ERASMUS PROJECT + Adult Education Strategic Partnerships
Project : “ERASMUS PROJECT + Adult Education Strategic Partnerships”
Location : Island of Mausund (Norway), Saint-Honorat (France), Brownsea (United Kingdom), and Zlarin (Croatia)
Duration : 21 months (01.09.2020 to 01.06.2022)
Project partners : Brownsea – National Trust (UK), Mausund – Eider As Mausund Feltstasjon (Norway), Saint-Honorat – Our Lady of Lérins Abbey (France), and Zlarin – Zlarin Tourism Board (Croatia)
Associated partners: Parc national de Port-Cros (France), Conservatoire du littoral (France), CPIE – Permanent Initiative Centre for the Environment – Lérins (France), Corinne Van der Yeught (IAE de Toulon, France), National Trust: Emma Stokes, Olivia Gruitt, Tony Flux (United Kingdom), Chris Weedon (United Kingdom), Action for Ocean (Norway), Blue Competence Centre (Norway), Bernt-Erik Sæther (Norwegian University of Science and Technology – NTNU), John Linnell (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research – NINA), and Tatavaka Association (Croatia)
Isolation, scarcity of resources, limited space, in other words, the insular character, a priori reduces the range of solutions to preserve small islands and their environment. At the same time, this island feature is a strength. The islands are laboratories for sustainable development and innovative, environmental, social, legal or technical solutions. The islands share similar challenges and shared solutions to ensure the sustainable management of their environment.
One of the key economic sectors on the islands is tourism. Tourism activities, levers of economic development, can, through lack of supervision or planning, be sources of pressure on the environment. On the other hand, sustainably managed tourism can contribute to the sustainable development of islands and draw global attention to preservation and conservation issues.
Networking between small islands is essential to reduce the isolation of these territories, enabling them to identify and share sustainable solutions and thus increase their skills and knowledge in the fields of biodiversity and sustainable tourism management. Thanks to this knowledge, managers will, in turn, be able to train and educate other vital players in the territory, as well as local communities and visitors, to adopt the right actions.
The project’s general objective was to meet the needs for exchanges and reinforcement of knowledge of the managers of small European islands, to initiate and promote their approaches to the preservation and sustainable management of natural resources, in a logic of strengthening the cooperation and solidarity between islands in Europe.
Due to the health context, no face-to-face meeting was possible during the project’s first year. To mobilise partners and train them in the challenges of sustainable tourism, a series of online events have
been proposed. Four inter-island meetings, every three full days on the project islands:
● Day 1 Meeting of the Island Committee of the island, a shared governance body made up of key local players in terms of sustainable development; Presentation of the project partners of their island; Presentation of the management plan of the host island; visit of the island to experience the territory and its sustainable tourism practices
● Day 2 Training sessions on specific topics related to sustainable tourism; Presentations of good practices from the hosting partner
● Day 3 Continuation of exchanges of good practices; brainstorming to help the hosting partner to understand a chosen issue better; drafting recommendations
Production of a final technical note, “Recommendations – Network of European Islands for the development of sustainable tourism”, shares good practices, practical advice, and knowledge discussed during the project, aimed at small European islands and beyond. These recommendations also fed into the deepening of the SMILO strategic principles for the sustainable development of small islands.
A podcast, “Once upon an island – Green tourism”, has been created, and four episodes are dedicated to telling about sustainable tourism on each of the project islands, with context-specific topics and good practices to share from partner islands.