Small islands are both fragile and unique. As they are at the forefront of global changes, they accumulate many issues: limited resources, biological diversity needing protection, pressures associated to human activities... These are issues which can possibly have pragmatic and effective solutions making small islands pioneers of more sustainable development.

Project - Women on islands Leaders of Sustainable Tourism, supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation and co-funded by the European Union

Although islands represent only 5% of the earth's surface, they are home to 20% of terrestrial species and 600 million people depend on their ecosystem services for their sustainable development. The islands are exceptional territories also for their cultural wealth (heritage or intangible heritage). The vulnerability of these territories is matched only by their resilience, and they can be a leader and a source of inspiration to bring about social and environmental change at the global level. The project aims to encourage the birth of a more resilient, diversified and spread out tourism over time, of which women can be important drivers, on the islands of Kerkennah (Tunisia), Brownsea (UK), Lastovo (Croatia) and Paros (Greece). The NGO SMILO will support these islands in a holistic and participatory approach for the strategic planning of sustainable tourism. Alongside the Municipality of Kerkennah, National Trust, Nature Park Lastovo Islands and FOTOESSA, SMILO will support public, private and civil society actors to identify the natural and cultural resources to be valued and the key actors who will be able to bring out innovative and sustainable touristic products and experiences. Pilot activities aimed at diversifying the local tourist offer, led by women committed to the sustainable development of their island, will be supported through this project.

The project hence aims to reduce the isolation of island territories in the EuroMed region, through the networking of actors in these territories, and to improve their knowledge of sustainable tourism and the promotion of island heritage. The objective is to help diversify the tourist offer and reduce dependence on mass and seasonal tourism, which endangers the local cultural heritage, the biodiversity and the economic resilience of the islands, and thus protect and enhance their heritage cultural and natural, and promote intercultural dialogue and the cultural diversity of the islands. It is also about sustaining the action of local organisations led by women and promoting the role of women as engines of more sustainable development on an island scale

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Partners of the project: Municipality of Kerkennah, National Trust, Nature Park Lastovo Islands and FOTOESSA, and with the expertise of the Travel Foundation

Total project budget: 69 269 €. Contribution of the Anna Lindh Foundation: 50 000 €

Project documents:

Webinar "Tourism Impact Management" (13 January 2021): Power-Point (credits: @The Travel Foundation); Project description by the Travel Foundation

Webinar "Small Islands, Shaping Sustainable Tourism" (16 March 2021):  Power-Point; Programme; Event promotion by ICO Solutions

Webinaire final du projet (9 juillet 2021) : Power-Point; Programme and more information; Event promotion by ICO Solutions



The general principles of the Islands Fund, how to access it and the conditions of use, were all defined in 2019. The Fund is now operational and the first projects to be financed have just kicked off. Discover all the projects supported by this fund:

The ISOS project (Isole Sostenibili) “Sustainable Islands: network for the sustainable development of islands and heritage preservation”

The 'ISOS' project aims to create a network of French and Italian islands, pilot territories committed to the preservation of their natural and cultural heritage: the Lérins Islands (Alpes-Maritimes, the Hyères Islands archipelago (Port-Cros, Porquerolles and Le Levant - Var), and the Lavezzi Islands Archipelago (Corsica) for France, and Capraia Island (Tuscany), Tavolara Island (Sardinia) and Palmaria Island (Liguria) for Italy.

This network brings together various stakeholders involved in the protection of Islands around common objectives; it supports and promotes innovative solutions in terms of natural resource management (water, energy, waste), in terms of preservation and enhancement of natural heritage (biodiversity and landscapes) and cultural heritage (tangible and intangible). Carrying out technical workshops, conferences, mobilising experts on site, exchanges between peers and local investments which will help to create sustainable protection strategies together, for the benefit of local people and islands.

With the support of: Interreg Italy-France Maritime Program 2014-2020 (trans-border program co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Territorial Cooperation objective)



Project partners: Department of the Var (leader), Conservatoire du Littoral, Port Cros National Park, the City of Cannes, the Corsican Environmental Office, Provincia della Spezia, Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano, Regione autonoma della Sardegna, Consorzio di Gestione area marina protetta Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo

Total budget of the project: 1.495.157, 44 euros (FEDER €1.270.883,82)






Localisation : Îles de Lérins, France

Duration: July 2020 - 

Financial and institutional partners: European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the Région Sud (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur)

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Local partners: Ville de Canne, Abbaye de Lérins

Total budget: €1,266,932

SMILO started this summer a project for the Preservation of marine habitats on the Lérins Islands (France), supported by the European Fund for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (EMFF) and the South Region - Provence-Alps-French Riviera, in partnership with the City of Cannes and the Lérins Abbey. A first field mission in July assessed the current sewage infrastructure, to prepare the future reed bed filter treatment to be installed on the island. We will be back in the field to shoot of a short video that will explain the uses and challenges of the marine space of the Lérins Islands. To be continued!

AbbayeLerins 2020 DLH

© Domitille Le Huédé

Project "Sustainable Small Islands Initiative - implementing an international approach for sustainable small island management and biodiversity protection"

This project supports the development of SMILO during its pilot phase. Its supports SMILO initiatives until June 2021, notably in terms of the resources small islands need to move closer to their certification goals. The support provided reinforces islands’ technical and financial capacities in the fields of water, energy, waste, biodiversity, landscapes and governance. The FFEM Small Sustainable Islands
project also supports SMILO’s Islands Fund, which finances concrete, priority operations in light of a diagnosis of the territory in question. This project is co-managed by SMILO and the Conservatoire du littoral.

With the support of: the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), the Rhône Mediterranean and Corsican Water Agency and the City of Marseille.



Project partners: national and local communities, NGOs and private stakeholders of the following territories: Ibo Island, Quirimbas Archipelago (Mozambique), Islands of the Emerald Sea (Madagascar), Bolama Island, Bijagos Archipelago (Guinea Bissau), Gorée Island (Senegal), Principe Island (Sao Tome & Principe), Santa Luzia Island (Cape Verde); Mediterranean (excluding France): Kerkennah Archipelago (Tunisia), Tavolara Island, Cavoli Island, Capraia Island, Palmaria Island (Italy), Sazani Island (Albania), Zlarin Island (Croatia).

Project budget: € 7,708,500 which includes € 1,650,000 from the FFEM (for the Conservatoire du littoral and the NGO SMILO).

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Location: Levant island (PACA, France), Lavezzi archipelago (Corsica, France), Tavolara island (Sardinia, Italy), Kerkennah archipelago (Tunisia), Zlarin island (Croatia) 

Duration: 3 years (2018-2020)

Financial and institutional partners: Prince Albert 2 of Monaco Foundation, Conservatoire du Littoral, ADEME PACA, RMC Water Agency

Local partners: Corsica's Environment Office (OEC), Heliopolis Syndicate (Levant island), Tunisia's National Agency for Energy and Waste (ANGED) and Environment Ministry, Port-Cros National Park, Tavolara Marine Protected Area Management Consortium

Overall project budget: €1,266,932


Local partners:





The accumulation of waste in the terrestrial environment as well as its dispersion in the marine environment represents a real threat to the fragile and unique ecosystems of small Mediterranean islands and their surrounding marine areas.

On small islands waste management is subject to specific constraints: reduced quantities to be treated, variation in the volume of waste during the tourist season, limited availability of land to store and process waste, high costs for creating waste disposal facilities. storage and treatment (for example, recycling centers), often long distance between the source of production and the place of treatment, difficulties in finding suitable treatment channels depending on the nature of the waste, cost of transport, etc.

Specific challenges

In view of these constraints, the project aims to develop sustainable solutions on pilot sites, that are adapted to small island territories, with the aim to: limit waste production, develop and enhance selective collection, treatment, elimination, recovery and awareness.

These islands constitute ideal pilot sites to bring out innovative approaches which will contribute to the general objectives of SMILO certification process, and which can be replicated on other islands as well as other geographical areas.

Project objectives

The project, supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, has several specific objectives:

- allow the pilot islands to benefit from technical and financial support to deal with waste-related issues and strengthen their policies for sustainable integrated land management.

- allow neighboring natural areas to reduce the impacts generated by unmanaged waste (risk of fire, landscape degradation, destruction of biodiversity by ghost nets, pollution of water resources, dissemination of micro-plastics, etc.);

- allow other SMILO partner islands to benefit from the feedback of the five beneficiary islands of this project. The managers of the pilot sites of this project will be able to valorise their experience during international workshops organised by SMILO.


LEVANT, France

The island is right on track! It no longer burns its green waste,
but shreds it and uses it. This transition enhances the quality of
the air, curbs greenhouse gas emissions, and considerably reduces
the risk of fire that hangs over the ecosystems and landscapes on
this island-garden.
In 2019, the Héliopolis syndicate (the beneficiary of the project)
drew up a plan for managing its green waste, organised partnerships
with the island’s gardeners, and carried out works to create an
area for storing, composting and constructing a shelter for the
equipment. Two shredders were purchased thanks to funding
from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and financial contributions
from ADEME and the Région Sud.



LAVEZZI, Corsica

This archipelago in southern Corsica is a Nature Reserve managed
by Corsica’s Environment Agency (OEC). In summer, hordes of
tourists flock to the islands (250,000 visitors per year). Defecation
in the natural environment has become a problem. A 2018
study compared different solutions from both technical and
financial perspectives. In 2020, the OEC will decide which solution
to implement.



TAVOLARA, Sardinia

This island is at the heart of a Marine Protected Area that is very
popular with pleasure boaters. Surveys carried out during the
summer of 2019 identified the types of waste created by boaters
and their practices. In 2020, the Island Committee will decide
which preventive and corrective measures need to be put in place to
curb the impact of such waste.




In 2018, SMILO commissioned the Association pour la Pêche
et les Activités Maritimes (association for fishing and marine
activities) and Jeunes Science Kerkennah (an association for
youngsters and science in Kerkennah) to draw up a diagnosis
of the problem of plastic fish traps that are used throughout the
archipelago. The study concluded that the traps account for over
600 tonnes of plastic per year (polyethylene and polypropylene). All
of the Tunisian stakeholders are on board to launch an experiment
in 2020 to collect, dismantle, shred and then reuse the fish traps.
On a more general scale, SMILO will support the island as it
strives to improve the management of waste, water resources and



ZLARIN, Croatia

SMILO is supporting this Croatian island as it strives to become a
zero-plastic island. Assistance is provided to local players working
on awareness, alternatives to single-use plastic containers,
etc. Another battery of actions focuses on the management and
processing of biowaste and green waste on the island.



This project is supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation:

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