Farming and forest systems that integrate trees/shrubs and crops (or other harvested plants or animals), sometimes called agroforestry, include traditional and customary practices of Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiians) and other Indigenous and local communities. Today, these systems are being promoted as solutions for simultaneously achieving food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biocultural restoration. Yet, ensuring that efforts to promote these systems translate to socially just landscape change requires a critical understanding of how these systems are already occurring. We are gathering an understanding of the existing range of forest-agriculture systems present in Hawaiʻi, why people tend these systems, and their challenges to starting and maintaining these systems. For more information, please see our website.
Agroforestry design and management
Together with the local nonprofit Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi and partners from the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization and the University of Hawaiʻi Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, we established agroforestry research and demonstration plots in the Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). We are interested in understanding the costs and social-ecological outcomes of restoration through agroforestry. This project is funded in part by an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, a UH Mānoa College of Social Sciences grant, and the Heʻeia NERR.
Native forest conservation and restoration
Nerfa, L., Z. Hastings, A. Tsuneyoshi, K. Kawelo, J. Beachy, T. Ticktin. 2022. Removal of non-native trees fosters but alone is insufficient for forest regeneration in Hawaiʻi. Forest Ecology and Management 517.