Background: In 1986, a group of scholars, researchers, and island enthusiasts from around the world organized an international conference on Vancouver Island, Canada, to discuss issues related to small islands. This inaugural “Islands of the World” organized by the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA) was followed by other conferences in Tasmania (1988), the Bahamas (1992), Okinawa (1994), Mauritius (1998), Isle of Skye (2000), Prince Edward Island (2002).
Islands of the World VIII 2004: This past year the Islands of the World VIII conference was held on Kinmen Island, Taiwan, where over 250 scholars from diverse small islands, representing more than 30 countries throughout the world, convened to share ideas. Conference presentations touched on such topics as: cultural and natural resource conservation, globalization and biodiversity. Conference participants include scholars from: Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, China, Cook Islands, Denmark, Fiji, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Palau, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Seychelles, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago-West Indies, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the USA.
Islands of the World IX 2006: On behalf of the Island of Maui, Maui Community College sent three representatives to the Kinmen Island conference this past year: Chancellor Clyde Sakamoto, Acting Dean of Instruction Suzette Robinson, and Academic Senate Chair Dan Kruse. As a result of MCC’s participation and the Chancellor’s presentation to the ISISA Executive Committee, Maui has been selected as the site for the Islands of the World IX Conference hosted by MCC Summer 2006. The international event will attract scholars and experts from around the world to discuss co-responsibility and strategies for sustainable island development. We anticipate of a full cadre of participants from around the world. The conference will serve to showcase Maui’s rich cultural heritage, strong economic drivers, and diverse environment. Conference participants will have the opportunity to present research papers and interact with, learn from and engage in dialogue with their international colleagues on pressing issues regarding island sustainability.