Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 1578

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committees on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1578, H.D. 1, entitled:




beg leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish and appropriate funds for a Carbon Farming Task Force to identify agricultural and aquacultural activities and best practices that provide greenhouse gas emissions source reduction or carbon sequestration benefits.


     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Planning, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Sierra Club of Hawaii, Ulupono Initiative, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Surfrider Foundation Kauai, Surfrider Foundation Oahu, Hawaii Center for Food Safety, and seventeen individuals.  Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual.  Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, and Hawaii Island School Garden Network.


     Your Committees find that local farmers in Hawaii could benefit from additional subsidies and support to grow local agriculture, create jobs, and diversify the State's economy.  Your Committees find that agricultural and aquacultural land management practices that sequester carbon could provide greenhouse gas reduction benefits, enhance sustainability of Hawaii's agricultural lands, decrease sedimentation of the marine environment, improve the climate resistance of Hawaii's agricultural sector, and create new opportunities for local farmers.  Your Committees further find that creating the Carbon Farming Task Force will help identify and oversee best practices to provide carbon sequestration benefits in the State.


     Your Committees have amended this measure by:


     (1)  Including an additional Carbon Farming Task Force objective to identify ways that ecosystems and agroforestry systems can be used to mitigate carbon content in Hawaii;


     (2)  Adding the Administrator of the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildlife, or designee, to the Carbon Farming Task Force;


     (3)  Inserting an appropriation amount of $100,000; and


     (4)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1578, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1578, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Agriculture and Environment,