ESIN

European Small Islands Federation

Archive for Pia Prost

Skärgård magazine no 160

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Every European island flaunts its assets in glossy magazines, typically written by journalists and photographers spending a week or two in the island’s holiday landscape. Luckily, there is also another kind of island magazines, written by the islanders themselves, sometimes with the help of researchers, dealing with the island culture, history, lifestyle, infrastructure and politics. Such magazines were briefly described here in July 2016.

One of these is the superb magazine Skärgård (= Archipelago), which has just published its 160th (!) issue, with Pia Prost as editor.

The issue starts with a clever editorial by Pia Prost entitled “Mankind is not an island” and continues with articles on sustainability, biogas, fishing, hybrid ferry Elektra, recent disputations, island loos and a very interesting article entitled “Meeting the challenges of Europe’s small islands” by Camille Dressler. We had no idea Camille masters the Swedish language so well (maybe she had some help from Pia?). She gives examples from her own island Eigg, stressing the importance of sharing island stories with happy endings.

Another article is on Simskäla, which was ESIN’s runner-up for the EUSEW 2017 award: “On Simskäla, from different angles” for example “top down or bottom up”, “on or in an island”, “seen from here and seen from there”. Simskäla did not win the EUSEW prize this year (Tilos did, well deserved!) but the Energy Globe Foundation in Austria is urging us to apply for Simskäla to run for their 2018 Energy Globe Award.

Get your own copy here: https://www.cll.fi/projekt/skargard/tidskriften-skargard/.

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Island residents treated as guinea pigs, says Finnish newspaper

In Finland, the government is keen to promote digital business and new business models. To this end, free traffic service in the archipelago is said to prevent commercial producers of transportation services to gain entry into the market and impairs the possibility of developing a free traffic service market in the area, said the Finnish Ministry of Communication in a memorandum yesterday.

This is causing much agitation among the islanders in Finland.

The draft regulation proposes that a reasonable fee should be charged for traffic and transport services that government partly subsidies. There would be no exceptions for the residents of these islands.

Finnish newspaper Åbo Underättelser (covering the Turku area embracing the largest archipelago of Finland) says this is a severe discrimination of the 500 residents: The government has no idea what it is doing. They use the islanders as guinea pigs. This is not only wrong, it is a direct affront to our archipelago, one of the most vulnerable areas in the nation right now. Toll service boats is the government’s way of saying that it is too expensive to serve people living in uncomfortable places in the country.

As ESIN board member Pia Prost stated in her recent article in Skärgård magazine[1], there are all in all 4.300 residents on about 250 islands without fixed links in Finland’s archipelagoes, out of totally 22.000 islands.

The editorial titled “An insult to the archipelago”can be read here (in Swedish) http://www.abounderrattelser.fi/news/2016/11/en-skymf-mot-skargarden.html

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[1] http://www.efbyar.fi/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Bebodda-oar-Skargard-1-2011.pdf

As a reaction to these changes in the existing ferry fares system, ESIN chairman has written a “Letter of Concern” to Finnish Minister of Communication Anne Berner (attached).

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Island visitor’s centers

SkŠrgŒrdscenter Korpostršm / Saaristokeskus Korpostršm

Korpostrom is a strait in the southern Finland archipelago, located adjacent to several major shipping lanes. It has been a local service point for a hundred years, became a marina in the early 2000’s and in 2004 a visitor centre including a marine research station. There is a lecture hall, offices, a restaurant and a hotel, making it possible to organize seminars and conferences on various topics related to the islands of the archipelago

As part of her 10 p University Course “How to Read an Island”, Pia Prost has compared this visitor centre to others around Europe: Île de Batz, Ouessant, Sein, Groix, Belle-île, Houat, Hoëdic, Aix, île aux Moines and Yeu in France, Skye and Taigh Chearsabhagh in Scotland, Liminganlathti, Kalajoki, Kvarken, Blue Mussel and Ekenäs in Finland, Fagelbrolandet, Namdo, Runmaro, Koster, Anholt, Ven, Lysekil, Vatternbranterna and Varmdo in Sweden, Naoshima in Japan, the Channel Islands in UK, Vanouver island and Fogi islands in Canada, El Hierro and Lanzarote in the Canaries, Bere on Ireland, Kastellorizo in Greece and Newport in Oregon.

An impressive list of benchmarks. The work has carried Pia Prost around the world. She defines different kinds of visitor centres and uses Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats concept to compare them.

Anyone involved in strategic, long-term development an island visitor centre will be inspired by her work, her methodology and her love for the subject.

Benchmarking of Island Visitor’s Centres, Pia Prost 2016 https://europeansmallislands.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/island-visiting-centres.pdf

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