Island Resources Foundation
- is a non-endowed, operating foundation
- is a not-for-profit organization that is tax exempt in
the United States
- funds its activities primarily through a combination
of grants, contracts, collaborative partnerships, contributions and membership support
- is a service organization that provides technical and professional assistance to small island states, primarily with donor support or public-sector contracts
- is a major contributor to global initiatives designed to enhance the development options of small islands
A unique approach to island development that emphasizes
- the application of sound science to environmental problem solving
- skills building for islanders and collaborative capacity building for island institutions
- strengthening the availability of information resources for informed decision making
- educating international agencies and donor institutions about the uniqueness of islands \
In 1972, IRF’s founder, Edward Towle, wrote in the Foundation’s organizing prospectus,
Within a small island, no problem or area of study can stand by itself, no piece of life remains isolated; every living and non-living thing forms an integral part of a structured whole. Similarly, an island chain is a delicate and fragile network, representing a set of highly interdependent relationships—island to island, system to sub-system, island to sea.
From this fresh perspective was born the central mission to which the Foundation has dedicated 35 years of research, education, information sharing, technical expertise, and capacity building.
To protect and enhance the environments of small islands , especially those in tropical areas, and to assist islanders in the pursuit of development options that preserve the special qualities of island life.
Island Resources Foundation envisions a world where island systems are not miniature microcosms of continental areas, but rather where it is recognized that a failure to understand the differences between insular and continental systems has unanticipated and too often undesirable consequences for islanders.
Since 1972, the Foundation’s body of work has addressed those differences and assisted in the emergence of island-focused and island-specific environmental guidelines, practices and institutions.
Since 1972, the Island Resources Foundation has been buying time for islands—and for the people who call them home.
Specialized skill areas that have shaped IRF's 40 years of research, planning and conservation work:
- Integrated coastal area planning keyed to small-island conditions, especially island states with expanding tourism sectors, major problems of coastal pollution, and increasing vulnerability to natural disasters;
- Technical expertise in biodiversity conservation for highly stressed insular environments;
- A considerable body of hands-on experience in
institutional strengthening, especially public sector
agencies and NGOs in the English-speaking Caribbean;
- An established track record of sound environmental impact assessments and erosion and sediment controls within a small-island context; and
- An unusual capacity to assess, interpret and assemble complex scientific information in accessible formats useful for island decision-makers.