Island representatives, global industry associations, international institutions and authorities from all sectors of the circular economy from the GTI network gathered to strengthen cooperation and support the launch of the first Observatory Report
Greening the Islands (GTI) is glad to announce that the first GTI Observatory Summit went live in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. The Summit, organised in cooperation with the Instituto Tecnologico de Canarias (ITC) and with the support of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria and Consejo Insular Energia, will last until February 3rd, 2023.
The GTI Observatory Summit gathers key stakeholders of the global sustainable transition to focus on islands’ challenges toward self-sufficiency, resilience, and integrated sustainability. Especially in the present context of accelerating climate change, global energy crisis and supply chains disruption, islands are increasingly in the focus of international organisations and forums, highlighting the need for multi-stakeholder groups to identify priorities and tangible solutions in an action-oriented approach.
That’s why the opening of the Summit focused on consolidating the structure of the Observatory and its two leading committees: the Island Advisory Committee and the Strategy Scientific Committee. The former is composed of island stakeholders among local authorities, business, citizens, and academia, and is responsible for addressing the islands’ needs. The latter is composed of international scientific organizations focused on circular economy and is responsible for transposing the islands’ needs from the Island Advisory Committee. The two committees will contribute to define the Observatory’s action plan towards crucial priorities and appointments. Their first priorities are already clear: setting out ambitious communications and awareness raising initiatives to increase public acceptance of green projects and community participation in planning, as well as producing concrete recommendations towards 100% renewables systems on islands, in a circular economy approach, as a model for the world. Each committee will elect a Chair to ensure transparency and coordination of the work, who will be officially presented upon closing of the Summit.
During the first day, two guided tours of the ITC laboratories and the Technology Centre also took place. The ITC, strategic technical partner of GTI, is active in the Canary Islands and internationally on many innovative fronts across water, energy, mobility, agriculture, circular economy, and more, including aiming at the world record for the highest energy efficiently of reverse osmosis desalination with a new plant in Gran Canaria.
The objective of this operative three-days summit is to steer the Observatory’s strategy for the year ahead drawing on the work of the past year, and set key priorities for islands worldwide across the areas of technology, policy and finance. To do this, the stakeholders of the GTI Observatory, the islands’ think tank, will define the main gaps that need to be bridged in the development of ideal green islands and create a document to inform policymakers in the run-up to COP28.
GTI provides the basis for the discussion by presenting the first GTI Observatory Report, which includes the results of the Observatory’s work across the different thematic areas of the islands’ circular economy, as well as good practices gathered from members and partners in 2021 and 2022. The Report will then be made available for download on the GTI website to all islands worldwide.
The Summit features TED-style talks from international experts and island representatives, thematic working groups, open debates and conclusions. The main outcomes of the Summit will be presented in a closing press conference. Participants have the opportunity to strengthen cooperation, originate new partnerships and initiatives, and produce policy recommendations.
The Summit is also part of the International Forum Ecoislas held in Gran Canaria on 2-3 February, an international event for discussion, sharing new ideas and promoting measures aimed at encouraging the transition towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly socio-economic model; one that is also more profitable, more self-sufficient and with a special focus on insular regions.
The second day of the Summit is dedicated to the presentation of the first GTI Observatory Report in a plenary session as part of the Forum Ecoislas, as well as to the operative thematic sessions on Policy and Finance. The third and final day of the Summit will be dedicated to the Sustainable Tourism workshop and to the 8th edition of the GTI Awards, with several members of the prestigious GTI Jury present in Gran Canaria.