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During 2016, we made 76 postings on this ESIN site https://europeansmallislands.com. 16 of these were about events taking place in Greece, 8 in Scotland, 9 in Sweden, 7 each in France and Ireland, 6 in Finland, 3 in Denmark, and 2 in Estonia, Åland and Italy respectively.
The subjects were mixed: 7 out of 76 posts were about renewable energy (plus 2 about Smilegov), 5 about island schools, 4 about island kids, 3 about agriculture, 8 about literature and art, 5 about transports, 6 about ISISA, 4 about CPMR and 2 about waste. The intention is to give an overall picture of life on a small European island, its joys and hardships.
We had almost twelve thousand (11.824) visits by five thousand (5,375) visitors. Most of them came from the UK (c:a 2,000), Sweden (c:a 800), the US (c:a 750), Ireland, Greece and Germany (c:a 700 each), France (c:a 500), Italy, Estonia, Åland and Maldives (c:a 300 each).
Everything posted on this site is mirrored on our Facebook page which had an amazing 34,927 views during 2016. Most popular posts were: the letter from Arranmore on September 15 (seen by 1,478 people), Inishbofin’s ecoturism award on May 4 (1,138 views), the ESIN AGM in Brussels on October, 2 (1,010 views) and the opportunity for young islanders to study tourism in Palermo published on March 8 (1,005 views).
DG Energy’s Marie Donnely island pledge on December 2 reached 751 people, ESIN’s Elefteris Kechagioglou’s attendance to the CPMR 36th Annual General Meeting on May 19 was seen by 696 people and the recent link to “Islands of the Future” documentary films stirred the interest of 686 people.
A winter view from ESIN’s office in Karlby, Kökar. The temperature is just below minus and the sea is beginning to freeze. Wishing all islanders and island-friends a Happy New Year!
2016 ends like autumn, not winter, on Kökar. It’s almost midnight on New Year’s Eve, I’m a little drunk, out to pee in the shadowy slope beneath the old gate. It’s 5oC but the clouds are gone and the sky is boiling with stars.
Happy there aren’t any fireworks, hoping 2017 will bring better times for small islands, dreaming of zero waste and zero nonsense, wishing for more research, reflection, reaction and action. Kind of foolish to wish upon a star but remember they are all alive. Maybe they will let us all get a reasonable share of love from others and from ourselves.
In October 2014, ESIN hosted a meeting with young people from the Croatian organisations DESA based in Dubrovnik, SVIMA (Association for Civil Society Organisations and Civil Initiatives Development) and the Association for Sustainable Development of the Island of Rava. They wanted to prepare themselves for full utilisation of the European Social Fund.
At the meeting which took place in Stockholm Bengt Almkvist, Marian O’Malley and Christian Pleijel met with Dino Varenina, Ana Eric and Romana Hansai from DESA, Antonia Uskok who is the young vice mayor of Vis, and Ivan Srsen, born on Rava, living on Rava, working as an environmental officer, a local guide and producer of Fleur de Sel.
In June 2015, island kids from Åland, Turkey, Latvia and Latvia and of course Crotia met on Vis https://europeansmallislands.com/2015/06/12/island-kids-met-in-croatia/.
Later that year, Otočni Sabor (the Association for the Development of Croatian Islands) became a member of ESIN.
Now, Otočni Sabor, SVIMA and Association for the Sustainable Development of the Rava Island have commenced a new project called ”Active Young Islanders for smart small islands”.
The project seeks to equip young islanders (aged 15 – 25) of several Croatian small islands with policy-tracking, communications, advocacy and campaigning knowledge & skills through:
(1) Tailor-made workshops for young islanders and respective public panel discussions entitled “Smart small islands in the Republic of Croatia and active contribution of young islanders – reality or utopia” with a participation of relevant Croatian Members of the European Parliament / members of the European Economic and Social Committee
(2) An action research / a public panel discussion on the young women representation in the small islands’ decision-making process/in the small islands-based governing & management structures
(3) An advocacy campaign during which the young islanders will have an opportunity to clearly articulate to relevant decision-makers (line ministries & Croatian Parliament’s Committees) as well as the general public on their opinions/concerns with regard to transformative development agenda of Croatian small islands based on the “smart islands” concept.
The project makes me think of ”reverse mentoring” = traditional mentoring turned on its head. A method where more experienced (=old) people actively seeks the council of (young) people with less overall experience but fresh perspectives and skill sets.
Croatia is the youngest member of ESIN. We have a lot to learn from you.
Young olives growing on and old one, Rava (renowned for its olives)
The European Commission wants to boost the transition to clean energy. To this end, it is revising how it uses the financial tools of the Structural and Investment Funds.
As was indicated by DG Energy’s Marie Donnelly during the FOP22 meeting in Marrakech, 14th of November, islands are in the package.
In the Work programme Annex dated 30.11.2016, the Commission urges the Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank to consider that “islands and island regions provide platforms for pilot initiatives on clean energy transition and can serve as showcases at international level.” … “The Commission would like to help accelerate the development and adoption of best available technologies on islands and island regions, including exchange of best practice in financing and legal and regulatory regimes, and in energy for transport. The first step is to bring the islands themselves together, regardless of their size, geography or their location.” …
“In the first half of 2017, the Commission will hold a high level meeting in Valletta on the clean energy opportunities and challenges for islands. This will launch a process to support islands in their clean energy transition.” (see page 14 in the Annex attached).
After the Study on island over cost presented to French authorities (Prime Minister) in July 2015, the help of many MP’s and the Bretagne Regional council Chairman (also Minister of French Army Jean Yves Le Drian), the french government proposed to cover the island overcost estimated 4 million euro/year (incuding investment & running costs) for all îles du Ponant island communes.
Yesterday evening, the French Parliement (l’Assemblée Nationale) voted the additional law for this. It still has to be confirmed by Sénat within a few days, but our French member AIP is very confident about this.
The members of the ESIN Board recently received a call for the next board meeting 25/10, two weeks in advance. It gives them the possibility to check the agenda, the issues and the proposals with all of you: board members of national island organisations and islanders on our 1,400 islands. It also makes it possible to translate the agenda into other languages – Estonian, Croatian, Italian…?