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Heritage Ecologies: culture, resilience and development in Island States

Project description

The sustainable development of small islands in Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean

Small island countries are particularly susceptible to climate change, and this negatively impacts their social and economic development. The EU-funded ECO-HERITAGES project will explore the role of cultural heritage in supporting local economic development and social and environmental resiliencies with respect to Malta, Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles, Reunion and Mayotte. It will tackle European and global challenges in informing effective responses to mitigate climate change’s social, economic and ecological effects. Overall, the project intends to contribute to the role Malta and small island states will play in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the EU development and cooperation actions and the EU Missions in Horizon Europe.


This proposal investigates the role of cultural heritages in promoting local economic development and social and environmental resiliences, in the context of Small Island States (SIS), Small Island and Developing States (SIDS) and Sub- National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs) located in Europe, the African continent and in the Indian Ocean. Small islands are extremely vulnerable to climate change due to their small size and exposure to sea level rise, affecting their social and economic development. Crossing anthropology, heritage, environment, development and island studies, this research aims at integrating institutional heritagization processes and indigenous knowledge systems in actions for sustainable futures. This project will be hosted by the Islands and Small States Institute (ISSI) of the University of Malta, one of the few European entities in island studies and insular development, and supervised by Dr Stefano Moncada, specialist in development economics, climate change and sustainable development, and by Professors Lino Briguglio and Godfrey Baldacchino, world leading scholars in small states and islands studies. Addressing the challenges, at European and global level, of informing effective responses to mitigate social, economic and ecological consequences of climate change, this project will focus on the SIS of Malta, the SIDS of Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles and the SNIJs of the French island territories of Reunion and Mayotte. Through an innovative interdisciplinary methodology, this research contributes with ethnography and cultural studies to sustainable development theories and brings socio-economic resilience analyses to heritage studies. This research will contribute, overall, to the role of Malta and of SIS in the UN actions for Sustainable Development, the EU Development and Cooperation actions and the Missions of the Horizon Europe 2021-2027 Framework.



Net EU contribution
€ 161 411,52
Tal oroqq
2080 Msida

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Malta Malta Malta
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
No data