Who are we?
The Small Islands Organisation (SMILO) was officially established on December 7, 2016. It is an association under the French law (1901 law) and works at the international level.
It is composed of a representative body (the General Assembly), a decision-making body (the Board of Directors) whose members are elected by the General Assembly, a management body (the Bureau) and finally an operational body (the Secretariat).
SMILO Secretariat is always available to reply to any question you may have, partnership proposals, projects and ideas, or if you wish to join our network.
SYLVAIN PETIT, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Sylvain holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Geography. After working in the fields of tourism, coastal planning, and nature conservation, Sylvain is now mostly dedicated to small islands. While he officially joined our team in June as Executive Secretary, he was part of the initiative from the very beginning, working as a facilitator and member of the Board of Directors. This Franco-Croatian previously lived on the Adriatic coast for 7 years, in the city of Split, where he was responsible for ICZM projects and initiatives implementation with the UN Environment Mediterranean Action Program (PAP/RAC). Sylvain quickly fell in love with Croatian islands. From the island of Vancouver to Crete via Sardinia, he is a convinced and passionate islander.
Domitille Le Huédé, Project Manager
Domitille joined SMILO team as a Project Officer at the beginning of the year. She graduated with a Master’s degree in International Development and Environment Project Management from Sciences Po Paris. She previously worked in Samoa Islands within the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), where she supported South Pacific Small Islands Developing States in marine biodiversity conservation projects. She then worked at the Pacific Office of the French MPA Agency, before moving to South of France to work for the Conservatoire du littoral International Delegation, where she was already supporting SMILO. She first discovered her passion for islands when she started sailing around Brittany islands, then in Indonesia where she lived one year.
Marta Ferretti, Project Manager
Marta joined the team in April as our new Project Officer. She holds a MSc in International Relations with a specialisation in Environmental Politics from the London School of Economics (LSE). She also holds a Master’s degree in European and International Law from the University of Geneva. Marta previously worked in London for a communications & advocacy consultancy specialised in the environment, where she focused on nature-based solutions and sustainable agriculture and forest management. This native Italian later joined the UN in Rome, working on issues related to climate change and food security, and partnerships building at the World Food Programme (UN WFP). She is a firm believer of the leading role that islands can play for the planet global conservation.
BABOU VERHAEGEN, PROJECT MANAGER IN INTERNHIP
Babou is an intern at SMILO in 2023. This Belgian is finishing her studies in sustainable development at the Haute Ecole Provinciale de Namur and would like to continue with a master in environmental sciences and management at the University of Liège. She works in the team as a sustainable development officer. She is mainly in charge of organizing the technical workshop that will expose the issues of sustainable agriculture in small islands within the framework of the ISOS + Isole sostenibili project. In love and passionate about her vegetable garden, she still has her hands in the ground and is convinced of the need to reappropriate this know-how.
Nicolas cANNAVO, Community manager in apprenticeship
After a year spent in Ireland, Nicolas continued his studies in the field of webmarketing. With a particular attention for sustainable development, it is naturally at SMILO that Nicolas started at the end of 2022, a year of alternation as a communication officer for a period of at least one year.
As the days go by, he continues to learn in the field of webmarketing as well as in the field of sustainable development on the island through the numerous projects of SMILO.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is a body that is responsible for approving SMILO’s important strategic decisions and for making decisions on all matters related to its corporate purpose
Diana region, north of Madagascar, is rich in exceptional biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes, such as the Emerald Sea and its islets, which are engaged in the SMILO labelling process. Tatienne BE, Director of development for DIANA Region, represents their Island Committee.
Tatienne was born in 1981 in Diego Suarez. After graduating, she obtained a DEUG in philosophy and a BTS in international trade. After a few years of experience in the hotel industry and wellness sector, Tatienne began a career in politics and became the First Assistant to the Mayor of the urban community of Diego Suarez in 2014. The following year, she got the position she occupies today at Diana Region.
Graduated in biology and urban planning, Fabrice BERNARD has been developing and coordinating several countries’ coastal and small island conservation projects for over 20 years as a European and International Delegate for Conservatoire du littoral.
His approach considers the territory as ecosystem support for human uses in a «coevolution Man/Nature» dynamic. Fabrice is positioned as an interlocutor facilitating relations between actors from different horizons and skills around integrated territorial management.
Bruno Costa-Marini, 61 years old, of engineering formation, has an international career in IT (USA, Japan, Europe, Middle East …). In parallel, he has always been involved in associative activities, for example, with Action Against Hunger NGO that he accompanied for two years to set up a mutual fund. Also involved in environmental protection, he worked for four years for the Conservatoire du littoral, first on a European program to develop land policies in UE Mediterranean countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece), then on a mission of valorization of the building properties. With Corsican origins, Bruno has a particular attachment to islands and islanders. The efficient field approach and the ambitious and international vision of SMILO convinced him to become a facilitator for Santa Luzia island in Cape Verde.
Antonio DE ABREU
António Abreu holds a Doctorate in Marine Biology and the title of Environment Specialist awarded by The Order of Biologists. He is currently a Research Associate and manages the UNESCO Chair in Biodiversity Safeguard for Sustainable Development at Coimbra University, Portugal. He has extensive experience in the field of the environment, notably in matters of management, event assessment, marine biology and ecology, the integrated management of coastal zones, climate change, biodiversity conservation, and protected areas with a specific focus on islands.He occupied the position of Regional Director of the Environment for the government of Madeira and, more recently, the post of Programme Specialist for Ecological Sciences with UNESCO in Paris, in the area of Biosphere Reserves, Geoparks and biodiversity conservation. Born in Madeira, this true islander has his own definition of the word ‘island’: “a piece of land linked to other pieces of land by sea”. Based on his personal and professional experience with islands all over the world, he embraces the oneness of islands: their heritage (be it natural, historical, cultural or geographical, material or immaterial) and the constant challenges they face when developing socio-economic activities that are positive for the Environment and the quality of life of islanders.
Now retired, Roger remains very active in the field of nature protection. It participates in the work of various bodies such as the Regional Scientific Council for Natural Heritage (CSRPN) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In addition, he chairs the Training Institute for Research and Expertise in the Underground Environment (IFREEMIS). Roger Estève co-founded the SMILO program in 2014 with Maxime Prodromidès and Sylvain Petit. He is now its treasurer and one of its many most active experts.
What he appreciates at SMILO is its dynamics, friendliness and shared convictions. SMILO is the demonstration that a light structure close to the ground is perfectly adapted to respond to local environmental issues. Roger Estève led a professional career within the Ministry of the Environment, which led him to the northern Alps, then the gorges of the Ardèche and the shores of the Mediterranean.
Kate Brown has led the Global Island Partnership since 2009 and is based in New Zealand. She is an island partnership and network specialist and, with GLISPA, advises governments, NGOs and others on strategies for working together to improve the lives of island people across the globe. She is a co-lead of the Local2030 Islands Network, a new network of island economies focused on advancing sustainable development in a locally and culturally appropriate way and an adviser to a range of other networks and initiatives, including the Climate Strong Islands Network, the board of Island Conservation, Blue Nature Alliance, Micronesia Challenge, Caribbean Challenge Initiative, Aloha+Challenge, Coalition of Fragile Ecosystems, Niue Ocean Wide, and many more.
She is a proud parent of 4 children and a wahine Maori – from Tauranga Moana (Ngai te Rangi, Te Iwi Morehu) in New Zealand.
With over 28 years of experience, Gregg Howald is a leading expert in the field of island restoration. He has been involved in the eradication of invasive species from more than 75 islands in eight countries. With a diverse technical background grounded in ecotoxicology, Gregg’s focus has evolved into conservation diplomacy and is a key member of controversial projects. He helps lead public engagement processes, where he supports the communication of risks and benefits of projects to inform values‐based decisions, including regulatory compliance processes and stakeholder engagement. He has developed a network of global partners from government agencies, private industry, NGOs, academic institutions, and local communities. Gregg is currently working on building networks of multilateral and transboundary public-private partnerships to bring industry, government, scientists, and NGOs together under national and international policy frameworks that are focused on island restoration programs, with a goal to increase the scale, scope, and pace of the eradication of invasive species from insular ecosystems. Since 2021 is a member of SMILO’s Board of Directors and a delegate for North America.
Sami BEN HAJ
“PIM Initiative” is an NGO for promoting and assisting Mediterranean small island management through the implementation of on-field practical actions and pragmatic solutions, promoting exchanges of know-how and knowledge between protectors and specialists of the Mare Nostrum. Promoting meetings, capitalizing on and disseminating knowledge are the principal axes of its action, with the support of a multidisciplinary experts pool, site managers, rangers, institutions and NGOs.
PIM Initiative is represented by its president, Sami BEN HAJ, consulting ecologist and PhD in oceanology. With over twenty years of experience in the conservation and management of island heritage, this enthusiast has travelled all Mediterranean shores from the city of Bizerte, Tunisia, to meet small islands.
Catherine Leonard joined the National Trust (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) in 1999 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with a background in modern languages and international public and cultural relations. Prior to her appointment as Secretary-General of INTO, Catherine was responsible for the Trust’s work with overseas heritage conservation groups, running the European Exchange Programme and managing the European Network of National Heritage Organisations. She has led INTO since its foundation in 2007.
Annie JOUGA, born in Dakar in 1953, completed her higher education in Paris and obtained a DPLG architectural diploma in 1978 at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris la Villette. Works since in her agency J & T architects and associates created in co-management. From 2002 to 2022, she was the Deputy Mayor of Gorée Island, representing the Island Committee on the SMILO Board of Directors. She is also elected Councilor of the city of Dakar from 2014 to 2022 and President of the Urban Mobility and Infrastructure Commission.
Beyond her professional career, it is a real commitment that motivates Annie, a lover of heritage. She is now the administrator of the University College of Architecture in Dakar, which she founded in 2008, to become a hub for the development of architecture in Africa beyond forming the principal axes of architecture, urban planning and heritage.
SMALL ISLANDS ORGANISATION President was born in 1965 and lived on the island of Porquerolles, where his family had lived since 1912. He’s also President of the Economic and Social Council (CESC) of Port-Cros national Park since 2013.
Author, director, and publisher (1985-2012), Maxime has written several documentaries for french television channels (Arte, Canal+), devoted to science and archaeology. He’s a History of Art and Image Anthropology graduate at Paris Ecole des Hautes Etudes (1995-2000) and has also graduated in oenology and viticulture since 2013.
In 2011, Frédéric and Chris TARDIEU became the owners of a small island in the Philippines, Pangatalan. They create the Sulubaaï Foundation to preserve Palawan’s natural resources and restore marine biodiversity with local populations. Pangatalan is labelled sustainable island Smilo, Hope Spot Mission Blue, Zero carbon resort PCSD etc.
Today, 25 people, mainly residents of neighbouring villages, work and contribute to the ecological restoration and sustainable development of La Baie. In addition, the Sulubaaï Foundation has created a private Marine Protected Area and three community MPAs in total; more than 200 hectares are monitored daily. The Sea Academy project is engaged in Shark Fin Bay, and other villages want to join this initiative to regenerate fishery resources. Sulubaai will build, in the second half of 2022, the first ecological restoration centre in Asia.
The Bureau is responsible for the association’s day-to-day management and preparation of the Board of Directors meetings.
It is formed by:
- PRODROMIDES Maxime, President
- ESTEVE Roger, Treasurer
- DE ABREU Antonio, Secretary
The General Assembly includes all members of the association.
It meets at least once every year when convened by the Board.
Decisions are made with 50% plus one of the votes cast.
The founding members of the association are:
- BERNARD Fabrice
- ESTEVE Roger
- PETIT Sylvain
- PRODROMIDES Maxime
The President, assisted by the members of the Board of Directors, chairs the Assembly and presents the association’s state of affairs and activity report.
The Treasurer presents its management report and submits the annual accounts (balance sheets, income statements and annexes) for approval by the Assembly. The Secretary prepares the minutes and signs them.
The Assessment committee
The Assessment Committee is composed of 10 qualified personalities, representative of SMILO themes of interest (Water, Energy, Waste, Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems, Landscapes, Governance and Human Activities). These members, called Reporters, were approached by SMILO Administrative Council for their skills and experiences. Coming from all around the world, Reporters meet at least once a year in person to carry out the ongoing intermediate and final assessments. In this context, they issue a common opinion, after study of applications, which they transmit to the Administrative Council, the only decision-makers of Label granting. They are all independent, non-adherents to the NGO and sign a cooperation convention defining their role within SMILO NGO.
On the occasion of an intermediate or final Assessment, the Assessment Committee mobilizes one of its members (a Reporter) directly on the candidate island. The latter checks in situ the conformity of all labelling steps preceding the assessment. Available and open-minded, Reporter’s role goes beyond a simple review of required minima. He/She can advise and carry the island, via its Island Committee, to modifications of its project for more consistency with objectives of achieving Sustainable Island Label.
Awatef Abiadh is a program coordinator for the LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux) and BirdLife France, in charge of developing conservation program in francophone countries. She is in charge of involving civil society organisation in conservation and capacity development at different level. Awatef has a PhD in Biology focusing on the evolution and taxonomy of genus Gerbillus. She started her professional career teaching in school, then at Universities in Tunisia. Passionate by photography and hiking, her first contact with islands was in 2007, and it has radically influenced her career. She was involved with the PIM Initiative NGO from 2007 to 2012 to coordinate control activities of invasive species (more precisely rats) on small North African islands. She also prepared feasibility plans for different small islands in the Mediterranean to reproduce these activities.
Habib Ben Moussa
Born in 1958 in Tunisia, Habib Ben Moussa is currently Special Adviser to the Tunisian Ministry of Local Affairs and Environment, and in charge of coastal issues and waste management. He joined IFREMER in 1984 to do his doctorate in small islands of Polynesia. Doctor in Marine Ecology, he began a career entirely dedicated to environment protection, more specifically coastal preservation. In nearly 30 years, this specialist of Mediterranean has coordinated many international projects, alongside Tunisian institutions such as the Agency for Coasts Protection and Development (APAL), or the National Agency for Environment Protection. Thus, he worked on multiple themes, like waste and hazardous waste management, protection of marine and coastal ecosystems, industrial pollution and climate change.
Eduardo Bueno Guimarães
Eduardo Bueno Guimarães is an engineer specialised in generation and transmission of electrical energy. He has a MSc in Power systems engineering. Eduardo has close relationships with the sea, being a Navy second lieutenant and reserve forces. This great sailor, amateur skipper, has more than 4000 nautical miles navigated. Now retired, Eduardo lives part time on an island (Ilha Grande), 170 km south of Rio de Janeiro, in the heart of a natural reserve of the Atlantic blue forest. He was also the Director of Engineering Union of Rio, and worked at PROCEL, the Brazilian programme of energy saving. His last professional experience was as CEO of Serra do Facão Energy SA, a private company responsible for the construction and operation of a 210 MW hydroelectric plant, with a 218km² reservoir. During this 7-year job experience, he managed the relation with the communities, preservation of environment and resources quality, relocation of houses, construction of new roads and distribution systems, water and sewage management and social investments in poor communities, as public schools and hospitals.
Pierre Carret is an agronomist and expert in biodiversity conservation. For the last twenty years he has worked on nature conservation programmes with several international organisations. His career began in the Congo Basin on European programmes for the protection of forests. He was then the first manager of the participatory science programme “Gardens & Butterflies” with the association Noé and the Museum of Natural History of Paris, before joining the environment/biodiversity team of the international cooperation directorate of the EU Commission. Since 2010, Pierre has worked for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), first as an advisor to the Executive Director then, since 2014, as Grant Director. His missions have led him to meet and support many local associations working for the protection of nature, in more than thirty countries of the Caribbean, Africa, the Mediterranean region and the Indian Ocean. He is currently the CEPF grant director for the Mediterranean Basin hotspot, a position he holds from Sarthe, West of France, where he also manages a small-scale organic farm.
Muminatu Jaló is a PhD student in Sustainability Science at Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal. Her main research focuses on the dynamic relationship interactions between ecosystem services and society well-being, as it is influenced by biodiversity and ecosystem processes within the context of global climate change, land use change and on other socioeconomic elements. Muminatu has a MA Master of International Politics and Economics at Kingston University. She has worked for 4 years in PASSA-HRS project as Socio-Economist carrying out internal capacity business in social science through monitoring, training, improving rural productivity, employability and income earning opportunity, enhancing food security and promoting environmentally sustainability and livelihoods. With a 15+ year experience in Human Development, across seveal countries, she recently founded the Think Company, which took charge of all socioeconomic aspects of deploying drinking water and small electricity wattage to small villages in Guinea-Bissau. She’s the author of “The element of economic and political institution that impact the prosperity in ECOWAS development”, published in December 2013.
Pauline Malterre is an independent consultant, leading the IEMI consult company. She is a marine biologist graduated in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and specialised for 15 years in marine protected area (MPA) planning and management. She previously worked in a marine reserve, in a French oversea territory before joining several cooperation projects for providing technical assistance for biodiversity practitioners in different areas (Indian Ocean, Mediterranean…). She also worked for the IUCN French Committee and is still involved in two expert groups related to the Protected areas and Overseas programs.
Thomas Pavy is a Coastal Ecosystems Management specialist. Since 2018, he works as an independent consultant in this domain. Born in the Alps, Thomas Pavy naturally started by focusing on mountains ecosystems. He crossed over to Coastal ecosystems sciences in 2009 while studying at the University of Edinburgh. In 2013, he then obtained a Master degree specialised on Expertise and Management of Coastal Environments in Britany, France. From 2015 to 2018, he was in charge of the environmental operations for the “Pangatalan Sustainable Island” in Palawan, Philippines, a project initiated in 2012 by the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation. Thomas and the Foundation established in 2016 a 40ha Marine Protected Area surrounding the island. They also designed and developed the SRP (Sulu-Reef Prosthesis) in order to accelerate the resilience of the degraded coral reefs surrounding Pangatalan Island.
Ravaka Natacha Ranaivoson
Ravaka Natacha Ranaivoson is the Director of the Marine Conservation within the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) programme in Madagascar. She is in charge of the marine conservation strategic development, planning, finance and implementation. She ensures fundraising, sustainable financing mechanisms, and the development of partnerships. She supervises and supports marine and scientific staff of Madagascar in field activities. Ravaka is an economist with more than 20 years of experience in financing conservation, natural resources management and human development on the island, in the Indian Ocean and on the African continent. She previously worked for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund regional office in Madagascar and Indian Ocean, and for the Tany Meva Foundation on renewable energies, reforestation, biodiversity, natural resources management, community livelihoods, etc. She served as the Executive Secretary of the African Fund for the Environment (CAFÉ) network, where she promoted innovative financial mechanisms for sustainable development, environmental conservation and management in Africa.
Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy works at the intersection of resilience, community and storytelling, primarily in urban, island and indigenous contexts, with a particular passion for all things water and ocean. Family connections to the Isle of Lismore in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland and Newfoundland catalysed his interest in island ecosystems and human geography early in life. Stewart is presently Director Global Strategic Partnerships and Development, and Senior Advisor North America, for the Resilient Cities Network. Stewart is also the founder of Precovery Labs, where creativity and community drive impact and awareness for clients like RISE-Resilience Innovations, Ocean Conservancy, Opportunity Finance Network, NDN Fund/Collective, and Conservatoire du Littoral, as well as a professional documentary and fine art photographer. He is also Senior Advisor for the Global Island Partnership, member of the advisory committee for SeaAhead, a fellow to Northeast Maritime Institute’s Center for Ocean Policy and Economy, and a member of Four Bands Community Fund’s board of directors.
Nenad Starc is a researcher and consultant in the field of regional economics specialised in island development, strategic plans and local development programmes. He holds a Master degree from the University of California Berkeley and a PH degree from the University of Zagreb. Nenad was a senior researcher (now emeritus) at the Institute of Economics of Zagreb, and Head of the Department of Regional Economics. His activities span from scientific researches, mentoring, preparation and evaluation of local and regional development strategies and programmes, advising ministries and government agencies to teach on a number of postgraduate studies at universities of Zagreb, Rijeka and Split in Croatia. In the 1990s he advised the Croatian Ministry of Development and Reconstruction and coordinated the preparation of the National Island Development Programme (1997), the Island Act (1999) and the new Island Act (2018). Between 2013 and 2015, he worked on Integrated Coastal Zone Management projects financed by the Regional Centre for the UNEP Priority Action Plans in the Mediterranean. He is active in a couple of Croatian NGO’s dealing with island development. He is also a member of the Executive board of the International Small Island Studies Association (ISISA).
Cristina Abreu is a biologist and Adjunct Professor Specialist in Natural Sciences. She has a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Tourism and Territory Planning from the University of Lleida/Barcelona. She is currently a PhD student in Tourism Management at ISCTE-Lisbon. Teaching in Secondary Education and at University in Biology and Tourism, with the supervision of Master’s and Degree theses in Biology, on Nature Conservation and Sustainable Tourism. She is an environmental consultant and has been part of several teams for the application for UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Portugal and abroad since 2010. Senior Auditor of Environmental Management Systems and Sustainable Tourism Certification since 2003. She has experience as a researcher and coordinator of scientific projects, namely LIFE and INTERREG Projects. She was Senior Advisor at the Regional Secretariat of Tourism and Culture – Madeira Island Government (2016-2017). She has published in national and international scientific journals, scientific articles, books and book chapters. She participates in scientific meetings, presenting posters and oral communications in her main areas of research: Nature Conservation, Environmental Management, Sustainable Tourism, Nature-based Tourism and Innovation in Tourism.