Ka Honua Momona International (KHM), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was founded in 2003 by a small group of Molokai residents who had a collective desire to save Molokai’s fisheries, ancient fishponds, native forests, and landscapes by perpetuating traditional and cultural practices, promoting experiential learning for its residents—especially its youth—and by implementing indigenous conservation solutions.
Ka Honua Momona, the bountiful earth, is named in honor of one of Molokai’s ancient names “Molokai ‘Āina Momona”, meaning Molokai, Land of Plenty. Molokai was once a place where the resources were bountiful, and where the land and people flourished generation upon generation.
KHM’s mission is to be a model of sustainability mauka a makai (from the mountains to the sea) and we believe Molokai can again return to abundance. Our philosophy is to develop indigenous education systems by revitalizing natural and cultural resources, and perpetuate traditional knowledge and stewardship while evolving with modern technology, which we believe will result in a self-sufficient model for all nations.
The heart of KHM’s work is the restoration of two loko i’a (traditional Hawaiian fishponds)—Ali’i and Kaloko’eli—centrally located along Molokai’s south shore in the moku of Kawela. KHM currently holds a 35-year license with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for both ponds as well as 1.5 acres adjacent to Ali‘i Fishpond which serves as the base of its operations and programs.
Over the past 10 years, KHM has mobilized more than 10,000 volunteers of all ages to care for these environmental and cultural treasures. Together we have removed more than 3 acres of mangrove (without heavy machinery), opened up shoreline areas and maintained native species habitat, removed over 20 tons of gorilla ogo (Gracilaria salicornia), rebuilt 500 linear feet of our kuapa (rock wall), and replanted/restocked native species.