He pūko‘a kani ‘āina is a traditional Hawaiian saying, which literally means “the coral strengthens into land.” It is an ‘ōlelo no‘eau, or ancestral teaching, which figuratively illustrates how small things like the coral polyps can grow and strengthen into something larger, the islands themselves. This applies to the growing network of successful marine protected areas that have emerged across the Pacific over the last two decades and figuratively illustrates that the seemingly small contributions of small MPAs are growing into a larger movement of Pacific indigenous peoples who are asserting their traditional roles as guardians of the sea.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP) and Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) have agreed to a collaborative partnership to conduct an assessment to reinforce the linkages between culture and nature conservation in the Pacific context using selected case studies from Samoa, Fiji and Solomon Islands (the Hawaiian Islands have also been included in this assessment). This assessment will also examine and document lessons learnt from local communities on how they have built their resilience to impacts of climate change, extreme events and other key environmental threats while maintaining sustainable livelihood and healthy ecosystems.

Music Credits: "Ka Noho Na Pili Kai" used with permission from Puakea Nogelmeier, Keali‘i Reichel, and Punahele Krauss, who we thank for generously allowing this project to use the song. All rights reserved. The music in this video may not be used, replicated or distributed without the express permission of the artists. This song is available on Kealii Reichel's album Ke‘alaokamaile, which can be purchased from Mele.com

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