On behalf of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Minorca will host the 5th edition of Greening the Islands International Conference (Europe) on 17-18 May 2018. The annual gathering will be held be in association with the Government of the Balearics, the Municipality of Minorca, the Biosphere Reserve Institution of Minorca and the Spanish Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association (UNEF). The event will be entirely focused on the European context as Greening the Islands looks to inaugurate other regional forums, for example for Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean, so that it can better respond to the specific development needs of different areas.
The Greening the Islands European forum in Minorca will see a partnership with the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves, which meets in Minorca the following week. This co-operation has inspired a new topic to concentrate on in this edition of Greening the Islands: the “biosphere”. The topic sheds new light on how islands can be put forward as laboratories for finding an equilibrium between Nature and human activity, with populations fluctuating due to tourism, migration, etc. This subject will be discussed in the opening session, with special guests from the world biosphere network, and investigated in all the thematic sessions of the island circular economy that we introduced last year in Favignana. In fact, biosphere is a cross-cutting subject with relevance to energy, water, transportation, waste, agriculture and tourism. All sectors have to grow in a sustainable way and respect Nature and all the “non-human” inhabitants of islands.
The Minorca European forum will be confirmed an “online event” thanks to the live streaming and the interactive functions of the GreeningTheIslands.net web platform, which facilitates the involvement of a larger number of island stakeholders.
The Minorca technical forum will also be a milestone in the European Commission’s path to island energy transition, started in May 2017 in Malta with the EU Member States’ signature of a joint declaration, followed by a political forum in Crete in September 2017. In Minorca, Greening the Islands will involve a greater number of experts to discuss how to make islands a new model of sustainable living.
This year, Greening the Islands will also show its commitment in demonstrating that the sustainable development of the islands can be more successful if it respects and enhances local cultures and traditions.
The 4th edition of the Greening the Islands Awards will this year boost the involvement of online community members creating a real, stimulating and correct competition that will help the dissemination of best practices. As usual, there will be a national conference to better focus on domestic issues (held on the morning of May 17 before the international forum).