Island Vulnerability explores the challenges which isolated geographies face when dealing with risk and disasters by examining the processes which create, maintain, and could be used to reduce their vulnerability. This page provides information on the European Union:
This page provides information specifically related to vulnerability (including risk, disasters, and sustainability), rather than general information such as travel details, country profiles, government websites, or history. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive, but is indicative of the vulnerabilities which islands experience and how sustainable solutions might be developed and implemented. The publications listed reflect those in the library of Island Vulnerability.
Some European Union Region Websites
Some European Union Region References
DenmarkDenmark's self-governing overseas administrative divisions are islands and are not part of the European Union:
Rybråten, S. 2006. "Naturen kan ikke styres": Natursyn, identitet og holdninger til statlig forvaltning av levende ressurser i Qeqertarsuaq, Vest-Grønland ("Nature cannot be governed": Views on nature, identity, and attitudes to government management of living resources in Qeqertarsuaq, western Greenland). Masters dissertation from the University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, download the full text in Norwegian (2.3 MB in pdf).
Drawing on findings from 5.5 months of field work in Qeqertarsuaq, an island off the western coast of Greenland, this thesis documents and analyzes how the local identities of men and women are connected to the surrounding landscape and how they utilize it.
The vast majority of Qeqertarsuaq inhabitants are Greenlanders, and thus Inuit. Despite the fact that their living conditions, ways of life, and world views have changed since the time that intimate knowledge of the surroundings was necessary for survival, the traditional hunting practices still have great importance for the population in terms of their identity. A majority of the men in the city are thus to some degree or another involved in hunting activities, and many of the women with higher education and paid employment are married to full-time hunters. The thesis shows that this leads to a different type of complementary gender roles than those represented by the traditional Inuit division of labour between men and women.
For the inhabitants of Qeqertarsuaq, the natural surroundings are an integrated part of their everyday life and their livelihoods. The practical activities of hunting, fishing and gathering of plants and berries form a foundation for the residents’ sense of belonging. Additionally these activities contribute to historical continuity. The local connectedness and link between past and present are further strengthened through preparation and consumption of subsistence food from hunting and gathering. Thus for both men and women it is important to adjust and pass on certain traditional knowledge in their identity formation.
Even though the support for the hunting profession is relatively strong in Qeqertarsuaq, the residents are uncertain about the future of the occupation. The Greenland government officials are encouraging full-time hunters to gradually make the transition to paid work. Furthermore, the government’s management policies are setting regulations for the hunters’ freedom to harvest the living resources in the area. In this way, the Qeqertarsuaq residents experience their ability to pass on their values and way of life as being threatened from the outside. Through empirical examples of local harvesting, preparation of subsistence food from hunting and gathering, and reactions to the government’s policies, I show how views on nature and attitudes to government management are closely connected to the construction of a “modern” Qeqertarsuaq identity.
En fangstmanns barnebarn i sin bestefars jolle i Qeqertarsuaq,
France has islands with five political statuses:
1. Islands which are part of France and sited near the mainland, for example:
2. Islands which are overseas departments of France (and thus legally part of the European Union):
(iii) Spence, R., I. Kelman, E. Calogero, G. Toyos, P. Baxter, and J.-C. Komorowski. 2005. "Modelling Expected Physical Impacts and Human Casualties from Explosive Volcanic Eruption", Natural Hazards and Earth Systems Sciences, vol. 5, pp. 1003-1015, abstract (10 kb in PDF), full text (download from a webpage).
3. Overseas territorial collectivities:
4. Overseas territories of France:
5. Possessions of France, for example:
For further information, contact Faye Karababa faye.karababagooglemail.com
See also Karababa, F. 2008. "Local Seismic Construction Practices as a Means to Vulnerability Reduction And Sustainable Development". Presentation at the 14th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Beijing, China, 12-17 October 2008, full text (289 kB in pdf).
A house on Lefkada, Greece.
Inis Meáin, County Galway, Ireland.
Two autonomous regions of Portugal are islands:
Portugal: The Azores
Commentary by Ilan Kelman on 17 August 2003:
The photo below shows the caldera of Sete Cidades volcano with the ocean visible at the top left, behind the mountains. Just below the ocean in the photograph, also on the left side, sits the town of Sete Cidades--population 858 according to the 2001 census. The town sits entirely inside the caldera, more than 300 metres below the caldera's rim.
While on São Miguel in 2003, I was told the possibly apocryphal tale that, even up to the 1990's, some residents of the town of Sete Cidades had never left the caldera. Despite living on a small island in the middle of the ocean, these people would have experienced the two main bodies of water in the caldera--Lagoa Azul in the background and Lagoa Verde in the foreground--as representing the largest amount of water possible in one place.
They would be living in their own island on an island--an isolated caldera on an isolated island. I would be curious regarding any other information or opinions on this tale and, if it were true, the effects on the culture of the paradox of being surrounded by water yet perhaps not fully understanding that situation. Or did the people fully understand the ocean without having seen it? In the meantime, I offer a poem written after hearing the story.
I Have Never Seen the Sea
Sete Cidades Caldera and Town.
The Canary Islands are a Spanish island group forming an autonomous area (comunidad autonoma).
Other Spanish islands include the Balearic Islands and, off the Moroccan coast, Islas Chafarinas, Penon de Alhucaimas, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera. On 11 July 2002, Moroccan soldiers occupied the tiny, uninhabited island of Perejil or Leila which is claimed by both Spain and Morocco. On 17 July 2002, Spanish troops took over the island with no casualties. Details are provided by BBC News, including a map of the areas claimed by both Spain and Morocco. Spain also owns coastal areas along the north coast of Morocco: Ceuta and Melilla.
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