The association “Sustainable Samothraki” came into life in order to cover the need of a group of local residents to improve their quality of life on the island and address, to the degree possible, the current socio-economic and environmental problems. A key factor in this process has been the contact with Prof. Marina Fischer-Kowalski from the Vienna Institute of Social Ecology (Alpen Adria University), who has been visiting Samothraki continuously for the last 30 years and has devoted an important part of her research activities there. The rich scientific data collected over the years, together with her tireless efforts to include the island in UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, have rendered it necessary to create a link between the researchers and the local community. The aim is to forge a two-way communication, where local residents could better utilize the scientific knowledge generated.
Most residents of the island can still remember the years when there was a balance between a respect for nature and the community and the extraction of natural resources. Casting our minds further back, there were periods when the island even had an intense exporting activity, despite the lack of coordinated ferry connections.
The association “Sustainable Samothraki” is essentially a platform where people who love our beautiful island can find a way to express their concerns and opinions, but also to take action so that they can be part of the solution to the problems affecting the local community.
The aims of the association, as described in the statute are:
a) Supporting Samothrace’s candidacy for becoming a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
b.) Supporting the operation of Samothrace as a UNESCO biosphere reserve when it is included in the mentioned network of UNESCO biosphere reserves.
c) The protection of nature in accordance with the current protection framework (particularly strengthening existing NATURA 2000 areas).
d) Supporting sustainable innovation and revenue-raising measures for sustainable local businesses, such as improving the local supply chain.
e) The support of scientific research and monitoring programs.
f) The promotion of sustainability on Samothrace by any means.
i) The long-term monitoring of the sustainable use of economically important natural resources.
j) The promotion of international cooperation between bodies, such as other biosphere reserves, Higher Education Institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations, Legal Entities under Public and Private Law, and also natural persons.
k) The strengthening of the mental and physical development of the inhabitants of the island.
l) The strengthening of the cooperation of the inhabitants of Samothrace both with each other and with the local, regional, central and international bodies