The Resilient Hawaiian Communities Initiative is putting out a kāhea to Native Hawaiian communities throughout the state about an opportunity to apply for support and resources toward resiliency planning efforts through early-2019. RHC will select two communities for planning partnerships.

While local emergency preparedness plans are becoming more common, few communities have engaged in forward-looking resilience planning that considers changes in climate and weather patterns. These changes in rainfall, temperature, sea level and other natural patterns affect freshwater supply, the abundance of plant and animal species and local fisheries. The RHC Initiative is designed to support community resilience planning through a collaborative process supported by a working group of organizations and individuals who are leaders in natural and cultural resource management, Native Hawaiian law, climate change science and planning in Hawaiʻi. The communities will have technical, financial and planning support to increase understanding, build capacity and ultimately strengthen local and collective resiliency.

On behalf of the initiative, Colead Kapua Sproat, director of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, shares, “We’re honored to be a part of this partnership and thrilled that the effort offers fi nancial and technical support to our Native Hawaiian communities who are on the frontlines of the climate change battle. Our cultural practices and life ways are inextricably tied to Hawai‘i’s natural resources, and this initiative focuses on planning with this connection and the underlying indigenous values at the core.”

An information session will be held for those with questions about the solicitation or process on Friday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. on O‘ahu with access in person or via teleconference.

The application process is now open and submissions must be received by the RHC Initiative by November 14 at 4:30 p.m. HST. Interested communities must complete and submit a 2-3page Expression of Interest as described in the solicitation.

This project is in partnership with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and co-led by the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative, Department of the Interior’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations, National Park Service’s Pacific Islands Office and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law’s Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law.