Promise to Pae ʻĀina
This environmental initiative is a unique collective impact efforts inspired by the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, bringing together individuals and organizations from all sectors to increase the health of Hawaiʻi’s oceans by the time Hōkūleʻa makes her return to Hawai’i in 2017. Committed government entities, hotels and corporations, schools, and individuals have signed the Promise to Pae ʻĀina.
As voyaging canoes embark on the four-year Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, a main focus is to compel the global community to acknowledge that the issues facing our environment are ultimately shared problems, for which we must devise shared solutions. Underscoring this need, the canoes are sailing to locations throughout the world where bold and innovative solutions are being put forward and using the voyage as a platform to amplify them on a global scale.
Consequently the natural questions arise: what does this mean for our home, Hawaii? During a worldwide voyage with global implications, what will be done to improve our place? And how will the Hawai‘i that the canoes come home to be different from the Hawai‘i they left behind four years prior? While the canoes raise awareness for shared problems and call the global community to create shared solutions, we have kuleana to mirror this effort and address our problems and formulate our solutions within our own community.
As ocean conservation professionals we recognize that this is our voyage, both unprecedented and necessary. United by common purpose, guided by a singular vision. Inspired by mālama honua, over two-dozen organizations have come together to devise and sign on to five specific and measurable commitments for how we, as a community of ocean managers in Hawaii, can improve the health of our oceans here at home during the course of the Worldwide Voyage. It is this sense of community, and the collective impact it represents, that offers the right path for our work here at home, and the right message for the canoes to share around the world.
Penned and signed on April 23rd, 2014, just before voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia left Honolulu, we present our Promise to the Pae‘Āina o Hawai’i that we wrote as a prologue to our collective 5 ocean commitments in the hopes it resonates with you and inspires your own action.
We are stewards and navigators of Hawai‘i’s environment. We believe that the betterment of humanity is inherently possible. And we believe that the perpetuation of the health and well being of our people is inextricably intertwined with the health and well being of our environment.
We acknowledge that the immense environmental issues facing the world are upon Hawai‘i. And so it is with a sense of urgency that we defy the role of ‘canary in the coalmine,’ and instead embrace the responsibility of being the guiding light out toward a healthier and safer future.
We support the environmental mission of the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia, knowing wholeheartedly our charge in preparing our ‘āina for future generations to live, thrive, and lead our changing world toward goodness. This is the voyage of our lifetimes, and we are steadfast in our commitment to achieve real improvements in the ways in which we care for our environment.
We will increase our management efforts, enhance them through the synergies to be found with each other, and accept the responsibility of Mālama Honua. We believe that by inspiring Hawaii’s residents to learn about, care for, and safeguard these islands, and by extension Island Earth, they will navigate the future of our island home toward vitality, renewal, and sustainability.
Today, with images of the Mālama Hawai‘i voyage fresh in our minds and strong in our spirits, we promise to create, sustain, and navigate a movement dedicated to a healthier ‘āina for future generations, one that is imbued with the goodness of Hōkūle‘a and the wisdom born of her legacy.
Over the next 48 months, the Worldwide Voyage will sail 49,000 nautical miles, touch the shores of 26 countries, and make safe harbor in 85 ports, while sharing Hawai‘i’s gift of kindness and legacy of caring with the world.
And thus, we the undersigned will participate in the Worldwide Voyage through our collective, collaborative environmental efforts, providing winds in the sails of Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia as they circumnavigate Island Earth.
The strength of our commitment is demonstrated in this partnership, both unprecedented and necessary to Hawai‘i. We are strengthened with the knowledge that by working together, we can and will reach our shared destination – an environment worthy of our future generations.
This voyage is about changing our worldview of our relationship to these islands and our responsibility toward them. And in doing so, changing our relationship and responsibility toward each other. The commitments herein marks our voyage; a perpetual voyage that will be needed to protect and care for Hawaiʻi through lifelong work that goes beyond the four year Worldwide Voyage; one whose legacy for the undersigned will be to set the course for generations to come.
- Sam ʻOhu Gon describes exploring the landscapes of Galapagos, observing new and familiar species, and reflects upon the tradition of Hawaiʻi ʻimiloa, far-sighted Hawaiians.