SMILES Cost Action Presented at Launch of Sustainable Islands 2023 Report

Rome, 21st June 2023 - The Sustainable Islands 2023 report, a joint publication by the CNR IIA Sustainable Islands Observatory and Legambiente, was officially launched, shedding light on the sustainability trajectory of small Italian islands. The event featured a notable presentation by Dr. Mario Balzan of Ecostack Innovations, who, as Action Vice-Chair, introduced the SMILES COST Action, aimed at enhancing the resilience of small and medium-sized islands by securing the sustainability of ecosystem services.

The CNR Sustainable Islands Observatory has taken up the challenge of accelerating the sustainable transition on smaller Italian islands. By quantifying and evaluating advancements in the energy, water, waste, and mobility sectors, this initiative strives to encourage sustainable practices through various means such as reports, workshops, conferences, and news dissemination, with a particular focus on the natural and captivating territories of these islands.

One of the key highlights of the Sustainable Islands 2023 report is the development of an overall sustainability index for the islands. The integrated methodological note provides a detailed framework for this index, aiming to inspire local administrations and populations to overcome their chronic stagnation phase and embark on a dynamic and proactive journey towards sustainability.

The report reveals that the average sustainability index for the islands stands at 40%, indicating that significant improvements are needed to achieve higher levels of sustainability. It underscores the urgency to adopt innovative sustainable models, such as clean energy generation, efficient water management, waste recovery and recycling, and zero-emission mobility. These advancements align with the broader objective of combating climate change and mitigating global temperature rise.

Historically burdened by inefficient energy and resource exchange systems with the mainland, the smaller Italian islands now have the opportunity to embrace progressive sustainable practices. Their unique isolation serves as an ideal testing ground for pioneering research projects that quantify the benefits of transitioning to sustainable models. This transformation extends beyond technological advancements, emphasizing the active involvement of local communities and the integration of renewable infrastructure into the island landscapes.

To gain further insights into the SMILES Cost Action and explore the Sustainable Islands 2023 report, interested individuals can access the presentation and launch event below.