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November 14, 2007

A new voice for Scottish Islands

Scotland has 95 inhabited islands with a total population of over 90,000. On 15th November, the Scottish Islands’ Federation will be formed to ensure that the third sector on the islands have an independent and effective voice.

Scottish Islands Federation

Scotland has 95 inhabited islands, divided between 6 regional authorities. Whilst the Western Isles and the Northern Isles have their own island authorities, the remaining islands are dependant on mainland authorities.

Unlike other island regions in Europe, Scotland’s islands are not represented by their own body. The Scottish Islands Federation aims to fill this gap.

To that effect, the Scottish Islands Federation is taking over from the Scottish Islands Network in order to develop and become a more representative and democratic body, on a par with other European islands organisations.

The Scottish Islands Federation can bring together all 95 inhabited Scottish islands, give them a common voice on issues that matter to them and ensure this voice is heard at local, regional and national level.

Through its membership of ESIN (European Small Islands Network), The Scottish Island Federation can bring attention to these issues at European level.

The Scottish Islands Federation wants to continue engaging young islanders in a Young People’s network, nationally and internationally.

The Scottish Islands Federation aims to develop a database of islands projects: “Islands work” to help Scottish islanders identify examples of best practices and models of sustainable island development.

Commenting ahead of the conference to which will launch the Federation, Convenor of the Scottish Islands Federation, Ian Gillies said; “Our islands are a unique and highly valued resource, and with a Scottish island population exceeding 90,000 residents, it is clear that islands are also economically important to Scotland and within the EU. I expect that the conference will explore some of the topical issues of housing, transport, population, environment and sustainability”.