2016 Kava Festival cancelled due to late notification and demands by UHM Food Services; 2017 Kava Festival planning meetings begin October 2016.

Aloha Kakou,

The 2016 Kava Festival has been cancelled. The ‘Awa Development Council, however, will release further information on the 2017 Kava Festival venue and time at a later date.

Unfortunately, after 10 months of continuous emails, phone calls and visits to the University of Hawaii Manoa Food Services, the ADC Secretary was finally notified by the UHM Food Services manager on July 29, 2016 that the ADC, its vendors and participants to the 2016 Kava Festival of October 8, 2016 would be subjected to unprecedented restrictions, terms and conditions in the Kava Festival’s annual 12 year history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The ADC has evaluated UHM Food Services’ notification and demands and has found them to be impractical and unreasonable to implement with just 71 days before the planned 2016 Kava Festival. Therefore, the ADC has cancelled the 2016 Kava Festival of October 8, 2016. Planning, however, for the 2017 Kava Festival will begin in October 2016.

Those interested in the 2017 Kava Festival planning are welcome to send ADC their contact information and interest to secy.adc@gmail.com or contact its president, Jonathan Yee at (808) 256-5605 or pres.adc@gmail.com

I Maluhia ka Honua!

Jonathan Yee

9/22/14. A Visit to Ed Johnston’s Nursery in Pepe’ekeo, HI

Ed Johnston maintains the original collection of Hawaiian ‘awa cultivars in Pepe’ekeo, HI. Through his collecting efforts early on and to date, planting material has been made available, revitalizing ‘awa’s cultural and commercial use. Ed and his wife Helen, along with Jerry Konanui, et al. have also made extensive contributions to a contemporary understanding of ‘awa, through their 2006 publication of “Hawaiian ‘Awa – Views of an Ethnobotanical Treasure,” a copy of which is kept on ADC’s website – http://www.awadevelopment.org/library/


L-R by columns, draw a horizontal line thru the center: two Papa kea ('Apu), two Nene (2), Kumakua, 'Opihikao, Pana'ewa, Honokaneiki, Luukia (var. papa'ele'ele?), Mahakea, Papaelele puupuu, Papaelele, Hanakapi'ai. Missing Hiwa, Mo'i, and Mapulehu.

L-R by columns, draw a horizontal line thru the center: two Papa kea (‘Apu), two Nene (2), Kumakua, ‘Opihikao, Pana’ewa, Honokaneiki, Luukia (var. papa’ele’ele?), Mahakea, Papaelele puupuu, Papaelele, Hanakapi’ai. Missing Hiwa, Mo’i, and Mapulehu.

Explaining how there's no rush to transplant.

Explaining how there’s no rush to transplant.

Going over the Hawaiian 'awa cultivar collection with Ed Johnston and Jonathan Yee

Going over the Hawaiian ‘awa cultivar collection with Ed Johnston and Jonathan Yee

Please be advised about the next public event: the Hawaii Pacific Islands Kava Festival on October 4, 2014 in Honolulu where ‘awa from the Big Island, Molokai, Oahu and other Pacific islands will be together in one location at the University of Hawaii, McCarthy Mall, Manoa campus – http://kavafestival.org Kava beverage, educational activities, food and music by Chris Salvador, Ernie Cruz, Jr. and others will be featured. Also please be reminded that September 22, 2014 is the last day for pre-orders on the Official Kava Festival T-shirt – http://www.kavafestival.org/official-2014-kava-festival-t-shirts/

Later next year Chaminade University will host a kava symposium, more info later as it becomes available.

Kava Ban Lifted in Germany!

As related to ADC from Dr. Jonathan “JD” Baker, 6/10/14:

Breaking kava news: the German administrative court today issued its ruling that the ban of kava-containing products in Germany was unlawful and inappropriate. Kava has returned to its 2001 status, and the ban has been lifted by order of the court.

Here are the main points from the 40 page court ruling, summarized in English by Mathias Schmidt:

“On almost 40 pages the court states, that

  1. Mere doubts related to the efficacy of a medicinal product do not justify the withdrawal of marketing authorizations;
  2. Doubts related to efficacy cannot automatically lead to the conclusion of an overweight of risk in the benefit risk-ratio;
  3. Mere hypotheses and assumptions on the causality of adverse events are per se not a justified suspicion;
  4. The risk must be assessed in the clinical context, especially if the therapeutic alternatives bear a greater risk – this should have been counted in favor of kava;
  5. The authorities must demonstrate the risk in a reproducible manner. If the risk cannot be clearly corroborated, the withdrawal of marketing authorizations is unlawful;
  6. The risk of kava has not been clearly demonstrated. Consequently, the benefit-risk-ratio cannot be negative and there is no justification for the withdrawal of marketing authorizations;
  7. In view of the exposure data the risk does not seem unusually high. The incidence of liver toxicity would have to rated „rare“ or „very rare“;
  8. BfArM uses duplicate case reports. Quantity of case reports does not replace quality of the assessment;
  9. BfArM never commented on the doubts related to ist causality assessment;
  10. The court doubts that a pattern of liver toxicity can be derived from the data;
  11. BfArM is wrong to describe the benzodiazepines, buspirone of SSRI as less harmful alternatives to kava.

In short: The court thinks that the risk – obviously minor – was not sufficiently substantiated for the ban of kava.

Conclusion: Kava is back to the regulatory status of 2001 – no ban, just the restrictions to marketing already applied in 2001. The ban is lifted by the order of the Administrative Court!”

mahakea plants' tops

Aloha Kakou,

mahakea plants' tops

The ‘Awa Development Council (ADC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charitable organization. The ADC is devoted exclusively to educational, science, and cultural activities. Our motto is I Maluhia ka Honua (So that the world may be at peace). The following is a summary of our activities we conduct on a regular basis.

Education. We coordinate with professors and researchers to give talks and hold discussions with the public to educate them about the physiological benefits of kava, the safety of its use, its use in Hawaiian religion and culture, and current scientific understanding. We host the Kava Festival – an important educational venue for the dissemination of knowledge and understanding of kava.

We provide scientific literature and general educational material to schools and general public upon request. Educational display boards are also available for public viewing at public events. Our website, http://awadevelopment.org, is also a resource for kava education.

We are available to provide educational lectures and talks on kava. Funds will be disbursed to support research in kava. Students who research kava are encouraged to apply for ADC grants or scholarships.

Science. We engage in scientific research and also coordinate and provide referrals to researchers. For example, Will McClatchey, Ph.D, board member, is an associate professor of botany at the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa. H.C. Bittenbender, Ph.D., board member, is the extension specialist for kava, cacao and coffee at the University of Hawai‘i. Both board members conduct scientific research on kava. Referrals are provided through our extensive contacts within the academic community, the Association for Hawaiian ‘Awa, a 501(c)(3) organization, and use of our website. We also refer researchers who require plant material to gardeners, farmers and nurseries. Research results that are supported by the ADC are also posted on our website.

We also support science by using the Kava Festival as an important venue for scientific demonstrations and talks. In 2003, the Kava Festival had lecturers from the University of Hawai‘i, National Tropical Botanical Gardens, and the Association for Hawaiian ‘Awa, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Culture. The ‘Awa Development Council (ADC) appreciates that ‘awa often plays an important role in the practice of traditional Hawaiian culture. We respect, support, and encourage practice of Hawaiian protocols at ADC functions and events, conducted by kahuna (specialist practitioners) traditionally trained to preside over ceremonies involving the use of ‘awa. These may include protocols of greeting, blessing, honoring of guests and leaders of community groups, organizations, and government.

Our Support. We rely on institutional grants and public contributions for support. Examples of grants include contributions from Lyon Arboretum Association, a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations provided by the public. In-kind contributions include collaborations with Lyon Arboretum, the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, both institutes of the University of Hawai‘i. Examples of these in-kind contributions include use of the Lyon Arboretum grounds for the Kava Festival, volunteers from the Lyon Arboretum Association, and use of University of Hawaii facilities such as PowerPoint system (laptop computer, PowerPoint software, projector), public address system, and vehicles for shuttle service. We also intend to apply for funding from the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i (ASUH) – the undergraduate student government representing all fulltime, classified, undergraduate students at the Manoa Campus as chartered by the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents.

Please donate to the ADC via check or money order payable to `Awa Development Council or online via Paypal button here:

Alternate or in-kind contributions may also be arranged by contacting us.

Donations are fully tax deductible as allowed by our tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) for charitable organizations.

Mahalo for your support,

Board of Directors
Jonathan Yee, P/COB
Will McClatchey, Ph.D., VP/BOD
Daren S. Kimura, T/BOD
H.C. Skip Bittenbender, Ph.D., S/BOD
Sam ‘Ohukaniohia Gon, III, Ph.D., CPR/BOD

Contact information:

`Awa Development Council
PO Box 26344
Honolulu HI 96825
(808) 256-5605