State Constitutional Mandate

State Constitutional Mandate

The identification and designation of IAL was first proposed during the 1978 Constitutional Convention.  The proposed constitutional amendment was subsequently approved by voters in that same year and enacted as Article XI, Section 3, of the Constitution of the State of Hawai`i.[1]



“The State shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands.  The legislature shall provide standards and criteria to accomplish the foregoing.  Lands identified by the State as important agricultural lands needed to fulfill the purposes above shall not be reclassified by the State or rezoned by its political subdivisions without meeting the standards and criteria established by the legislature and approved by a two-thirds vote of the body responsible for the reclassification or rezoning action.”


Article XI, Section 3 of the State Constitution sets out the framework for state policies and all subsequent legislation related to IAL.  According to the Constitution, the State has a legal responsibility to promote agriculture and the conservation of productive agricultural lands in the State.  The constitutional language provides for the following:

  • establishes the constitutional mandate for the State to support the long-term viability of agriculture in Hawai‘i
  • mandates the legislature to provide standards and criteria for identifying lands as IAL and for rezoning and reclassifying lands designated as IAL, and
  • specifies a two-thirds vote to reclassify or rezone lands designated as IAL.