Connecting data and people, Hawai‘i charts course to sustainability

© Frazer McGilvray

With its temperate weather and vibrant coral reefs, it’s no surprise that Hawai‘i attracts 9.4 million tourists every year. But because of climate change and human pollution, the islands are in danger of losing the very thing that makes them so appealing: nature.

The solution? The Aloha+ Challenge — the culmination of two separate ocean sustainability projects and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals — which aims to effectively manage 30 percent of Hawai‘i’s nearshore waters by 2030.

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), which co-led both ocean sustainability projects, posted an article about the challenge and how synthesis science helped make it all possible.

Jack Kittinger, who was part of both projects and is Conservation International’s senior director of fisheries and aquaculture, said that by joining together and synthesizing science from multiple projects, scientists were able to see the bigger picture of ocean sustainability and to make decisions at-scale.

“What that means in practice is that there’s a shared north star that we’re navigating towards,” Kittinger said.

Read the NCEAS article here and learn more about the Aloha+ Challenge’s six sustainability goals here.

Olivia DeSmit is a staff writer for Conservation International.

Further reading