Resilient Voices: Adaptation Across Worldviews

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The Department of the Interior Pacific Islands Climate Science Center and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo developed and hosted a Climate Change Boot Camp that showcased collaborative research efforts within UH Hilo’s Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science graduate program that are driven by local natural resource managers across Hawaiʻi Island. The event took place at the Kiolokaʻa Ranger Station in Kaʻū, August 9-12, 2016.

If you are interested in exploring the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s manager-based research program, the Manager Climate Corps, please visit:

The DOI Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, is managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The center is one of eight that provides scientific information to help natural resource managers respond effectively to climate change.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:10:06

Location Taken: Hilo, HI, US




Narrator:  From mountain summit to the sea, Hawaiʻi Island is characterized by a dramatic diversity of climate zones, ecosystems, and species in close proximity and is, therefore, host to many complex shifts resulting from contemporary climate change. Yet for centuries Hawaiʻi Island has also been a forum of human adaptation through socio-ecological change. It is, therefore, a revealing place within which to improve our understanding of contemporary climate change impacts while building upon longstanding capacities of cultural adaptation and resilience through change.




Narrator:  Climate Science Centers across the nation work to unite scientists and natural resource managers while developing research products that promote socio-ecological adaptation to climate change.


Kanoe Morishige: We are the bridges between science and culture, so how are we gonna start building these bridges and what is it gonna take?


Narrator:  Working from this foundation, the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center developed a climate change boot camp that took place in August of 2016 at the Kiolakaʻa Ranger Station in Kaʻū.


Louise Economy: Being here with people who have deep connections to this place and hearing the moʻolelo, I think that was a privilege, and it's definitely worth it to go out and make connections with people who know the place and the stories and the history.


Narrator:  As we begin to understand other worldviews, common ground can be established, creating a forum for trust; a vital element of communities that flourish through time.


John Replogle: Kaʻū is a very wild, open, natural place that you don't find a lot anymore. You don't find it anywhere else in Hawaiʻi.


Kanoe Morishige: These are stories of resilience coming from people from Kaʻū but also coming from other participants in the workshop. So I think it's a really good foundation for having these talks about climate change. It's really important to get the indigenous voices within these discussions. Having their stories and their experiences be at the forefront and being showcased and the foundation of this camp, I think is really moving.


Narrator:  The experience was designed to support adaptation and resilience locally by showcasing and building upon diverse professional networks.


Noelani Puniwai: And that's part of what the climate science center is, is building resilient communities in the face of climate change. So all of these kinds of ideas merged to try and bring this really amazing group together here this week.


Narrator:  Fifty-Seven cultural practitioners, graduate students, faculty from social and biological sciences, policy professionals, administrators, community leaders, and a wide range of natural resource managers attended the boot camp.


Louise Economy: It was just kind of a mix of people with different backgrounds coming together at the same table and all having an equal voice.


Narrator:  The boot camp focused on three core themes: knowledge coproduction, multiple ways of knowing, and experience of place.


Noelani Puniwai: A lot of what we have been working on over the last year is knowledge coproduction, and looking at knowledge coproduction is just trying to understand people's different approaches and perspectives on how they approach issues and how we can learn from each other and work as one to kind of solve where we are going forward in the future.


Lahela Camara: My part was to bring in practice, to actually have hands on, to be hands on in this place; to help bring kind of a Hawaiʻi understanding of connection to place. We are making two lei to give as Hoʻokupu to these very important wai, or water areas that we are going to be visiting over the next two days. And so making the lei and giving this hoʻokupu symbolizes and helps us or helps encourage our kupu, our growth. This whole process is really based on everybody coming together and sharing their ʻike with each other; maybe being in an uncomfortable situation or participating in something that they are not skilled at. It will contribute to the kupu of what the goal of the program is. You know, to have that multiple ways of learning.


Footsteps in leaves


Narrator:  Traditional Hawaiian practices such as oli, lei haku, and moʻolelo were utilized to develop participatory awareness of long standing cultural traditions on Hawaiʻi Island and to foster understanding across worldviews.




Louise Economy: One thing that I would tell other people if they have the opportunity to come and learn more about the island that they are living in and the island that they are trying to take care of, is it's definitely worth it to go out and make connections with people who know the place and the stories and the history.


Narrator:  While engaged in activities and discussions, participants continuously experience the native plants, native birds, and natural elements such as wind and water flowing through the camp from the surrounding forest which hosted the experience.


John Replogle: My take away is there is hope with these young people, but we can't waste time. Don't hold back. Don't wait. The world, the planet has had enough desecration. It's time for us to mend and heal our planet. I believe we keep doing what needs to be done to protect our ʻāina, to network and get different people together.


Kanoe Morishige: We need to include everybody's voices; the people of this place, the farmers, the fishermen; going beyond just saying we need to have these discussions.


Noelani Puniwai: Climate change isn't just the only thing happening in our communities, and for a lot of people it's not the most important thing that is happening to us. And we need to understand how we as a community can all be a part of making our communities resilient into the future, no matter what the threats are; if it's climate change, if it's land-use change; if it's the economy; how are we making sure our communities are resilient into the future?




Credits Roll: Birds Chirping