Abstract Detail

Extreme conservation measures for plants at the extremes in the Hawaiian archipelago model system

Winter, Kawika [1].

Biocultural restoration in Hawaiʻi also achieves core conservation goals.

Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) steward or otherwise have deep connections to the places and the biodiversity that are the focus of conservation programs around the world. Conservation strategies that have either intentionally or unintentionally alienated IPLCs in conservation efforts continue to struggle in achieving conservation goals. Biocultural restoration approaches can be a bridge between IPLCs and conservationists.  Such approaches have demonstrated multiple benefits for human communities, but the ecological benefits and trade-offs involved have received little attention. Using a case study from Hawaiʻi, we examined if forest restoration aimed at reviving and maintaining cultural interactions with the forest is compatible with other priority conservation metrics. We identified species of high biocultural value for an Indigenous (Native Hawaiian) community, and then tested if these species also have high conservation value in terms of their biogeographic origin, ability to support native wildlife, and ability to persist independently within the restored context. Additionally, we tested if an assemblage of species with high biocultural value can also support high functional trait diversity. We found bioculturally important species to have high conservation values for all metrics tested, except for the ability to conserve rare or endangered endemic species. However, a broader application of biocultural conservation, such as the revival of the “sacred forest” concept, can address this priority as part of a mosaic of different species assemblages and levels of access. We also found that biocultural value may, at least in part, be a function of coevolutionary time: the length of time over which a community has interacted with a given species. Given that forests are invaluable to many Indigenous communities and, given the existential threats many of these communities currently face, we suggest that forests containing species assemblages of high biocultural value, such as those in Hawaiʻi, be considered as critical cultural habitat.

1 - Heeia National Estuarine Research Reserve, 46-007 Lilipuna Road, Kaneohe, HI, 96744, United States

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communitites (IPLCs)
Sacred forest
social-ecological systems.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Session: COL05, Extreme conservation measures for plants at the extremes in the Hawaiian archipelago model system
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Time: 1:15 PM
Number: COL05003
Abstract ID:468
Candidate for Awards:None

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