‘Āina, Land & Water: To maintain the connection to the past and a viable land base, Native Hawaiians will participate in and benefit from responsible stewardship of Ka Pae ‘Āina O Hawai‘i. Learn more about the work we do at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to create systemic change in ‘Āina, Land & Water.

Increasing the percent of Ka Pae ‘Āina O Hawai‘i managed to create economic value, preserve cultural and natural resources and historic properties, and/or provide cultural and social opportunities for Native Hawaiians in a sustainable and balanced manner: By 2018, increasing from 12% to 15% the percent of ahupua‘a that are managed sustainably.


The concept of Pae ʻĀina Sustainability is one of the cornerstones of Hawaiian culture, highlighted in practices like aloha ʻāina and the ahupuaʻa. The ahupuaʻa system of land management recognized the connection between resources from the mountain to the sea. Marvels of engineering like loi kalo and loko i'a managed stream flow, created wetland habitats and estuaries which maintained healthy ecosystems. Pae ʻĀina Sustainability is the recognition that cultural and environmental resources are one and the same. It is also the direct result of healthy relationships between land and people.

To obtain sustainability in Hawaii many factors must be addressed. Native Hawaiian History and culture must be perpetuated and act as a guiding force in decision making throughout Hawaii. Hawai'i‟s cultural and environmental resources must be used in responsible and sustainable ways so that they available for generations to come. Our food must be produced here in our island home and everyone should have equal access to housing, healthcare and education (Force, 2007). Most of all in order to achieve Pae ʻĀina Sustainability we must develop a healthy relationship with our ʻāina, on that creates economic value, preserve cultural and natural resources and historic properties, and/or provide cultural and social opportunities for Native Hawaiians in a sustainable and balanced manner.

There are four major land holders in Hawaiʻi, the State, City & County, Federal Government and Private Owners. In order to increase the percent of land managed for Pae ' Āina Sustainability OHA must increase control of, or have influence over all major land holders in Hawai'i. OHAs new Real Estate Vision, Mission, and Strategy strives to accomplish this by "bridging the ancient use of lands with future land use patterns and advocating for land use and transaction practices and regulations congruent with the Hawaiian Sense of Place" (OHA, 2007). Using this internal guiding document OHA will develop a scoring system that rates how large land owners manage lands in Hawaii. This score card will look at all aspects of sustainable land management and rank their sustainability efforts. Other scoring systems have been implemented for green buildings, such as LEED Certification program aimed at encouraging energy and water conservation and emissions reduction. This third party certification is voluntary yet highly sought after not only because of incentives but because it demonstrates their leadership, innovation and environmental stewardship (Council, 2010). OHA‟s end goal for the Pae 'Āina Sustainability Score Card would have the same effect increasing membership because land managers understand that managing land in a sustainable way is the bottom line.

OHA BASELINE TARGET - Tracking Pae 'Āina Sustainability


To support Native Hawaiians achieving Pae ʻĀina Sustainability, OHA solicits proposals every biennium to provide services that improve sustainability, in a Hawaiian context, promotes a balanced relationship between ʻāina and kānaka, supporting resource management and responsible stewardship practices. In the years 2014-2015, OHA is working with six community organizations to specifically provide services to progress toward long-term .

Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development, Kaala Farm, Inc., Kakoo Oiwi, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, Kuaaina Ulu Auamo, Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders' Association currently provide more than 6,352 Native Hawaiian participants programs should support the increased sustainability of existing kīpuka, or parcels of land within an ahupuaʻa, as well as the development of new kīpuka of sustainability.

The three (3) components of sustainable resource management include:

  1. Economic Resource Management
  2. Cultural Resource Management
  3. Environmental Resource Management



Ka Pae ‘Āina o Hawai’i: is the entire archipelago of Hawaiʻi, including the eight major Hawaiʻian islands Hawaiʻi, Mäui, Kahoʻolawe, Lanaʻi, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Niʻihau and all of their related islets, the north western Hawaiian Islands and all of the land, ocean, water and resources encompassed within.

Sustainability: is the ability for something to continuously thrive. For the environment this means biodiversity and ecological productivity. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, interdependent on the wellbeing of the eartnd the responsible use its natural resources. The term sustainability can be applied to almost every facet of life on Earth, from the sustainability of a stream to the sustainability of a planet.


Council, U. G. (2010). Intro - What LEED Is . Retrieved 9 15, 2010, from U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): http://www.usgbc.org

Force, H. 2. (2007). Hawai`i’s Vision for Sustainability. Retrieved 8 27, 2010, from Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan: http://hawaii2050.org/index

Museum, B. (2010). Bishop Museum. Retrieved June 11, 2010, from http://www.bishopmuseum.org/index.html

OHA. (2007). Office of Hawaiian Affairs Realestate Vision Mission Statement. Honolulu: Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

State, H. (2010). Department of Land and Natural Resources. Retrieved June 11, 2010, from http://hawaii.gov/dlnr


For more interesting data relating to ‘Āina, Land & Water, please see the OHA Native Hawaiian Data Book.