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The Island as a Carbon-Neutral Province?  Making the Case

Featuring Dr. Catherine Potvin, Dr. Jim Randall, and Mr. Bob Ashley
Chaired by Dr. Adam Fenech
WHEN: Thursday, October 26, 2017 | 7-9 p.m.
WHERE: MacKinnon Auditorium, Room 242, Don and Marion McDougall Hall

 With so much in the news these days about monster hurricanes and other unusually severe weather events, people are becoming more and more concerned about the long-term impact of climate change. Living on a small, low land-mass as we do, Islanders feel immediately vulnerable to sea-level rise. And so we ask ourselves what can be done about it; and, also, how can we, on our own island, provide a model of positive action for elsewhere.
One possibility would be for us to make a concerted attempt to set an example for others―in Canada and beyond―by becoming Canada’s first carbon-neutral province.
How this might be done will be the topic of a Public Symposium to be held at UPEI’s MacKinnon Auditorium, Room 242, McDougall Hall, on Thursday, October 26, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
This event is sponsored by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies, in conjunction with UPEI Research Services and the UPEI Climate Lab. The title of the Symposium is “Making the Case for Prince Edward Island to be Canada’s First Carbon-Neutral Province.”    
The principal speaker will be Dr. Catherine Potvin, a professor at McGill University and associate staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. In the wake of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference on Confederation, Dr. Potvin was selected as one of 23 women visionaries for the future of Canada. She leads the group Sustainable Canada Dialogues, a voluntary initiative that mobilizes over 80 researchers from every province, with sustainability being at the heart of their research programs. The objective of Sustainable Canada Dialogues is to identify actions designed to have large, viable impacts to help Canadian governments at all levels to make thoughtful and ambitious commitments to greenhouse-gas emission reductions. Though the scale of the global challenge is enormous, more and more individuals, communities, industries, and governments are stepping up to the task.

Dr. Potvin will be joined by Mr. Bob Ashley, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Summerside, which has implemented a number of initiatives, including generating its own electricity. His talk, “Summerside’s Renewable Energy Quest,” will illustrate the critical value of a community-owned electric utility as an instrument of public energy policy. Other initiatives include storage for intermittent generation such as wind and solar, building a fleet of electric vehicles, implementing a “Living Lab” program, and a “smarter homes” initiative.

Dr. Jim Randall, the Chair of the Institute of Island Studies and UNESCO Co-chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, will speak about the experiences and challenges of other small islands of the world in their quest to achieve a version of “carbon-neutrality.” An economic and social geographer by training, Jim is a Professor in Island Studies and co-ordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies program. 

The Symposium will be chaired by Dr. Adam Fenech, Director of the UPEI Climate Lab.
Members of the public are cordially invited to attend. Admission is free. Following the presentations, there will be ample time for discussion and questions from the floor.
(For more information, contact Laurie at the Institute of Island Studies at 902-894-2881 or e-mail



Building Community Resilience


Edited by Laurie Brinklow and Ryan Gibson

ISBN: 978-1-988692-07-4 (soft cover)
6 x 9, 378 pages printed b/w with color cover, perfect bound and as a PDF e-book
Price: $29.95
Illustrations: b/w photos, tables, charts, plus endnotes and bibliography

From Black Horses to White Steeds: Building Community Resilience discusses how small communities can survive and flourish. Edited by Laurie Brinklow and Ryan Gibson, it celebrates and critiques the dynamics of innovation, governance, and culture in place. Case studies from both sides of the North Atlantic illustrate episodes of “turning around”: the evolution, transformation, and visionary strategy that breathe new life into the term “think global, act local.”

The book’s chapters focus on the strength of local initiatives, the impacts of collective power, and re-envisioning local assets. They explore how various “black horses”―including minorities, small towns, peripheries, Aboriginal communities, those with little money, status, voice, or political leverage―can rise to the occasion and chart livable futures.



Join in the conversation - Meet the editors and authors from all around the world -
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The Island Lecture Series will be back January 16! 
Watch for it!




Jim Randall was invited to provide a keynote address at a conference in China on September 23, 2017. Here's a link to his talk: "Changing Island Economies."
Check it out!



Senator Diane Griffin joined Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino for lunch recently in Malta! Senator Griffin was attending the Our Ocean conference in Malta October 5-6, 2017. 


7th International Conference on Environmental Future (ICEF7)
Humans and Island Environments

16-20 April 2018 Manoa, Hawai'i
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Deadline December 1, 2017 

Organized by the Foundation for Environmental Conservation (FEC), East-West Center, and University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, the 7th International Conference on Environmental Future (7ICEF) seeks to advance the global and multi-disciplinary conversation around environmental futures with a specific focus in 2018 on ‘Humans and Island Environments’. The conference will be held 16–20 April 2018 in Honolulu, Hawai’i, at the East-West Center’s Imin International Conference Center.

The 7ICEF aims to provide a forum for discussion and debate on the current and future issues surrounding island environments, bringing together islanders, researchers, managers, and NGOs from a broad array of disciplines and fields. The underlying questions are: how have islands aided our understanding of human-environment interactions? What are the latest directions in island biological and cultural conservation? Where should island conservation efforts be focused? and, What conservation lessons do islands have for the rest of the world?

In advance of the conference, a review article for each of 18 conference themes will be published in the journal Environmental Conservation. As papers are published they will be listed here. These papers will be presented at the conference together with other related talks, and there will be dedicated time in each themed session for discussions, and question and answers. The final day of the conference will involve workshop sessions and a webcast panel discussion bringing together some of the unifying themes and messages.

Information on the themes and speakers is available here.

For general queries regarding the conference please email

16th ISISA Islands of the World Conference 2018
The changing futures of islands

10–14 June 2018, Leeuwarden – Terschelling, The Netherlands
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Deadline December 15, 2017



The Waddenacademie, University of Groningen, KITLV, Leeuwarden Cultural Capital of Europe 2018 and Oerol-Sense of Place are organising the 16th Islands of the World Conference 2018 (ISISA2018): The changing futures of islands, June 10–14, 2018, in Leeuwarden and Terschelling (the Netherlands).

Themes and Sessions

Important dates

Call for abstracts

Practical information

June 10: arrival in Leeuwarden
Reception in Leeuwarden: Cultural Capital of Europe 2018 (with Malta)
June 11: Opening in Leeuwarden and at the end of the day transport Leeuwarden – Harlingen – ferry to Terschelling
June 11–14: Stay on Terschelling 
June 15–depart Terschelling – or stick around for the Oerol Festival

ISISA and the Dutch Hosts for the 2018 Conference will offer (up to) TEN Scholarships of 500 euros each to help deserving students attend the conference―requests for a scholarship will be accepted from students who have had their abstract accepted―more details soon!

This e-mail is distributed by the Institute of Island Studies. If you'd like more information about any of the items, please contact Laurie at or (902) 894-2881.

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Institute of Island Studies, UPEI · 550 University Ave. · Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3 · Canada

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