Greening the Islands Foundation

Greening the Islands, zero-emission islands tackle the joint challenges of climate change and migration

island climate change
A two-day exchange of best practices from the Canary Islands, Samsø, Azores, Malta, Balearics and Greek, Italian and Croatian islands.
Greening the Islands Awards to recognise the best projects for improvements in island life.
Gran Canaria, 2-3 December 2016


Milan & Gran Canaria, 22 November 2016 – The dual emergency of climate change and migration will be the focus of the opening of this year’s Greening the Islands conference, which is shifting its attention to the task of enhancing island life in all its aspects, offering important updates and expert guests on the key themes of energy, water and mobility but also tourism, agriculture and waste management.

Greening the Islands, an international event organised by The Green Consulting Group in collaboration with the Government of the Canary Islands and the Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC), will be held on Gran Canaria, Spain, on 2-3 December 2016.

The event, now in its 3rd edition, provides a showcase for best practices and innovative technologies that manage to find synergies and integration between the fields of energymobilitywater and wasteagriculture and tourism. There will be frequent references to solutions related to migration because of the significant impact this issue has on the management of already scarce resources.

Gianni Chianetta, director and scientific co-ordinator of Greening the Islands, commented: “We are seriously committed to providing an ongoing and practical exchange between different but complementary competences, which at best come together to enhance island life. For our meeting in the Canary Islands, just one step away from Africa, we couldn’t avoid the emergency issues of climate change and migration where once again islands find themselves on the front line.”

The event will draw together representatives of over 10 different countries, who will present their best projects including initiatives to reach zero-emission goals. Delegates are attending from the most important Mediterranean islands – Italian, Greek and Croatian islands, Malta and the Balearics – as well as the Azores, the Danish island of Samsø and the Canary Islands.

The Canary Islands edition of Greening the Islands takes on added relevance being held in the immediate aftermath of the COP22 meeting – held just across the water in Morocco – and the coming into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which push governments to take concrete steps to limiting the rise in global temperatures to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Islands are among locations that are most at risk from the effects of climate change and will be able to exchange experiences in taking action to reduce environmental impacts.

The Regional Government of the Canary Islands is fully committed to the sustainable development of the Archipelago and its neighbouring regions. The Canary Islands are natural laboratories for developing, testing and demonstrating innovative technologies in all the sectors that are tackled in the Conference and can be a worldwide reference for circular economy models. Lighthouse projects, such as the Wind-Pumped Hydro Power Station of El Hierro (100% Renewable Energies, multiple water use) or the La Graciosa Sustainability Project, are real examples that illustrate this vision.

“Being able to test and experiment sustainable technological solutions in island environments is a great opportunity because it lets you understand how they can be applied: that’s why the Canary Islands Institute of Technology del Governo delle Canarie plays a particularly important role. In the same way it’s fundamental for research institutes and companies producing innovative technologies to sit down at the same table with local governments representing islands’ needs, which is exactly the process that Greening the Islands has set up so that investment can be effectively deployed and we can identify the best practices to replicate on other islands and in other remote locations,” says Gonzalo Pienravieja Izquierdo, Director R&D&Innovation Canary Islands Institute of Technology.

The conference will include a visit to the ITC’s research centre at Pozo Izquierdo, an experimental laboratory on renewable energy technologies applied to islands and remote locations.

The event will also see the 2nd edition of the Greening the Islands Awards in order to highlight the best technologies, projects and practices, facilitate an exchange of information and stimulate the replication of the best solutions. A jury of five international experts will choose the best projects in three categories: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Mobility and Water.

Note to editors:

Greening the Islands is an international event that aims to spark collective action around the issues of energy, water, mobility and all elements that enhance life on small islands and other remote locations. The conference’s 3rd edition, which will be held on Gran Canaria (Spain) on 2-3 December 2016, cements the initiative’s reputation as an international event for bettering island life through its ability to highlight localities that are often forgotten or exploited but which should represent great value for humanity and be protected.

Greening the Islands, which actively engages the local government in each island that hosts the event, is this year held in collaboration with the Government of the Canary Islands and the Canary Islands Institute of Technology. It brings together experts from government, institutions and business for an exchange on best practices, innovative technologies and public policy.

The Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC), a multidisciplinary technology center of the Regional Ministry of Economy, Industry, Trade and Knowledge, has been developing sustainable technological solutions for the Canary Islands (and isolated regions of neighbouring African countries) for 20 years. The ITC is active in, among other sectors, renewable energies (goal: maximum penetration in isolated systems), sustainable water technologies (desalination, water reuse) or microalgae biotechnology.

The event is currently sponsored by GewissIdroambienteProtecno and Sea Favignana. The event’s media partners include Canale EnergiaGlobal Water IntelligenceGreen PlannerLifeGate, Quotidiano EnergiaThinking CitiesThinking Highways and Vita.

For the full conference programme, visit or get in touch with:

Media enquiries:

Cecilia Bergamasco – – mob.+39.347.9306784

James Osborne – – mob.+39. 349.7937853


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