COMMUNITY VISIONING: A STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE ISLAND LIVING
AT ISLANDS OF THE WORLD IX CONFERENCE, MAUI, HAWAI'I
31 JULY - 2 AUGUST 2006
of the Islands of the World IX conference, held in Maui, Hawai'i
from 31 July to 2 August 2006, was 'Sustainable Islands - Sustainable
Strategies' with emphasis on the interconnected topics - economy,
ecology and social equity/heritage (see www.maui.hawaii.edu/isisa2006/).
Voice sponsored a panel session on 'Community Visioning: a strategy
for sustainable island living' that linked these three topics,
and provided an opportunity to present community visioning activities
from islands around the world to a wide audience of islanders.
panel session took place on the afternoon of Monday 31
July 2006 and brought together panelists from Cook Islands,
Mauritius, Moloka'i (Hawai'i), Palau and the San Andres
Archipelago (Colombia). The panel was moderated by Mr.
Hans Thulstrup, UNESCO Cluster Office for the Pacific
from left to right: June-Marie Mow, Tiare Holm, Imogen Ingram,
Pynee Chellapermal, Stacy Crivello
Stacy Crivello, President of the Molokai Enterprise Community,
introduced the audience to the concept of community visioning,
which began in Moloka'i in 1998. She read out their very
powerful vision statement. While outlining some of their
results, which ranged from restoring fish ponds to establishing
a dialysis centre, she emphasized the need to continue to
try and build bridges. She described one of their recent
projects whereby a large area of land was being transferred
by a private owner to a land trust where it would be managed
for the community. Read more in the paper.
was followed by Mr. Pynee Chellapermal, Executive Director,
Centre for Documentation, Research and Training in the Southwest
Indian Ocean, Mauritius, who discussed some of the differences
between small islands in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific
Ocean. He described how globalisation affected islands in
different ways and emphasised the need to develop resilience
in small islands and to educate policy makers. He said the
community visioning was a way of developing resilience in
communities. Read more in the abstract
Imogen Ingram (Te Pa Mataiapo), of the Island Sustainability
Alliance, C.I. Inc., Cook Islands, described recent changes
in customary land tenure in the Cook Islands and how legislation
had been passed despite opposition from traditional leaders.
She said that there was a need for the community to participate
more actively in such decisions, not only by deciding what
they didn't want, but more importantly what they did want.
And here she saw the potential for community visioning.
Read more in the abstract
Tiare Holm, Executive Director of the Palau Conservation
Society, outlined the community visioning process in Palau
and explained how it was empowering the traditional process
which had been based on a whispered consensus. She said
that provided the communities owned the vision or roadmap,
then even if the steersmen (leaders) changed, the visioning
process continued because the community were the navigators.
Read more in the abstract
Ms. June-Marie Mow, Director of the Fundacion Providence,
San Andres Archipelago, Colombia, described the visioning
process in Old Providence and Santa Catalina and compared
it with the situation in San Andres where the native population
are maginalized by Colombian nationals. External factors
caused the visioning process to falter a little in Old Providence
and Santa Catalina, however, a recent assessment in 2005
had revitalised the process. One of the most inspiring things
has been to see so many leaders working together in this
process. Read more in the
abstract and paper.
were answered after each presentation. There was a lively debate
covering topics ranging from the creation of jobs for young
people in Moloka'i to overpopulation in small islands, and from
selling land to foreigners for second homes in Old Providence
to a small community in Palau having to develop their own vision
to cope with the prospect of drilling for oil. The importance
of land ownership in small islands and the differences in land
tenure were among the themes running through the debate.