Friday, May 4, 2007

Bill to Create 'Aha Moku Councils goes before Governor

Rep. Mele Carroll (District 13 - Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Molokai, Keanae, Wailua, Nahiku, Hana) announced that the legislature has passed SB 1853, establishing an ‘aha kiole advisory committee to advise the legislature in creating an ‘Aha Moku Council Commission to assist in the formation of regional 'aha moku councils. These councils shall give advisory assistance to the Department of Land and Natural Resources on all matters regarding the management of the State's natural resources. The bill is awaiting the Governor's signature.

The purpose of this Act is to create a system of best practices based on the indigenous resource management practices of moku (regional) boundaries, acknowledging the natural contours of land, the specific resources located within those areas, and the methodology necessary to sustain resources and the community.

The ‘aha moku council system will foster understanding and practical use of knowledge, including native Hawaiian methodology and expertise, to assure responsible stewardship and awareness of the interconnectedness of the clouds, forests, valleys, land, streams, fishponds, and sea. The council system will include the use of community expertise and establish programs and projects to improve communication, education, provide training on stewardship issues throughout the region (moku), and increase education. This measure also appropriates funds for the advisory committee to carry out its duties.

Rep. Carroll serves as the chair of the legislature's Hawaiian Caucus, and is Vice Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection.

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