HDOA Recognized at International Sustainability Conference

Posted on Oct 24, 2013 in Main

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) recently received the grand prize at an international sustainability conference for its presentation and poster display of Hawaii’s ahupua`a system.  The International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) presented the award to HDOA Chairperson Russell S. Kokubun at its Fourth Global Conference in Fukui, Japan in late September.

The concept of “satoyama” is a traditional Japanese multi-functional land use system in which agricultural practices and natural resource management techniques are used to optimize the benefits from the local ecosystem.  The resulting products provide the essentials for humans, including food and fuel, without degrading the land, water or other natural resources.  The IPSI was established by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies to promote international activities consistent with principles of sustaining natural environments.

HDOA’s presentation gained top honors among abstracts and posters submitted by 43 organizations worldwide after a vote by IPSI members, which includes about 150 member organizations.

The principles of the Satoyama Initiative have strong parallels to the Native Hawaiian concept of the ahupua`a, which focuses on management of resources from the mountains to the sea.  Members of IPSI are passionate about integrating the best management practices for resource conservation and sustainable agricultural practices. 

“In line with Governor Abercrombie’s New Day Plan, the department saw an opportunity to share the concept of the ahupua`a on a global platform,” said Chair Kokubun.  “Winning the grand prize was especially rewarding as we were able to provide an example of Hawaii’s integrated agricultural, environmental and cultural system to an educated and appreciative audience.”

Following an application process, the HDOA was accepted as a member of the IPSI in March 2013 and Chairperson Kokubun was invited to be a presenter on an international panel with representatives from Ghana, Mongolia, Peru, and Italy at the IPSI Fourth Global Conference.  The Chairperson’s presentation and poster centered around the tradition of land management practices of Hawaii and its parallels to the satoyama concepts of sustainable agricultural and environmental practices.

“We look forward to continuing active participation in the IPSI and learning from its international partners as to best management practices that can be applied to furthering sustainable agriculture in Hawaii,” said Kokubun.

Attached is the Grand Prize Certificate