About the organization
Kökar is a small island located in the Central Baltic Sea. It is an archipelago with an area of 2,165 square kilometers, whereof only 64 sq. km is land. The island is blessed with a freshwater lake. The number of year-round residents is 250, the summer residents are 2,500 and the number of yearly visitors is about 25,000 and peaks in summertime. Our level of resilience and ecological, economic and social sustainability is of utter importance to us, including management of natural and cultural resources, infrastructure, transports, energy and water. We therefore intend to develop a long-term sustainable plan for Kökar, thus paving the way for other small islands whether being municipalities or on a sub-municipal administrative level.
To find out more, visit the webpage: www.kokar.ax
Benefits from participating in the project
Kökar is a small island, a rich civilization and an independent municipality in the Åland region in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The area of the municipality is 2,165 km2 (‘wet area’) of which 64 km2 is islands, islets, rocks and skerries (‘dry area’). On the main island there is a 21-hectare big lake. Kökar is rich in water considering both the vast water volumes surrounding it and the large freshwater reservoir inland. Water has formed the living conditions of this society and is the single most important and threatened asset of our community.
We need to make a municipality development plan. Such a plan would set out the direction for long-term, sustainable development of water and land and provide guidance on how to use, develop and maintain water and land areas and the built environment. Planning would engage all inhabitants (year-round as well as seasonal) and stakeholders such as businesses, the third sector, local politicians and the government. It would include estimates and assumptions about the development of the political, human and eco-systems, what requirements are imposed on municipal services and how to address the long-term need for housing and related issues relating to water, sewerage, heat, cooling, electricity, garbage, roads, lighting, parking and outdoor areas. With a time perspective of 10-15 years, the plan will show how the municipality intends to cater to common interests.
Previous experience of international projects
We are engaged in an EU Central Baltic-financed project aiming to create a pilgrimage route from Finland via Kökar to Norway. We are the administrative center of the European Small Islands Federation (https://europeansmallislands.com), partner in a European water saving project.