February 9, 2021 – Greening the Islands (GTI) unveils the 2021 plan. At its heart is the GTI Observatory (GTIO) where international members among island governments, industry associations, corporates and academia and others, cooperate to boost the green journey of islands worldwide. All the GTI actors are committed for islands’ self-sufficiency and sustainability, providing their contribution through the works of 5 thematic Task Forces, with 3 brand new task forces upcoming this year.
The island journey starts with the Entry level free-of-charge island membership, like the recently joined Kerkennah and Maldives, continues with the Intermediate level that includes the GTI Global Index, an innovative tool capable of assessing the islands’ characterization in-depth and tracking their progresses, helping also to group islands with similar needs, to reach the Green Island membership. Islands can jump to the Green Island membership, as done by Gozo and Lipari, having access to a deeper level of support from GTI that includes: dedicated on-line technical sessions (energy, water, mobility and waste) with GTI senior specialists addressed to island task forces involving key local stakeholders, identification and feasibility analysis of potential projects appropriate for the island, tailored proposals by innovative solution providers from all over the world, financing opportunities and business models.
On the innovative solutions side, GTI is glad to welcome in its Observatory the new Corporate Member PXiSE Energy Solutions and the new Start-up Member Genius Watter which will bring remarkable value added to the activity of the GTIO, starting from presenting their best practices to the Islands Members.
Frontrunner islands and corporates are encouraged to join the GTIO with the objectives of disseminating best practices, originating projects and build coalitions for international tenders, like GTI has successfully accomplished with the four-years H2020 MAESHA project: €11.8M budget for innovative smart grid projects on islands. Being part of the GTIO will offer several additional benefits such as full visibility, access to insightful reserved areas, connection with the GTI growing network (with communications facilitated by the GTI App, the social media of the stakeholders committed to island self-sufficiency and sustainability).
A fundamental aspect of GTI’s activities is indeed the dissemination of best practices on islands worldwide. This is why the GTI Awards give visibility to the most innovative solutions to islands problems and reward the best ones through the most qualified Jury ever assembled for islands (including EUROPEAN COMMISSION, IRENA, UN DESA, UNESCO, UNWTO, FAO, GLISPA, CPMR, INSULEUR, OCTA, ISLANDS AND SMALL STATES INSTITUTE, and others). The candidacies for the 7th edition of the GTI Awards will open in early Q2.
In 2021, GTI will host quarterly meetings of the Task Forces producing reports and position papers on key matters such as the EU Common Agricultural Policy and the new EU Batteries Regulation. In cooperation with major industry associations, the Task Forces on Storage & smart grids, Floating offshore wind power, Sustainable agriculture in small islands, Sustainable tourism for the island resorts, Hybrid RES power & desalination, as well as the upcoming ones on Bicycle policies and business models, Wave energy technology and trends and Maritime Transportation & Port electrification, will present their annual work and open the dialogue at the 2021 GTI e_Convention that will take place on 19 – 20 – 21 October.
The results of the 8th edition of the GTI e_Convention, with its well-known International Conference and Exhibition entirely dedicated to islands, will be brought by GTI to the COP26. With certain focus on commitments and policies to combat climate change, all the key stakeholders of islands will meet governments, corporates will showcase their innovative solutions, and all participants will be able to engage in stimulating networking.
Furthermore, to deepen the themes that will be discussed at the e_Convention drawing on the knowledge of the experts, the GTI Academy will offer trainings to leaders of island governments and institutions, including senior technical staff, utilities, managers of companies.