KUA is an innovative, community-based initiative for protecting, restoring and caring for Hawaiʻi. Our unique native species, ecosystems and island way of life in Hawaiʻi are deeply interconnected, and are at the heart of what makes these islands “home.”
KUA means back, or backbone. Together, we are building a “backbone organization” that supports creative and collective community-based solutions to problems stemming from environmental degradation in Hawai’i.
Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources — sacred landscapes, fisheries, streams, forests and reefs — have been deeply impacted by over 200 years of political, economic and social upheaval and change. Today, Hawaiʻi has the highest concentration of endangered species anywhere on the planet. Fish populations and catches have been reduced by over 75% in the last century, and most areas of the islands have been severely altered by human activity.
The knowledge and efforts of local communities are more important now than ever. Globally, interest in community-based solutions is rising, an approach known broadly today as “Community-based Natural Resources Management.” Locally, the stewardship work of our island communities needs and deserves resources, connection, attention, and support.
KUA is advancing community-based natural resources management in Hawai’i, working together with government agencies and communities towards restoring Hawaiʻi communities’ traditional role as caretakers of their lands and waters.
Large-scale change happens only when connected, caring communities of people move together. Together with local communities, government agencies, schools, businesses, foundations, non-profits, and many, many others, KUA is growing a grassroots movement for nature, people, culture and justice.
Photo: Mo’omomi Walking Trail. By Debbie Gowensmith.