The Small Islands Organisation (SMILO) is an NGO which assists small islands of less than 150 km² that wish to work towards managing their territory more sustainably.
We aim to curb impacts linked to human activities and development, whilst fostering innovations on islands that benefit the local population and their environment.
We focus on sustainable solutions in the fields of water & sanitation, waste, energy, biodiversity, landscape and heritage.
The Sustainable Island label developed by SMILO offers tangible proof of an island’s commitment; it is synonymous with international recognition of efforts made by small islands. As well as showcasing the “experimental” regions that play a role in the ecological transition, the label aims to highlight the challenges inherent in conserving small islands. To support islands as they work toward the label, SMILO has established the Islands Fund, which helps finance concrete, innovative operations on islands that contribute to protecting terrestrial and marine biodiversity.
During the development phase (2017-2021), 18 small islands joined SMILO with the intention of earning the Sustainable Island label. They are located in Europe, around the Mediterranean, in Africa, the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia.
Today, over 35 islands are members of the SMILO network, driven by a mind-set of cooperation and solidarity between islands. The members share their knowledge and best practices at regular meetings. They also attend training courses and workshops hosted by experts – who mostly donate their time free of charge. The islands can call upon these experts for advice and technical back-up out in the field.
A FOUR-POINT STRATEGY
- To structure and reinforce local governance; to support integrated local projects and a vision shared by local players
- To enhance the management and protection of resources by developing concrete, innovative projects in the field
- To strengthen local technical capacities in terms of project management and land use and development
- To help islands to pool best practices and knowledge through SMILO’s international network of small islands
CONCRETE COMMITMENTS AND BENEFITS ON A LOCAL LEVEL
- Identification of the island’s margins for progress in terms of resource management
- Recognition of the key-players’ commitment
- Strengthening of local management capacities: lobbying, reporting, innovative financing
- Raising public awareness
On an international level
- Capitalisation of sustainable territorial planning and practices that can be replicated in other territories
- Concrete contribution to ecological transition and sustainable management of resources, in line with international conventions
- Recognition of island territories
STRATEGIC AND THEMATIC ORIENTATIONS
The strategic orientations are SMILO’s principles and main recommendations to follow to sustainably manage an island’s resources and to protect its environment. They form together the framework for candidate islands to the certification process.
The thematic orientations define the fields in which the islands are evaluated. They also characterise the themes on which SMILO can provide expertise.
These objectives are summarised in the diagram below and are available via the following link: Strategic and thematic orientations.