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Molokai group wins Equator Prize

Hui Malama o Mo’omomi on Molokai is one of two grassroots Hawaii conservation efforts selected for the 2019 global Equator Prize awards. This recognition by the U.N. Development Programme and its partners honors organizations that have come up with innovative, nature-based solutions for tackling climate change, environmental and poverty challenges using the collaborative power of communities.

Hui Malama o Mo’omomi will split the $10,000 prize with Hui Maka’ainana o Makana on Kauai. They will join the other winners in New York City in September for a weeklong summit during the 74th United Nations General Assembly, and the awards will take place at a celebratory gala on Sept. 24.

Hui Malama o Mo’omomi, led by Kelson “Mac” Poepoe, is a grassroots initiative that has worked for over two decades to care for the nearshore fisheries of Mo’omomi to ensure that present and future generations of Ho’olehua homesteaders and the families deeply rooted in the area will be able to live off these resources. Their efforts are designed to maintain subsistence as a viable option in Molokai’s fluctuating economy and to encourage young Hawaiians to learn and perpetuate traditional fishing practices.