Greening the Islands Foundation

GTI Observatory Report – Sustainable Agriculture: Increasing Islands’ Food, Environmental, and Economic Resilience Through Innovation and Circularity

The GTI Observatory Report is a comprehensive work that looks at the main challenges faced by islands along their decarbonization path, analyzing sector by sector the problems with a focus on technology, policy, and finance. With the involvement of the Observatory members and partners, it identifies the most innovative and sustainable solutions and presents the latest good practices. This month, we focus on Agriculture. The Report also includes Water, Transportation, Energy, Waste, Tourism, and Air quality. Stay tuned for a new blog every month and become a member to access the full report and learn more about challenges and opportunities for islands’ sustainability and self-sufficiency. 


Islands, with their unique ecosystems and limited land resources, often face the challenge of achieving food sovereignty through sustainable practices aimed at respecting the environment. The meaning of agriculture on islands extends far beyond mere food production, it serves as a cornerstone of economic stability and food security for the whole community.



The transition from agriculture to tourism as the primary economic driver presents various challenges. It has led to declining agricultural revenues and the encroachment of tourism infrastructure on agricultural land. The limited availability of land on the islands, combined with increased anthropogenic activity, further reduces usable agricultural space and increases dependence on imports from the mainland. 

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Consequently, this exacerbates the pressure on already limited resources and intensifies environmental consequences, which are amplified by the increase in maritime traffic pollution – a matter addressed in the mobility chapter of the GTI Observatory Report, compounded by the increased production of waste that is often transported to land for processing – and by the deterioration of air quality, which is also addressed in the Report.



Despite these challenges, islands have opportunities to enhance agricultural sustainability by valorising their distinctive products and adopting cross-cutting farming techniques and nature-based solutions. Enhancing agricultural sustainability is essential for mitigating environmental problems, increasing self-sufficiency in food production, and fostering economic resilience for future generations. The GTI Observatory Report offers a holistic, intersectoral approach to enhancing agricultural sustainability, including nature-based solutions, innovative technologies (such as agrivoltaics), circular agriculture models, and policy frameworks to enable sustainable practices. By providing comprehensive information and recommendations, the GTI Observatory Report supports the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices tailored to island communities’ unique needs.

Ready to improve your island’s Sustainable Agriculture?

Dive deep into our study for further insights.

Part of our Report, is an in-depth study looking at islands revolutionising sustainable agriculture. Become a member to access the report, which will offer full insights into the matter as well as innovations and best practices to improve island sustainability.

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