Hawaii Councilor Wants Environmental Pledge From Tourists

Waikiki and Diamond Head
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by The Associated Press, October 15, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — A Honolulu city councilor wants tourists to pledge to respect and help protect the island's natural resources.

Councilwoman Kymberly Pine wants tourists to Oahu to sign a form with a pledge to be environmentally responsible and culturally sensitive during their visits, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

Pine proposed a bill to enlist the Office of Economic Development or another city agency to help establish the Keep Hawaii Hawaii program.

The council's Business, Economic Development and Tourism Committee is expected to discuss the proposal at its Oct. 22 meeting.

The pledge would ask visitors to agree to "respect our agriculture, leave Hawaii and the places you visit the way you found it, not leave trash, not damage our trails or our other natural resources," Pine said.

The program could work with the visitor industry to promote its environmental goals, Pine said.

Ideally, she would like to see the pledge become part of the state Department of Agriculture's Plants and Animals Declaration Form distributed to passengers on inbound airline flights to Oahu and then collected by flight attendants.

Hawaii and Kauai counties have similar pledge programs, but Pine's program would be the first in Hawaii to coordinate with a local government agency.

"We're kind of in new territory because the city really doesn't get involved in tourism, yet we're impacted in every way both positively and negatively," Pine said.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's administration is studying Pine's bill and has not yet formed a position, Communications Director Andrew Pereira said.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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