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The Edith Kanakaole Foundation and IUCN: Working Together to Protect Hawaiian Culture and the Environment

The Edith Kanakaole Foundation (EKF) is a Hawaiian cultural-based non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the teachings, beliefs, practices, philosophies, and traditions of the late Luka and Edith Kanakaʻole. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is an international organization that works to conserve the world’s natural resources and biodiversity.

EKF and IUCN have a long history of working together to protect Hawaiian culture and the environment. In 2010, EKF was awarded a grant from IUCN to support the development of the Papakū Makawalu methodology. Papakū Makawalu is a traditional Hawaiian system of knowledge that can be used to understand and manage the natural environment.

EKF has also collaborated with IUCN on a number of other projects, including:

  • The restoration of culturally significant places in Hawaiʻi
  • The development of educational materials about Hawaiian culture and the environment
  • The provision of technical assistance to Hawaiian communities

Through these partnerships, EKF and IUCN are working to ensure that Hawaiian culture and the environment are protected for future generations.

Here are some specific examples of how EKF and IUCN have worked together:

  • In 2016, EKF and IUCN collaborated on a project to restore the sacred site of Puʻuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park. This project involved the removal of invasive plants, the replanting of native plants, and the construction of traditional Hawaiian fishponds.
  • In 2018, EKF and IUCN co-sponsored a conference on the sustainable management of Hawaiian forests. This conference brought together Hawaiian cultural practitioners, scientists, and policymakers to discuss ways to protect Hawaiian forests while also meeting the needs of the community.
  • In 2020, EKF and IUCN launched a new educational program called “Papakū Makawalu for Schools.” This program teaches Hawaiian students about the Papakū Makawalu methodology and how it can be used to understand and manage the natural environment.

These are just a few examples of the many ways that EKF and IUCN are working together to protect Hawaiian culture and the environment. By working together, these two organizations are making a significant difference in the fight to preserve Hawaiian culture and the natural world.

If you are interested in learning more about EKF or IUCN, please visit their websites:

  • Edith Kanakaole Foundation: https://www.edithkanakaolefoundation.org/
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature: https://www.iucn.org/