UNESCO Chair renewed 2020-2024

Charlottetown, PEI (June 2020) — The Institute of Island Studies is thrilled to announce that the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability has been renewed for another four years, until July 13, 2024.

Established in July 2016, the Chair was intended to expand academic and research programs on islands at home and around the world. To that end, over the past four years it has hosted conferences on small island governance and islands and climate change; launched a 12-island research project looking at governance and sustainability; produced several publications, including PEI Vital Signs 2019in partnership with the Community Foundation of PEI, and Annual Report on Global Islands, in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Office of the Government of Hainan Island, China; and many other activities.

The chair, originally held by Dr. Jim Randall (UPEI) and Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino (U of Malta), is one of 700 UNESCO chairs around the world and is the first in Atlantic Canada. With the stepping down of Godfrey, the renewed chair will continue to be held by Jim at UPEI.

The principal long-term mission of the Chair of Island Studies and Sustainability is to contribute to the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)—a UNESCO priority since the articulation of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000—and to extend this priority to Subnational Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs). The chair proposes to harness the insights and experience of island studies scholars, students, governments, and organizations worldwide.

Writes Peter Wells, Section Chief for Higher Education at UNESCO in Paris, “I am confident that the UNESO Chair will continue to work closely with UNESCO’s Secretariat and other partners to promote island studies and sustainability, and to contribute to the UNESCO SIDS Action Plan and to the Mid Term Review of the SAMOA Pathway, through training, research, networking, international scholarships, conferences and publications. The Chair is invited to further develop the South-South cooperation in all its areas of work.”

For more information, please contact Dr. Jim Randall, UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability: jarandall@upei.ca.