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The CHANGE Framework

Community & Economy

Natural Environment

Hawaii’s natural resources deserve to be protected while its people and communities need to be prepared to meet the economic, environmental, and social impacts of climate change. Our state’s unique aloha aina deeply motivates our ties to and concerns for the environment. Hawaii’s past and future are inextricably linked to its aina

Indicator: Preserve and Protect Hawaii’s Natural Resources
Home to more than 1,400 species of plants, Hawaii contains 44% of the nation’s endangered and threatened plant species.

Data point

  • Eleven island-based partnerships work together to protect more than two million acres of important watershed area forests and land. Watershed areas in Hawaii are key to the state’s sustainability because they allow native plants and animals to thrive and enable rainwater to be captured. Protecting native forests will make Hawaii more resilient to the effects of climate change by reducing drought, landslides, flooding and runoff.

Change Framework Graph 13

Source: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/ecosystems/wpp/partnerships

Summary
Protecting native forests and plants and eliminating invasive species will not only preserve Hawaii’s cherished aina, it will also help to prevent wildfires and increase fresh water recharge.

Efforts underway

Related sources

Indicator: Energy and Food Sustainability
The lack of available and affordable energy constrains the lives of residents and the economy of our state. While local food production has recently increased after many years of being on the decline, current production rates are not adequate.

Data point

  • Even as Hawaii’s population and need for energy grow, Hawaii has set an ambitious 100% clean energy goal by 2045 - 40% by 2030. By 2017, Hawaii reached 28% of renewable energy sources.

Change Framework Graph 14

Source: https://blueplanetfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Blue-Planet-2017-Report-Card.pdf

Summary
Hawaii’s energy consumption will not be sustainable unless it comes from clean and sustainable sources.

Data point

  • Hawaii imports more than 80% of its food and, as a result, pays more and faces food security risks and challenges.

Change Framework Graph 15

Source: https://dashboard.hawaii.gov/en/stat/goals/5xhf-begg/vey8-efit/8pd6-pzhu

Summary
Hawaii needs to double its local food production to achieve secure and sustainable agriculture that will support the state’s population.

Efforts underway

Related sources

Indicator: Preparation for Climate Change
Even though Hawaii is at the forefront of innovative responses to climate change, the state is threatened at multiple levels: human health, water supply, flooding, lost of habitat, erosion, biodiversity loss, and traditional cultural practices and burial sites at risk.

The years of 2015 and 2016 were the warmest on record, leading to ocean acidity and coral bleaching, as well as to increased evaporation, reduced water supply, and greater demand for water. Hawaii’s rainfall has been trending downward for decades.

Data point

  • The 2018 U.S. National Climate Assessment report estimates that by the end of this century we can expect sea level to increase 1-4 feet.

Change Framework Graph 16

Source: Projected impact (light blue) of 3-foot sea level rise on Waikiki area https://www.hawaiibusiness.com/cost-of-climate-change. Satellite image: From Pacioos Hawaii sea level rise viewer.

Summary
With already increasing tides affecting Hawaii’s shores, future sea level rises are projected to affect 34% of Hawaii’s coastline and displace 20,000 residents from their homes with 25,800 acres of land and structures (worth $19B) lost, including Native Hawaiian cultural and traditional sites.

Efforts underway

Related sources

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