Status: in progress
Categorization: tourism, local development
Name: Vaso Papadopoulou
Organization: ANATOLIKI S.A. - Organization for Local Developmen
Contact address: 1st Km Thermis -Triadiou (Gold Center N. 9), P.O. Box: 60497, 57001 Thermi, Greece
Summary description: The "GR-eco islands" is a public and private initiative which aims at the decarbonization and the promotion of green economy in the Greek islands. The Greek government recently signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that will transform a number of small Aegean islands into "green" islands. The Agreement, which was signed by the greek Ministry of Energy and Environment, the French Embassy and six companies from the private sector, sets in motion the GR-eco Island Plan, aiming to make the islands independent of the national grid and providing them with renewable energy sources. Astypalea, a Greek island of the Dodecanese in the south Aegean, has been selected to become the first smart, green island in the Mediterranean with energy autonomy. Other islands of the Greek territory will participate in the GR-eco islands initiative. The island of Ammouliani, pilot territory of the COASTING+ project has made the first steps for its participation in the network.
EU Challenges for sustainable tourism: (ii) minimising resource use and production of waste, (iii) enhancing local community prosperity and quality of life, (viii) mitigating and adapting to climate change
Reason of interest for COASTING: The GR-eco islands initiative aims at decarbonizing the Greek islands promoting their sustainable development and self-sufficiency. The Greek islands are playing an important role for the tourism development in Greece. This initiative is promoting a sustainable form of tourism which is totally in line with the goals and the aims of the COASTING+ project, aiming at a tourism model that doesn't affect the environment, raising the awareness among the different actors on environmental issues and making steps towards the model of sustainable development and sustainability in the tourism sector.
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Financial sources: Public and private funds
Territorial context: The territorial context of this initiative are the Greek islands of the Mediterranean sea with the aim to make the green and self-sufficient territories and transform them into green destinations. The Greek islands play an important role in the development of tourism in Greece. Up to now, they are depended on the inland for the bigger part of the services that they are providing. This initiative is considered to be a big step for the self-sufficiency of the small island. So far, an Action Plan has been developed for two islands of the Greek territory, the islands of Astypalea and Chalki.
Relation to policies and strategies: The geographical scope of the initiative is national, aiming at the small Greek islands of the Mediterranean area. It is totally in line within wider sustainable tourism policies and strategies, as it is promoting a greener and more sustainable tourism model.
Regulation framework: The initiative is in line with the National Plan for the Transition to Electrification which is one of the central pillars of the environmental strategy to phase out fossil fuels encompassing every level of government (local, regional, national) as well as the private sector and individuals. Also, it is in line with the National Plan for Energy and Climate in accordance with UN Agenda 2030 and its 17 global Sustainable Development Goals as well as with the European Green Deal, aiming at developing a greener economic model through decarbonization, renewable energy sources and tackling climate change.
Objectives: The "GR-eco islands" is a public and private initiative which aims at the decarbonization and the promotion of green economy in the Greek islands. The Greek government recently signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that will transform a number of small Aegean islands into "green" islands. The Agreement, which was signed by the Greek Ministry of Energy and Environment, the French Embassy and six companies from the private sector, sets in motion the GR-eco Island Plan, aiming to make the islands independent of the national grid and providing them with renewable energy sources.
Developers (and governance): The initiative involves public and private actors. It has been developed at a National Level.
Beneficiaries: The beneficiaries and the actual receivers of the initiative are on the one hand, the local population and the residents of the territories where the plans will be implemented and on the other hand, the tourists and visitors through the sustainable mobility in those territories and the vehicle sharing policies that are going to be adapted.
Innovation aspects: The innovative aspect of the initiative is the use of new technologies and the creation of a model for shared transportation in the Greek islands, in order to achieve their self-sufficiency and decarbonization, promoting also sustainable a sustainable tourism model and raising the awareness among the different actors and beneficiaries on environmental issues.
Actions: The two plans that developed for the islands of Astypalea and Chalki, are aiming at the gradual replacement of conventional private and public vehicles with electric ones and at the introduction of an innovative transportation system based on shared mobility. At the same time, the production of electricity from renewable energy sources in order to replace the current use of fossil fuels in the territories, is foreseen. The main action are: -Incentives to replace conventional private vehicles with electric vehicles through a financing program, -Replace public and utility vehicles on the island (police, ambulance and buses) with e-vehicles with the support of private entities, -Establish the necessary infrastructure for an integrated, electric vehicle charging network, -Creation of an on-demand public transportation system through the use of digital application that will allow residents and visitors greater freedom of travel through the use of vehicle sharing, e-moped and e-bicycle.
Stakeholders involvement: -
Results achieved: The results of the initiative will be visible after the implementation of the proposed actions and activities of the GR-eco island Action Plan.
Potential for learning and transfer
Success factors: The success factors will be the decarbonization and the self-sufficiency of the Greek islands after the implementation of the actions listed in the Action Plans and also, the participation in the GR-eco islands of more territories located in the Mediterranean Sea.
Transferability in COASTING project: This Good practice can be transferred to any island but also inland territory. The island of Ammouliani, pilot territory of the COASTING+ project in Greece has already made the first steps for the participation in the network of GR-eco islands. Also, after receiving a private fund, solar panels were installed in the roof of the primary school of the island, transforming it to a self-sufficient from electricity building.