for ourselves what the next few years can bring. If we cross boundaries, stay rooted, and work together, we can be as innovative as our ancestors were in building complex biocultural systems that allow future generations to thrive.
This workshop is for Indigenous and community knowledge holders and allied scientists from diverse disciplines, as well as representatives of nonprofits, corporations, and community and governmental groups to develop project ideas and define priorities for use-inspired research and application centered around the process and practice of biocultural restoration. We want everyone at the table so no one is on the menu.
This is not your average conference full of passive presentations and panels. We ask that you come prepared to listen, contribute, and connect.
Hoʻomalu Haleleʻa: Community-led Innovation for Integrated Flood Resilience, University of Hawaiʻi