The Moku System: Managing Biocultural Resources for Abundance within Social-Ecological Regions in Hawaiʻi

Kawika Winter, Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Mehana Vaughan, Alan Friedlander, Mike Kido, A. Whitehead, Malia Akutagawa, Natalie Kurashima, Matthew Lucas, Ben Nyberg
2018 Sustainability  
Through research, restoration of agro-ecological sites, and a renaissance of cultural awareness in Hawaiʻi, there has been a growing recognition of the ingenuity of the Hawaiian biocultural resource management system. The contemporary term for this system, "the ahupuaʻa system", does not accurately convey the nuances of system function, and it inhibits an understanding about the complexity of the system's management. We examined six aspects of the Hawaiian biocultural resource management system
more » ... e management system to understand its framework for systematic management. Based on a more holistic understanding of this system's structure and function, we introduce the term, "the moku system", to describe the Hawaiian biocultural resource management system, which divided large islands into social-ecological regions and further into interrelated social-ecological communities. This system had several social-ecological zones running horizontally across each region, which divided individual communities vertically while connecting them to adjacent communities horizontally; and, thus, created a mosaic that contained forested landscapes, cultural landscapes, and seascapes, which synergistically harnessed a diversity of ecosystem services to facilitate an abundance of biocultural resources. "The moku system", is a term that is more conducive to large-scale biocultural restoration in the contemporary period, while being inclusive of the smaller-scale divisions that allowed for a highly functional system.
doi:10.3390/su10103554 fatcat:uwtjn5ewmfefvfsjr2zq4rnf4q