Greening the Islands (GTI) is pleased to announce that the first GTI Observatory Summit, the island summit of global public-private leaders, will take place in Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands, from 1 to 3 February 2023.

The GTI Observatory Summit addresses the need for a meeting of global leaders on sustainable transition with a focus on islands, particularly in the current context of accelerated climate change, the global energy crisis, and supply chain disruptions.

In cooperation with the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC) and with the support of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria and the Island Energy Council, the GTI Observatory Summit will mark a significant return to the islands with key actors of the global sustainable transition for islands and represent an extraordinary occasion to follow up on COP27, where GTI co-organised a session dedicated to islands with UN DESA.

The Summit will be led by the two main committees of the GTI Observatory: the Island Advisory Committee and the Strategic Scientific Committee. The former is composed of local authorities, businesses, citizens, and academics, and is responsible for addressing the needs of the islands. The latter is made up of international scientific organisations focused on the circular economy and is tasked with transposing the needs of the islands from the Island Advisory Committee.

The aim of this operational meeting is to steer the Observatory’s strategy for the coming year, building on the work of the past year and setting key priorities for islands worldwide in the areas of technology, policy and finance. To this end, GTI Observatory’s actors will define the main gaps that need to be bridged in the development of ideal green islands.

GTI will provide the basis for discussion by presenting the first GTI Observatory Report, which includes the results of the Observatory’s work in the different thematic areas of the islands’ circular economy, as well as the best practices collected from members and partners. The Report will then be available for download on the GTI website.

The Summit will also be part of the International Ecoislas Forum which will be held on the island of Gran Canaria on 2nd and 3rd February, an international event where attendees will be able to debate, share new ideas, and promote measures aimed at facilitating the transition to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly socio-economic model; one that is also more profitable, more self-sufficient and with a specific focus on islands.

This will provide Forum participants with a unique opportunity to meet with stakeholders from global islands to share best practices, innovative, efficient, and sustainable solutions to accelerate the sustainable transition. At the same time, guests at the Summit will have the opportunity to meet the national and local speakers involved in the dialogue, whose focus is to consolidate Gran Canaria as an eco-island.
The Summit will feature TED-style talks, thematic working groups, open debates and conclusions, as well as visits to the innovative laboratories of the Technological Institute of the Canary Islands (ITC). The main outcomes of the Summit will be presented at a closing press conference. Some of the topics that will be addressed during the event include:

  • Policy and regulation for the decarbonisation of islands promoting integrated sustainability.
  • Unblock funding for the islands’ clean transition.
  • Islands as models of sustainable tourism.

The Summit will also feature the 8th edition of the GTI Awards, with several GTI Jury members present in Gran Canaria. The top two projects will receive a free one-year GTI Observatory Intermediate Membership, including an evaluation of the islands’ status and recommendations to improve their sustainability level through the GTI Global Index, as well as the exclusive opportunity to test the new thematic areas of the Index: Agriculture, Maritime Mobility, Air Quality, Governance. The first place will be awarded the production of a video to promote the island with a special emphasis on sustainability aspects.

While GTI promotes public-private partnerships, selected companies offering innovative solutions to island challenges will participate in the event as observers. Special guests will also be present to enrich the discussion on the latest island intelligence with testimonies and content. Participants will have the opportunity to strengthen cooperation, create new partnerships and initiatives, and produce recommendations for central governments.

The GTI Observatory Summit also represents an opportunity for host islands, this year Gran Canaria (the Canary Islands), to showcase their decarbonisation strategy, share best practices, and promote their territory.