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.