University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Selected Publication:

Fischer-Kowalski, M; Xenidis, L; Singh, SJ; Pallua, I.
(2011): Transforming the Greek Island of Samothraki into a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve An Experience in Transdisciplinarity
GAIA. 2011; 20(3): 181-190. FullText FullText_BOKU

This research explored the feasibility of transforming the island of Samothraki, Greece, into a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The goal was to assess whether this would help to foster a sustainable socio-economic development and to preserve the unique natural and cultural heritage of the island. In recent years the number of seasonal residents and tourists on the island has been growing substantially, and so, too, have the demands upon facilities and infrastructures. The number of livestock, primarily goats and sheep, has increased exponentially, enhanced by the agricultural policies of the EU. Overgrazing, in combination with the steepness of terrain, has led to severe soil erosion, even within the existing Natura 2000 conservation area. Such conditions made it apparent that a new development model was needed, and an initiative was started to create a biosphere reserve. In a transdisciplinary process, the scientists gradually transferred ownership of this vision to local stakeholders. A biophysical and socio-economic assessment showed that a biosphere reserve would be appropriate and be welcomed by the majority of stakeholders. The community council recently endorsed an application to UNESCO.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Fischer-Kowalski Marina
Singh Simron Jit

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
biosphere reserve
island tourism
Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme
stakeholder analysis
sustainable pathways
transdisciplinary research

© BOKU Wien Imprint