ISISA is a voluntary, non-profit and independent organisation. Our objectives are to study islands on their own terms, and to encourage free scholarly discussion on small island related matters such as islandness, smallness, insularity, dependency, resource management and environment, and the nature of island life.
The objectives of ISISA are pursued by encouraging the networking of small island communities through international communication systems, such as newsletters and journals and the holding of periodic, multi-disciplinary conferences, employing appropriate technologies to achieve these ends.
ISISA was officially established in 1992 on the occasion of the "Islands of the World III" conference held in Nassau, Bahamas. Prior to formally establishing the association, a group of scholars and researchers, professionals and others from around the world had met on two previous occasions, in Victoria, B.C., Canada, in 1986 and in Tasmania, in 1988.
ISISA met officially for the first time in Okinawa (Japan) June 22-26, 1994. The meeting was sponsored jointly by the INSULA (International Scientific Council for Island Development), International University of Japan, the Okinawa Labor and Economic Research Institute and the Office of the Governor of the Okinawa Prefecture. Topics discussed at this meeting included global networking of island communities, non-nuclearisation of island realms, gender relations in solving socio-economic problems of small islands, island microstates and their prospects, sustainable, environmentally sound agro-ecosystems, the case for more effective utilisation of traditional resources and food-production systems and many other issues concerning the nature of island life, problems and prospects.