Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Islands as Laboratories for Sustainability (ISLAs) Environmental Management on Islands: Challenges and Sustainability

when 13 February 2023 - 17 February 2023
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 200

Islands are special cases for Sustainable Development. Methodologically and scientifically, islands are ideal ‘laboratories’ for sustainable landscape stewardship. Islands are unique in both attractiveness and climate vulnerability, they are relatively isolated and ‘on their own’ compared to mainland areas, yet they are also more dependent and need to be well connected to other areas more than mainland areas. This Winter School/Advanced Course is aimed at combining all these different perspective, focusing on Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria is located in the center of the Canarian archipelago (NE Atlantic Ocean). This round island is 47 km across and covers an area of 1,560 sq km. Its highest peak, Pozo de Las Nieves (1,949m), is situated right in the center of the island

Gran Canaria’s natural resources have always been an endless source of bliss for the local population. The first of so many happy moments comes with the fine weather enjoyed here throughout the year, which makes life friendly and quiet. But this is certainly not all that nature has to offer on this island.

Gran Canaria is a miniature continent, a sampler of quite uncommon sceneries in the middle of a very diverse archipelago. This is why UNESCO awarded the island the Biosphere Reserve label, to actively support the conservation of the pieces that make up this puzzle of natural settings, a different and very peculiar micro-world. Nearly half the island’s geographical space has been included in this reserve, comprising six rural communities linked to traditional activities.

Course leader

Dimitris Ballas, University of Groningen
Rodrigo Riera, IU-ECOAQUA, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Fernando Tuya, IU-ECOAQUA, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Target group

The main target group will comprise postgraduate students (taught master as well as PhD candidates) and post-doctoral researchers. It may also include excellent undergraduate students (both in terms of academic performance as well as relevant extra-curricular activities and demonstrated interest in the themes covered by the summer school) and external stakeholders (e.g. employees of local authorities, NGOs and any other organisation that is relevant to the summer school themes).

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Course aim

After this course you will be able to demonstrate:

- An enhanced understanding of current scientific theories, concepts and principles of islands as special and privileged places and of the natural and human-induced processes that are essential for understanding their past, present and future.
- An enhanced understanding of the existing political, economic, legal, geopolitical, and social implications of human interactions with the environment on a specific space, islands.
- An enhanced understanding of socio-spatial, cultural and economic processes that are specific to islandness.
- An enhanced understanding of economic, social and environmental policy processes and principles of effective management and planning for islands.
- An enhanced understanding of the way the public and private sectors can handle environmental issues on islands.
- An understanding of how Social Network Analysis, multi-criteria analysis and GIS story maps can be used for analysis pertaining to the learning outcomes

Credits info

3 EC
Preparation: 38 hours
Lectures: 18 hours
Discussion/interaction with teaching staff and other students: 6 hours
Assignment: 24 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 84 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Fee info

EUR 200: Including all teaching materials, coffee breaks and light lunches.