Joins the expedition for week 2
Graeme Robertson is Executive Director of Global Islands Network, a Scottish based charity established in 2002 whose main aim is to conduct and promote culturally appropriate, ecologically sound, economically sustainable and socially equitable development on islands worldwide.
GIN presently comprises 150 partner organisations spread over 60 countries and has built up formal working collaborations with a range of UN agencies and other international bodies. Core activities include managing a website with a daily news desk that has sourced and featured more than 8,000 items since it started, a links directory with over 4,000 entries, and a range of other services like a calendar and marketplace. GIN has been an active member of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) since its inception in 2005 whose central goal is to help implement the priority actions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Island Biodiversity Programme of Work which was formally adopted at its 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8) meeting in Curitiba, Brazil, in March 2006. Amongst other things, GIN has helped to develop the Global Island Database and presently engaged with researching 50 Green Island case studies. The aim of these case studies is not to produce some kind of environmental ‘scorecard’ to determine which islands might be best at pursuing the most sustainable livelihood practices and becoming as carbon neutral as possible. Rather our objective has been to draw upon and document the practical experience of different island communities from around the world in order to share their knowledge and solutions as widely as possible thus inspiring others who face the direct consequences of climate change.
Graeme was also the former Director of Habitat Scotland; the first Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland Ltd; first Co-ordinator of Edinburgh Environment Centre; and has held various seasonal contracts working as a warden on Scottish islands for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and former Nature Conservancy Council and orni- thologist at the Station Biologique, Camargue, France.
Graeme was appointed Honorary Research Fellow, Scottish Centre for Island Studies, University of the West of Scotland; Secretary, Interna- tional Small Islands Studies Association; Member, International Editorial Board, Island Studies Journal.
Graeme led a ten-month expedition in 1978 to the Kashmir region of India, Nepal, Sabah, Java and five island countries in the South-West Pacific to study the behaviour and ecology of Kingfisher species. This research was funded through grants awarded by the American Museum of Natural History, BirdLife International, Royal Geographical Society and other charitable trusts. Outputs included major contributions to the two volume Kingfishers and Related Birds and editing the Birds of Vanuatu book.
In 1991 Graeme was awarded a three months travel bursary from the Commonwealth Relations Trust to investigate community based re- source management initiatives and compare policies for environmental protection in twelve Eastern Caribbean countries. In 1993 Graeme was awarded British Council professional exchange grant to spend a month on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, studying their rural development and environmental programmes/policies.
In 1995 Graeme was awarded grant from the Royal Society to undertake six weeks visit to Chile to investigate native forest management/ conservation practices and the Falkland Islands to ascertain their preparedness for offshore oil developments. In 1996 Graeme was awarded Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to spend two months visiting the Island Institute, Maine, USA; the Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada; and Centre for International Studies, University of Cape Breton, Canada. In 1997 Graeme was awarded a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Anglo-Portuguese Exchange Fund to visit the Azores for a month studying their rural development programmes/policies.
In 1999 Graeme was awarded English Speaking Union William Thyne Scholarship to spend two months in New Zealand investigating their ‘no-take’ marine reserves and coastal management policies/practices. Throughout the course of his career Graeme has attended numerous international conferences/intergovernmental meetings and visited the islands of over 60 countries worldwide.