Tourism Meets Active Conservationism in Hawaii to Protect the Endangered Ecosystem

As a popular tourism destination, Hawaii has been delivering a wide range of offers to visitors for decades, but gradually threatening its own natural resources in the process. Native Hawaiian restaurateur Joe Ibarra explains from his experience how tourism gradually strips down a destination of its natural resources and indigenous culture. Going beyond the trendy buzzword of ‘sustainable travel,’ the islanders including Ibarra and his team are going the extra mile to protect the highly intertwined and fragile ecosystem of Hawaii.

The Grand Initiative

General manager of Honolulu-based luxury Kahala Hotel & Resort, Inbarra is one of the many renowned figures in the tourism industry of Hawaii, who focuses on a mutual relationship between humans and nature. To achieve a balance with the finite resources of nature, Ibarra constantly encourages the natives and visitors to practice mindful consumption and give back what they’re taking. Started in 2018, KISCA, Kahala’s Initiative for Sustainability, Culture & the Arts, is a unique program eyeing to extend sustainable sourcing for gourmet dishes. The initiative includes the all-day restaurant Plumeria Beach House, fine-dining spot Hoku’s, and Mountain View Farms. The farm is especially notable for employing superior-to-organic KNF or Korean Natural Farming principles to produce 100% pure fruits, veggies, and livestock.

The Mindful Consumptions

One of the most sought-after dishes in Plumeria Beach House is its Maui Nui Venison Burger. This intensely savory version of the quintessential comfort food contains Kawamata Farms tomatoes, Waialua’s nutty cheese, and sweet-and-smoky bacon-pineapple chutney, all layered on top of an axis deer meat patty. Jonathan Mizukami, the executive chef of Kahala, focuses on honoring the diverse and vibrant bounty of Hawaii with dishes made from sustainably sourced fresh ingredients. The hand-cut angel hair pasta is a must-try dish in Hoku’s. The delicate strings of noodles get their striking pea-green hue from the powerhouse-plant Moringa, produced at Mountain View Farms. A generous shaving of fresh exotic Alba white truffle finishes the dish with a pleasant earthy flavor.