In May 2014, the traditional Polynesian Voyaging canoes, Hōkūle‘a and her sister canoe Hikianalia, set sail across the Earth’s oceans around the world to join and grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world. Covering 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 countries, and 12 Marine World Heritage Sites, the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will continue through 2017 when her new generation of navigators take the helm and guide Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia back to Hawaiʻi after circumnavigating the globe.
To guide the canoe Hōkūle‘a, navigators use traditional wayfinding with stars, waves, wind and birds as mapping points for direction. Pacific Island people mastered wayfinding and used it to explore and settle the Pacific Ocean. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) recovered and reclaimed this knowledge for Hawaiʻi after a 600-year period of local extinction. Over the past 40 years, PVS has sailed more than 140,000 nautical miles within our Pacific Ocean home, reconnecting with the past and reimagining a healthier future for the people, oceans, and environment of all of Island Earth.
This epic voyage was named Mālama Honua, a Hawaiian term meaning "to care for our Island Earth" and is reflective of PVS and GLISPA's mission. In support of our common goals, GLISPA and PVS have worked together to inspire world leaders to greater action for a sustainable future including:
- PVS, GLISPA and supporters coordinated the Voyages arrival at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (UNSIDS) in Apia, Samoa in September 2014. The canoes were welcomed to Samoa and UNSIDS during a poignant traditional ceremony organized by Samoa Voyaging Society.
- In a special celebration of the International Year of SIDS, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his wife sailed aboard Hōkūleʻa with islands leaders in Apia Harbor. His Excellency Ban Ki-moon presented Nainoa Thompson and the crew with a handwritten message in a bottle, asking them to carry it with them as they circle the globe. The message stated, "I am honored to be a part of Hokulea’s Worldwide Voyage. I am inspired by its global mission. As you tour the globe, I will work and rally more leaders to our common cause of ushering in a more sustainable future and a life of dignity for all."
- During the GLISPA High Level Event “Leaders Inspiring Action” at UNSIDS, the President of Palau, H.E. Tommy Remengesau Jr. stated, recognized the World Wide Voyage, Nainoa Thompson, the Polynesian Voyaging Society and crew for undertaking their inspiring journey around the world journey to train the next generation of navigators and to spread the message on the urgency of dealing with the threats to our oceans and islands. GLISPA stands ready to support their efforts.
Toward 2017, GLISPA is supporting the Voyage to inspire greater leadership and action to care for our world’s oceans and islands. This includes supporting the canoes departure from the Pacific region for the first time in history as well as strategic events to inspire leadership and catalyze commitments including the Voyages arrival to New York City and Washington D.C. in mid-2016.