INSULA and Insular Energy

Among the international NGOs which work closely with UNESCO, the International Scientific Council for Island Development (INSULA) has a long-standing interest in renewable energy issues in small islands, in Europe and the eastern Atlantic in particular.

This work includes the organization of international conferences and the diffusion of conference publications and other information materials, such as those related to an Island Solar Summit (Tenerife, May 1999), a Euro-Caribbean conference on sustainable energies (St Lucia, May 2002) and follow-up discussion forum, and an international conference on renewable energy systems for islands, tourism and water desalination (Crete, May 2003). Several issues of INSULA’s International Journal of Island Affairs have been focused on renewable energy, such as policies and strategies for desalination and renewable energies (January 2001) and biosciences and biotechnologies (February 2003).

Other INSULA-sponsored activities include technical support to renewable energy projects at the field level. An example is that on promoting energy self-sufficiency for El Hierro in the Canary Islands (designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2002). This involves a three-pronged programme of energy saving, electricity production and transport, with support from the European Commission and a consortium of partners coordinated by the Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias.

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