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Indian Ocean


Education for Sustainable Development Background

Sustainable Island Living

A new concept that has been termed 'Sustainable Island Living' emerged during discussions at an inter-regional planning meeting held in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines in July 2005. During the opening ceremony Gillian Cambers noted that while she could not say that Bequia is a model for sustainable development, she could say that it is a model for a way of thinking, caring and planning for the future of the island and its environment.

Islanders meeting in Bequia
July '05

During and after the meeting, participants developed these preliminary ideas further so that instead of concentrating on sustainable development, which for many is an unreachable target, a more personal approach is evolving.


Sustainable island living is a process that enables everybody to enjoy a decent living and a good quality of life in terms of satisfying their needs (economic, social, ecological and cultural) and creates an enabling environment for the next generation to fulfil its aspirations.

Sustainable island living is based on core values such as a culture of partnership based on shared vision, good governance, people's rights, autonomy of the community, and participatory approaches. Furthermore, it attempts to bring the concept to the personal level - every individual and community member has a role to play - and in focusing on the next generation as opposed to future generations, it makes the concept more immediate as a goal to be achieved in an individual's lifetime.

In the Indian Ocean islands, the Centre for Documentation, Research and Training in the Southwest Indian Ocean (CEDREFI) together with Nature Seychelles is using the concept of sustainable island living as a foundation for advancing the Declaration of the Civil Society Forum (Mauritius 2005) in the Indian Ocean islands.

CEDREFI have prepared a concept paper outlining the background to Sustainable Island Living.


To get involved, contact :


Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08

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