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Posts Tagged ‘land and cultural rights’

On Tuesday night, at Church of the Crossroads, organizers held a first organizational meeting towards forming a islands-wide Food Policy Council.

What is a Food Policy Council?
Food Policy Councils (FPCs) bring together individuals and community members from diverse food-related sectors to examine how the food system is operating and to develop recommendations on how to improve it. FPCs may take many forms, but are typically either commissioned by state or local government, or predominately a grassroots effort. Food policy councils have been successful at educating officials and the public, shaping public policy, improving coordination between existing programs, and starting new programs. Examples include mapping and publicizing local food resources; creating new transit routes to connect underserved areas with full-service grocery stores; persuading government agencies to purchase from local farmers; and organizing community gardens and farmers’ markets.

While FPC’s are not a new concept, their structures, practices, and policies are still evolving. Although the first Food Policy Council started 30 years ago in the city of Tennessee, only in the last decade have Food Policy Councils really gained momentum, and today there are over 100 councils in the United States (see a full list).

From Denise on O`ahu:
If you are concerned about Hawai’i food security, local decision-making and control, school lunches, farming, farm land, nutrition, or land use get involved with  FPC.

The first meeting was very well attended.  George Kent and Stuart Novick are the main organizers.  Very inclusive, consensus style, this is just the beginning.

The suggested purpose is to ‘ensure good nutrition for all, under all conditions.’  Important to include everyone that wants to participate and publicize what is already going on and co-ordinate everyone’s efforts.  Local/area FPCs in Hawai’i will/are already being developed.

If you want to stay informed and/or participate in a Working Group contact:  fpchawaii@yahoo.com. There are several opportunities (you can join more than one group):

POSSIBLE FOOD POLICY COUNCIL WORKING GROUPS:

ORGANIZATION WORKING GROUP. The OWG will develop an FPC charter and rules, including membership procedures, decision making, organizational structure, financial structure, and leadership.

COMMUNICATIONS WORKING GROUP.  The CWG is responsible for internal FPC communications and also external communications to and from others. It will establish an Internet-based communications system to support the work of the FPC, and provide technical assistance to those who need it.

HEALTH AND NUTRITION WORKING GROUP. The HNWG will focus on ways in which Hawaii’s food system affects the health of its people, including those who are most vulnerable to malnutrition.  Special attention will be given to infants, preschoolers, school children, prisoners, the homeless, people with disabilities, people with low income, and the elderly.  It would also give attention to specific nutrition related concerns such as overweight and obesity and non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

FOOD SYSTEM WORKING GROUP.  The FSWG will describe, assess, and propose improvement in the food system in Hawaii, including the potential for strengthening local farming and gardening. They will promote contingency planning to ensure Hawaii’s resilience in the face of uncertainties regarding rapid onset crises such as tsunamis, electrical power failures, and failure of the water supply system, and slower-onset crises such as failures in the global, national, and local economy; climate change; and energy shortfalls.

COMMUNITY FPC WORKING GROUP.  The CFPC-WG will assist and support community FPCs in all islands with research, data, communications and planning.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS WORKING GROUP The GRWG will determine what agencies are involved with FPC related concerns, what they are doing and plan to do, what legislation is being proposed, and whether new legislation is necessary to achieve the FPC’s aims.

The Communications Working Group is your link for support.  If you have questions, ideas, or problems to discuss, email :  fpchawaii@yahoo.com

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A few weeks ago, the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope) Corporation submitted their application for a Conservation District Use Permit for their proposed telescope development, and accompanying office building, road and parking lot. If approved, this development will represent the largest expansion of industrial land use on Mauna Kea’s summit in 15 years. You can download the application here: http://bit.ly/cbxmTr

Public hearings on the TMT permit application will be held on December 2 (Hawaii County Council Room, Hilo) and December 3 (NELHA Gateway Center). More hearing info at:  http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl/hearings-workshops

We’re still reading through the documents, and we’ll be back with our comments and analysis soon. In the meantime, we wanted to share 3 facts, and 3 questions about the current paradigm of managment and decision-making on Mauna Kea:

– There exists a Mauna Kea Management Board, which is supposed to be like a community management entity. It is comprised of seven members of the community who are nominated by the UH Hilo Chancellor and approved by the UH Board of Regents. (see http://www.malamamaunakea.org/?page_id=80) UH appoints 100% of the
members of this Management Board, while at the same time benefiting financially from accelerated telescope development, in what they claim to be a “correct and representative” process.

– Mauna Kea is currently being leased and subleased for $1/year. (Some of the sub-leases are gratis!) Hawaii law (HRS 171) says that “ceded” lands (crown lands) must be leased for fair-market value. We know that telescope “viewing time” can go for at least $80,000/night (this is what Yale recently agreed to pay in a $12 million dollar deal with the
Keck Observatory) http://opa.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=6437. How is $1/year fair-market value for the years of development that has already taken place? We are now being asked to consider further development, under an existing economic paradigm which does not conform to the law.

– No study has ever been conducted to assess the carrying capacity of the mountain for development. Further, the only cummulative study on the impacts of past development (an EIS conducted by NASA in 2005, as a result of litigation by OHA) found the cummulative impacts of telescope development on Mauna Kea to be “significant, substantial and adverse.” Hawaii state law prohibits permits for projects in conservation districts that cause significant and adverse harm.

Three Questions:
(1) What is the carrying capacity of the summit for development? How can we know, unless we study it?
(2) How intensely can we industrialize in the conservation district, before its meaning and purpose as conservation lands is lost?
(3) Are the current “economics” of telescope development ($1/year leases) leading to optimal allocation of resources between astronomy and cultural and natural resources? Who wins? Who loses?

*Take action for Mauna Kea and protection of Hawai`i’s sacred summits today! Sign the petition at: http://bit.ly/petitionsacredsummits

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Mahalo to EVERYONE who came out to make their voice heard on proposed changes to rules governing conservation and coastal lands in Hawai`i.

On relatively short notice, nearly 700 individuals and 34 organizations representing thousands more put down their name to tell the Lingle Administration and DLNR, “Hey, not so fast!” on these proposed rules rollbacks.

As you know, the proposed rollbacks affect over 2 million acres of lands, 51% of the “ceded” lands trust, as well as all public trust waters, reefs and ocean in Hawai’i nei.

Now, a new version of the proposed rules has just been released. Thanks to you — and your attendance at the hearings, your written comments, and your letters to the editor — we are at least seeing a final draft of the proposed rules with more than six days’ notice. (Six days is all that is required!) MAHALO!!!

It looks like the final rules will be heard and voted on by the Land Board in November (either Nov. 12th or 22nd). You can find the final draft of the rules and a general letter from Sam Lemmo here: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl/documents-forms/proposed-13-5-amendments

We are continuing to analyze this final draft, but on first read, it looks like many of the most dangerous proposals have been taken out. This would not have been possible without so many coming to the table to take collective action in defense of conservation lands in Hawai’i nei.

That said, there is still work to be done! We continue to have serious concerns about some of the rollbacks being proposed and strongly believe that the process for these rule changes has been improperly rushed. It is important that we continue to make our voices heard.

As soon as we know the date and time of the hearing, we’ll let you know.

What can you do in the mean time? Please tell your family and friends about this issue and ask them to click-and-send testimony to the Land Board.

More resources:
– Action Page on the KAHEA website – http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2699/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=4660
– Great piece in the Honolulu Weekly by Rob Parsons – Read “DLNRn’t
– Op-ed in the Star-Advertiser by Jon Osorio and Vicky Holt-Takamine – Read Op-ed
– Fact Sheet: http://tiny.cc/conservationlands

If you’ve ever been witness to a bulldozer in a wahi pana, or seen a poorly planned and damaging development, you know why these kinds of protections are so important! Please take the time to ask your friends and family to stand with you in defense of our conservation districts. Mahalo for making a difference for Hawai’i nei!

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Mahalo to all who took action in the last few months, asking the Army Corps of Engineers to hold a public hearing on a permit to allow Hawai’i Ocean Technology, Inc. (HOTI) to build a proposed 247-acre ahi tuna feed lot off the Kohala Coast. 100% of the feed for this project would be imported from fisheries in places like Peru, and 90% of the tuna they feedlot will be exported to Japan and the continental U.S. (Does this sound like local food sovereignty to you? Not so much.)

Last week, we got news that HOTI has withdrawn their permit application. They may still be looking to do a smaller one-cage “experimental” operation. We’ll keep you updated. But for now, count this is a victory for the ocean.  Mahalo for your action! Thanks to you, we’re a little closer today to a collective vision of food sovereignty and a functioning food system for Hawai’i. To learn more or to join the hui in support of pono aquaculture, you can go to www.ponoaqua.org

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We attended the Honolulu scoping meeting on the Navy’s planned expansion of sonar and underwater munitions testing and training activities two weeks ago. We’re still working on processing the information and our thoughts about the process. In the meantime, we thought we’d share these thoughts from Uncle Jim on Moku o Keawe about their experience in Hilo:

From Uncle Jim Albertini:

Tonight’s (8/26/10) EIS Scoping Meeting on Navy expansion plans for Hawaii and the Pacific was more hardball than the Marines similar meeting of 2 days ago. (Then again, at the Marines meeting we had retired Marine Sergeant Major, Kupuna Sam Kaleleiki, to open the path with a pule and the initial public testimony.)

The Navy EIS personnel weren’t nearly as respectful of the right to public speaking and the community being able to hear each others concerns.  Some of the Navy team were downright arrogant, insulting and contemptuous.  Initially the Navy wasn’t going to allow us to bring our portable sound system into the Hilo H.S. cafeteria to hold a citizen public hearing.  Finally with police presence brought in, the Navy yielded the last hour of the planned 4-8PM event to our citizen hearing.

Some of the Navy EIS team were blatantly rude in not listening to community speakers and carried on their own conversations.  Before the public testimony, we invited all present to join hands in a pule and asked for mutual respect, and open minds and hearts.

The Navy refused to have any of their personnel take notes to make the public comments part of the official record of scoping concerns.  Community people were very respectful of the Navy personnel as human beings, but the aloha spirit wasn’t returned by many of the Navy people present.  Too bad.

Many of the Navy people were hard set to their format. Tour the science fair stations, and  If you wanted to comment, put it in writing or type it into a computer.  We were told over and over.  This is not a public hearing. No public speaking is allowed.

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Aloha `ohana,

Last week Wednesday, a group of about 25 or 30 people came together for a screening of the film Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege from Puhipau and Joan at Na Maka o ka Aina. Mahalo also to Native Books/Na Mea Hawai`i for hosting us, to Rey for mixing the `awa for us, and to Kamu and Miwa for running back to downtown at the last moment to bring the TV from our office!

Mahalo to Rey for providing the kanoa and to everybody at Na Mea for hosting us!

Despite the technical difficulties the audience graciously and patiently hung in there! Uncle Ku shared about the huaka`i (trips) that their Mauna Kea have been taking.  It is so inspiring to see how much ground they’ve covered! It is so important for us to, both figuratively and in this case physically, walk the path of our ancestors.

Uncle Tane, Uncle Baron, and Uncle Ku--awesome mana`o, mahalo for sharing! 🙂

Far too often culture and tradition are relegated to the past, with all modern day iterations appearing either as museum displays, placards or reenactments.  I think physically having our feet on the dirt does something to us–it was really beautiful to hear about their journeys and rediscovery together.  My favorite story was about their journey in 2003 on Ka La Hoihoi Ea (a Hawaiian National holiday commemorating the return of sovereignty after a short occupation by a British dude named Lord Paulet).

The simple act of honoring this day is cool in itself, but in 2003 the Mauna Kea Hui hiked to the summit with our national flags to raise them at the highest peak in the archipelago.  The pictures look super windy! What powerful images on so many levels!

If you’d be interested in hosting a screening of this film, email shelley@kahea.org  We only have a limited number of DVDs to lend out, but we do want to share the message as much as we can.

Also, here is a link to the online petition, please feel free to pass this link along far and wide.  We are in the process of getting a new website up, but this one will have to do for a couple more months! E kala mai!

Mahalo to Pono Kealoha for documenting this event! 🙂

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Last week Wednesday (8/18/2010) about 25 Wai`anae residents and supporters came out to wave signs expressing their opposition to a proposed industrial park in Lualualei Valley. People, young and old, and of all different walks of life stood side by side, sharing messages of strength and solidarity.

The mission was really two fold–yes, we were targeting the Land Use Commissioners who were visiting the proposed site, just to make sure they wouldn’t get any crazy ideas that this community wants an industrial park. The second purpose was really for everyone else driving by, because most of the people who live on the Wai`anae Coast have never heard of plans for another industrial park in the valley. Response was mostly positive, lots of head nods and horn honks. 🙂

We had some pretty good press coverage too, KITV and KHON stopped by, along with the Hawai`i Independent and FLUX Hawai`i Magazine. Click below to see KITV’s full story.

Click here to watch story.

Here’s more from Marti who was with the commissioners on the site visit:

Members of the Land Use Commission made an official site visit to the parcel of farmland that Tropic Land proposes to turn into an industrial park. They drove up Lualualei Naval Access Road and then back down Hakimo Road, over the new the roadway that Tropic cut to connect the Navy Road to Hakimo Road. The Commissioners saw first-hand all of the farms along Hakimo Road, the profile of Maui, the Hoaliku Drake Preschool, and the narrow intersection at Hakimo and Farrington Hwy.

Checking out the preschool along the curvy Hakimo Rd. on the way to the proposed industrial park. Also taking a moment to introduce the group to our kupua, Maui!

Interestingly, just seconds after the developer’s attorney said it was too hot and arid to grow palm trees on the property, the sky opened and big drops of rain fell. We got drenched as we drove down Hakimo Road.

Umbrellas out in full effect as Lono gives kokua to show the commissioners that it does indeed rain in the valley!

Please come share your mana’o on the proposed industrial park at the Land Use Commission hearing on Thursday September 9th at the Kakuhihewa Bldg. in Kapolei, 9:30 am. You can hold one of the beautiful signs you see here, or bring your own! 🙂

Mahalo nui loa to Pono Kealoha for the photos! 🙂

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