The UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability works to establish and expand academic and research programmes on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Sub-National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs). It operates from the premise that SIDS and SNIJs are innovative, entrepreneurial, and connected, as opposed to vulnerable, lacking, and isolated.

The Chair brings together academics, policy-makers, community organizations, and practitioners to look at best practices from small island development and other sub-national jurisdictions, like PEI, from around the world. Their research areas include: sustainable development; climate change adaptation; governance; culture; outmigration; and educating our youth and our workforce.

The Chair is one of more than 700 UNESCO chairs around the world and is the first in Atlantic Canada, and was created through theĀ UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, which promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN networks in areas such as education, the natural and social sciences, culture, and communication.