Kō i ka Pono: Carrying Out Our Mission
2019 Impact Report: Hawai‘i and Palmyra
A Message from Our Leaders
Kūlia i ke kalana ola
Striving to give life
When we ask our members why they support The Nature Conservancy, the answers inevitably vary. Many like our traditional emphasis on protecting lands and waters, others our expanded focus on climate change and providing food and water sustainably. Still others like how we blend sound science with traditional knowledge and use a non-confrontational approach. Dig deeper, however, and a common theme emerges: TNC is an organization that gets the job done.
Here in Hawai‘i, our conservation goals are aligned with the State’s initiative to effectively manage 30 percent of our watershed forests and nearshore waters by 2030. A decade ago, only 10% of our mauka forests met that standard. Today, that figure is 17% and climbing—a jump TNC has played a lead role in making happen.
Currently, less than 4% of our nearshore waters are in strongly managed areas. But that also is changing as the State, with TNC support, engages local communities and stakeholders in effective management of important coastal areas.
The scope and impact of our work are vast. This past year on Kaua‘i, we employed an aerial surveying team to detect and respond to new infestations of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. In Windward O‘ahu, we are working with partners to restore a traditional ahupuaʻa using the latest science and traditional agricultural practices. And on Palmyra Atoll, 1,000 miles south of Hawai‘i, we are focusing our research around finding solutions to the climate crisis.
Your contributions make all this work possible. Thanks to you, we are making a real difference for the future of our island home. When you read this report, you should feel proud of that fact. We certainly do.
Mahalo a nui loa.
2019 By the Numbers
Hawai‘i’s native forests are irreplaceable natural, cultural and economic assets that supply us with fresh water and a host of other benefits. By applying our conservation experience, scientific knowledge and technical expertise to their protection, TNC is removing the threats to the long-term survival of these vital natural systems.
Hawai‘i is witnessing an increase in climate change impacts such as higher temperatures, coral bleaching, sea-level rise and severe storms. TNC is the world’s leading organization in advancing resilience-based climate science and management. In Hawai‘i and Palmyra, we are working to enhance the resilience of natural systems like our coral reefs and focusing scientific research around natural climate solutions.
Healthy fisheries and traditional agricultural systems can provide island communities with sustainable sources of food. TNC is partnering with motivated communities that are implementing traditional management systems to restore taro lo‘i, fishponds and nearshore fisheries that will increase local food security.
The Power of Partnerships
TNC led more than 50 government, non-profit and community partners through a comprehensive planning process to develop the first climate-smart conservation action plan for Hawai‘i Island’s South Kohala coast.
To date, 45 endangered ‘akikiki have been raised in captivity for release onto TNC-managed lands on Kaua‘i. Eight different organizations are involved, led by the Kaua‘i Forest Bird Recovery Project, San Diego Zoo Global and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Native wetland birds like the ae’o (Hawaiian stilt) have returned to He‘eia in windward O‘ahu after the estuary was cleared of invasive mangrove. TNC, the State, the University of Hawai‘i, NOAA, Paepae o He‘eia, and Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi are among the partners restoring this iconic ahupua‘a.
Wedgetail shearwater nests at our Mo‘omomi Preserve on Moloka‘i have increased from two to 2,000 thanks to our partnership with the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, Moloka‘i Land Trust and others.
Over 14.5 tons of marine debris were removed from Hālawa in East Moloka‘i by the State, TNC, Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i, Pono Pacific and the Hawai‘i Youth Conservation Corps.
Community-led voluntary rest areas on Maui have helped to increase ʻopihi populations as much as tenfold in some areas, with TNC developing outreach materials and training partners to measure changes over time.
Together with the University of California, Santa Barbara, TNC is analyzing catch-and-release fishing data for five key fish species at Palmyra Atoll and measuring the overall impact to the nearshore marine environment. The project can inform sustainable management of fishing at similar ecosystems throughout the Pacific.
From mauka to makai, The Nature Conservancy works with people like you to protect Hawaii’s spectacular diversity of life. We invite you to join the effort. Together, we can protect the plants and animals that share our world and help keep alive what is best in our own lives.