Youth Plaintiffs

Navahine youth voices were heard and met with direct action! Their bravery, perseverance and hope secured a climate victory for young people and all people in Hawai‘i, and around the world.


Navahine F.

Age:  16
Hometown: Kāne‘ohe, Hawai‘i

Tenth generation native Hawaiian kalo farmer, Navahine, is no stranger to challenge. She is helping her family farm several acres of kuleana lands in Hakipu‘u. Heavy rains, flooding, and prolonged drought are destroying crops and degrading habitat for native stream life and waterbirds. These critters require a stable climate and healthy ecosystem for their survival and are part of the landscape of resources that Navahine’s ‘ohana both relies upon and cares for in perpetuating traditional farming practices.

Sea level rise is another major challenge for coastal lo‘i kalo. Saltwater can seep into the patches from underneath while also eroding the walls. Some of the ‘ohana’s lo‘i are located only six inches above sea level, and are to be underwater within Navahine’s lifetime.

Sea level rise is also a challenge for loko i‘a. Navahine and her family are caretakers for the Mōli‘i Loko I‘a, one of the oldest and largest fishponds in Hawai‘i. Consistent with traditional practices, the loko i‘a is a community resource, providing moi (threadfish), ‘ama‘ama (mullet), and awa (milkfish) to nearby families, but sea level rise and changing climate patterns, such as heavy rains that contaminate the water, also threaten the health of the fishpond and marine life.

Navahine joined this lawsuit because she wanted to hold the State of Hawaii accountable for its constitutional obligations to Native Hawaiians and future generations.

I am so proud of all the hard work to get us to this historic moment. We got what we came for and we got it faster than we expected. Mai kuhihewa the power of young people to make a difference for their futures.

—Navahine F.