[Research] PEI Wellbeing Survey

September 22, 2021 —

The Institute of Island Studies is embarking on a four-year study to better understand and assess the well-being and quality of life of Islanders. We would like you to be part of the initiative! Click on the survey link below to share your thoughts on how island communities could be better places to live, work and play. The survey is open until November 2021.

Full details available at islandstudies.com/research/pei-well-being-project


[New publication] Latest from the COVID-19 Island Insights Series: Canary Islands & Azores

May 11, 2021—

The latest instalment of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series shares critical insights from the Canary Islands and Azores. How have these European archipelagos responded to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and what do their recovery plans hold for future resilience and sustainability? Check out this week’s Insights reports to find out!

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is a collaborative project between the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG), the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), and Island Innovation. For more information about the Series and to read all of the reports so far, visit islandstudies.com/island-insights-series.


[Employment Opportunity] Research Coordinator – Well-being and quality-of-life on PEI (Part time)

May 7, 2021—
Come work with us!! The Institute of Island Studies at UPEI is seeking a research coordinator to work on a project that will assess the well-being and quality-of-life of Islanders.

Department: Island Studies – Faculty of Arts
Position: ADS Level 7 – Research Coordinator
Contract: Part-Time Term Position (Grant Funded)
Term: As soon as possible for Six (6) Month Term (Term may be reduced or extended depending on performance, available funding and departmental requirements)
Full details: https://www.upei.ca/hr/competition/74e21

Closing date for applications is May 12, 2021.


[New publication] Latest from the COVID-19 Island Insights Series: St. Helena & Fernando de Noronha

May 4, 2021—

The latest instalment of the COVID-19 Island Insights Series shares critical insights from St. Helena and Fernando de Noronha. How have these South Atlantic islands responded to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and what do their recovery plans hold for future resilience and sustainability? Check out this week’s Insights reports to find out!

The COVID-19 Island Insights Series is a collaborative project between the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG), the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), and Island Innovation. For more information about the Series and to read all of the reports so far, visit islandstudies.com/island-insights-series.


[Press Release] New island-specific policy recommendations for ‘building back better’

For Immediate Release
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (April 26, 2021) —

A new report outlines challenges and creative solutions for islands to “build back better” as they recover from COVID-19. The Annual Report on Global Islands 2020 is published by Island Studies Press.

While the ongoing global pandemic may have spared many islands the negative health impacts of COVID-19 thus far, it has undoubtedly served as a wake-up call for islands, such as Prince Edward Island, that rely heavily on tourism.

“It is crucial that islands and their communities recover from COVID-19 not by going back to a business-as-usual scenario but by building back better,” writes Dr. Francesco Sindico, Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, University of Strathclyde, Scotland, in the report. He has identified tourism and food security as two of many areas that need to be included in such a process.

“If resilience is about driving an agenda for a better island following a state of vulnerability, the question becomes: what kind of future does that island want?”

Based on analysis of a comprehensive data set contributed by islanders around the world, Dr. Sindico discusses the importance of shifting towards sustainable tourism and diversified island economies. He suggests that the ongoing pandemic provides islands with an opportunity to take stock, recognize policies that may have contributed to vulnerability, and begin a process to become more resilient and sustainable in the face of present and future crises.

According to Dr. Sindico, the first step in making islands more resilient is to recognize that governance and government is at the heart of many of the current vulnerabilities. He proposes a policy-relevant research agenda to ensure that post-COVID-19 recovery packages enable islands to “build back better” and move towards a more resilient and sustainable future.

Dr. Sindico is continuing to collaborate with UPEI and its Institute of Island Studies through the COVID-19 Island Insights Series, where 24 islands from all over the world are being analyzed not just in relation to how they coped with the pandemic, but also, along the lines of his chapter, on how they can build back better. The final goal of the project is to develop policy recommendations aimed at promoting greater island resilience and sustainability in a post COVID-19 world.

The Annual Report on Global Islands series is published by Island Studies Press at UPEI and edited by Dr. Jim Randall, UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at UPEI. It is produced in partnership with the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan Province, P.R. China, a sister province to PEI. Released annually since 2017, the series features peer-reviewed chapters by international experts on major topics associated with the economic development of islands.

For more information and to read this and past editions in the Annual Report on Global Islands series, visit https://projects.upei.ca/unescochair/publications/annual-report-on-global-islands.

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Media contact:
Dave Atkinson
Communications Officer
Marketing and Communications, University of Prince Edward Island
datkinson@upei.ca | (902) 620-5117


NEWS: Vital Signs report provides snapshot of quality of life on PEI

Vital Signs report provides snapshot of the quality of life on Prince Edward Island

November 19, 2019—

A new report from the IIS in partnership with the Community Foundation of PEI (CFPEI) provides a snapshot of the quality of life and well-being on Prince Edward Island. Vital Signs brings together publicly available research data, the analysis of subject experts, and focus group feedback from private, public, and not-for-profit sectors from different regions of the Island. The result is an easy-to-digest, comprehensive look at a wide range of interconnected topics from health to housing to education and the environment.  

To learn more and to read the report, visit islandstudies.com/vital-signs-signes-vitaux 

NEWS: New report and survey conducted by the IIS for the Government of PEI: Recruiting talent to PEI

October 1, 2018 —

New report and survey conducted by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies for the Government of Prince Edward Island:
Recruiting Talent to Prince Edward Island Survey:
Build a Career. Create a Life.


In 2018, in a bid to create evidence-based policy-making around the theme of repatriation, the Prince Edward Island Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning contracted the Institute of Island Studies to undertake a research project to determine the opportunities for and barriers to Islanders returning home. This report is the result of that research.

Click here for full details and to download a copy of the report.

NEWS: UPEI hosts SSHRC-funded meetings to create research relationships and partnerships in field of Island Studies

SSHRC-funded meetings to create research relationships and partnerships in field of Island Studies


September 10, 2018— 

UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability hosted a weekend of meetings with representatives and researchers from a dozen islands around the world. This unprecedented gathering of scholars in the field of Island Studies is made possible by a Partnership Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The project will build relationships between researchers and will fund up to twelve graduate students.

From L to R: Godfrey Baldacchino (Malta), Pia Hansson (Iceland), Margaret Paterson (UPEI MAIS student), Kimberly Wishart Chu Foon (UPEI PhD Environmental Sciences student), John Telesford (Grenada), Ioannis Spilanis (Greece on video), Gerard Prinsen (New Zealand), Patrick Watson (Trinidad & Tobago), Rob Greenwood (Newfoundland), Laurie Brinklow (PEI), Robert Gilmour (VP Academic & Research, UPEI). Lots missing, including the Principal Investigator Jim Randall (UPEI)

“The Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chairs in Island Studies and Sustainability are to be commended for organizing this very important initiative, which will bring together representatives of small island states to develop strategies to address their unique issues regarding sustainability and sovereignty,” said Dr. Robert Gilmour, UPEI’s Vice-President Academic and Research. “Island jurisdictions are often viewed as vulnerable, poverty-stricken, and destitute, but research shows many of these islands are better described as innovative and entrepreneurial.”

This meeting brought together six representatives of small island states (Iceland, New Zealand, Mauritius, Palau, Cyprus, St. Lucia and Grenada) and six representatives from non-sovereign, sub-national island jurisdictions (Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, La Réunion, Lesbos, Guam and Tobago). These groups will compare experiences, to see whether statehood is a boon or hindrance when implementing sustainable practices in social-political, cultural-artistic, economic, and environmental areas.

“Take an island’s ability to respond to a natural crisis, such as a hurricane,” said Dr. James Randall, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. “If that island is a sub-national jurisdiction, is it a benefit to know the larger government will be there to help them respond, or will an independent island state be better equipped to determine what is needed and implement that plan.”

The project will develop a set of measures of sustainability and sovereignty by undertaking household and focus group surveys using comparisons of six pairs of islands. The Institute of Island Studies and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability will coordinate these activities, bringing together island researchers and solving issues using a local-to-global integrated approach.

For more details, visit the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability website or contact us at iis@upei.ca

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing talent, generating insights and forging connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.