Vice-President of the European Parliament Intergroup for the islands, Tonino Picula, organized a panel discussion on the islands and hosted representatives of eight small European islands from Croatia, France, Greece and Ireland, in the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday.
The panel, which was held on the occasion of World Water Day, marks the beginning of the project “Water saving challenge” that aims to save water and money on the islands. The project gathers 8 islands from 4 EU Member States (see the map attached). They will use their experience and knowledge for development of mindsets and technologies for saving water and communicate it to the 1,640 islands of ESIN – and others.
“The lack of drinking water affects both islands and coastal communities, and the Water Saving Challenge taps into possibilities of using technology and adjusting human behaviour to save both water and money”, said MEP Tonino Picula.
The project will carry out through the whole year, during which two key events will be held. Meeting of the working group after the field research is set for September on Komiža, island Vis and results will be presented in November, again in the European Parliament in Brussels.
Christian Pleijel with the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, said that “the aim of this project is to prove that we can, as people, islanders, industry, entrepreneurs, teenagers … reduce water consumption and build a project together, by listening to the islander’s solutions. For example, to establish a hotel that would motivate guests to stay in, because it successfully saves water.”
Dr. Christoforos Perakis from the Greek Centre for Renewable Energy emphasized that they plan to make the island Agios Efstratio “the first Greek green island which will get all the energy from renewable sources”. As an excellent example of saving water he announced a new project on the construction of a hybrid power plant that combines the power of wind and water on the island, which makes it completely energy independent.
Mairtin O’Mealoid from the European Federation of small islands (ESIN) with Irish Cape Clear Island announced a major investment of the Irish Government in pipeline, because it turned out that 60 percent of water (11 million liters yearly = 30,000 liters/day) is lost on the way from pumping station to the consumers on the island.
“This project is a result of islanders and politicians working together and therefore I am extremely grateful to MEP Picula for his support and dedication to the project.”
The core team of the “Water saving challenge” project is : MEP Picula, Christian Pleijel and Mairtin O’Mealoid, Anders Nordstrom of the University of Stockholm and Maxime Bredin, representative of the University of Brest. Eight islands included are : Vis and Lastovo, Seine, Houat, Ithaka, Cape Clear, Inisheer and Tilos.
The panel on the islands presented a lot of useful and positive examples of efficient management of water as the most important resource. Discussion pointed that the island’s water resources were often, and for too long, badly ruled and that the islanders were often imposed ineffective solutions, coming from mainland.
Although much still has to be done for efficient and sustainable resolution of the island’s water management, the panelists concluded that the opening of this dialogue between European islands is a significant step forward that will enable better and more effective action for improving life on the islands around the Old continent.
ESIN chair Camille Dressler took part in the CPMR Islands Commission annual general meeting which was hosted on Gozo, Malta’s smaller island, seen above with Kostas Komninos from DAFNI, Joseph Borg, Gozo Chamber of Commerce and a lady from Orkney.
The meeting brought together island regions from the North to the South of Europe to look at the future of Cohesion Policy post-2020. As an observer member, the European Small Islands Federation was extremely pleased to see some very strong principles being reiterated:
– Islands must think globally and act locally
– One size does not dictate all nor add value to a nation
– It is important to bridge the gap between the EU and policies
– It is crucial to get rid of bureaucratic barriers and help micro, small and medium size enterprises through changes to State Aid rules for islands and a rise in De minimis level at least in line with inflation.
– The Cohesion Policy, as a fundamental pillar of EU construction, must act as a forward looking policy bringing EU citizens together
– There must be a new way to look ar shipping issues
– There should be social policies for the islands
– There should be Special funding packages for the islands
– To serve the islands adequately, there must be a place-based approach to the EU Development and Territorial Cohesion Policy.
Island Commission President Vasco Cordeiro: “We MUST SPEAK VERY CLEARLY AND VERY LOUDLY ABOUT THE ISLANDS’ NEEDS, to be an island should nto be a problem but a pillar of development!”
CPRM island Commission secretary Eleni Marianou on the future of the EU: The CPMR needs to make a response to the EU White Paper and respond to the key challenges of competiveness, investment and Territorial Cohesion. It needs a strong voice and think of target audiences: EU institutions, National governments, EU Regions, Citizens and Young People. Response includes making the case for EU cooperation based on CPMR principles of balanced Territorial Principles, solidarity between EU and its regions, championing the position of regions in EU policy-making. CPMR needs to prepare for a strong lobbying campaign prior to and during the EU parliamentary elections in 2018- 2019.
Professor Ioannis Spilanis from the University of Aegean: 5% of EU population live on islands. Their access to the Single market is NOT equal to the access enjoyed by other parts of the EU. Insularity has a negative aspect on businesses and people and Brexit will make it worse by reducing the number of islands in the EU and the overall funding share. EU Sectoral policies are without differentiation. For the islands to realise their potential, EU policies need to include insularity clauses. For this reason, a new island typology is needed. Current indicators are woefully inadequate: new indicators are required to describe the islands situation as the classification used in NUTS2 and NUTS3 is not good enough. (NUTS 3 islands are drowned in the NUTS2 areas). To achieve the EU’s principles of Territorial Cohesion and Sustainability, the development model needs to be changed to include Equal opportunities for the islands and Green island policies.
– We need to communicate what the EU Cohesion Policy stands for.
– We need to provide pertinent examples and make our voices heard for a balanced territorial approach to succeed.
– CPMR’s proposal is for the distribution of funds in NUTS2 areas to be done in a way that favours ESF spending in proportion to the levels of island population: We are asking that the member states offer at least a proportion of their ESF funds to their island population in line with the percentage of population they represent.
MEP MEP Myriam Dalli: Islands need to have a Can do attitude and islands need to access support to realise their ambitions.
Entreprise on islands with INSULEUR president Georgios Benetos: No economy of scale for the islands. Added costs of insularity needs to be taken into account. Access to credit and finance is more complicated. VAT should be lower as it is already on some islands ( Corsica, Heilgoland, no VAT in Faroes). There should be a lower level of taxation for islands to help small and medium enterprises as well as micro-enterprises.
On his way out to Oileán Chléire – Cape Clear island – Mairtin O’Mealoid reports that the island is to receive a €4.3 million euro investment by Irish Water. The Cape Clear Water-main Rehabilitation Project will involve the replacement of 11.5km of water-mains across the Island.
The project, which is running in partnership with Cork County Council is due to get underway next month, and will take 18 months to complete. It’s hoped the 11 million litres of water that is currently lost to leakage will be saved, and this will lead to improvements in the water supply for local households and businesses.
Great news for the islanders and for the Water Saving Project https://europeansmallislands.com/water-saving-project/ in which Oileán Chléire is one of eight participating islands.
Mairtin and Mona Best, owner of the Victorian b&b in Skibbereen
Finnish state TV station YLE reports that an European organisation for small islands – yes, ESIN – has its centre in Finland’s second smallest municipality: Kökar, and has plans for building an ESIN office there.
http://areena.yle.fi/1-4052507?autoplay=true, the part on Kökar starts at 10:03.
Today, ESIN chair Camille Dressler is taking part in the CPMR Islands Commission annual general meeting on Gozo, see http://cpmr-islands.org/event/cpmr-islands-commission-general-annual-meeting-gozo-mt/
Up for discussion and debate are the island’s case for a post 2020 cohesion policy; islands as pioneers towards energy transission and policy to support island investment, accessibility and entrepreneurship.
Says Camille: “Malta’s EU presidency is intent on re-shaping the EU’s approach to Island issues: today we heard the many ways this will be done, starting with a need to refine Eurostat’s approach to island statistics to ensure sectoral policies are differentiated. We all agreed there is a real need to change the current development model to truly achieve the EU principlesof cohesion and sustainability. The CPMR is working hard to make this happen and we in ESIN are playing our part, alongside Kostas from the Smart Island Declaration, Karen from Orkney Council’s Our islands Our future, and actors on the ground like Joseph Borg from the Gozo Chamber of Commerce!”
Pospoder lighthouse opposite Ouessant, photo Yves-Marie Quemener
A month ago, Norwegian storm ”Thor” hit Sweden while its twin sister ”Gertrude” brought strong winds to Scotland and Northern England with a red warning for wind issued for the Shetland Islands where gusts of up to 105 mph were recorded, delays to road and rail and ferry networks and school closures were widespread.
A few days ago, ”weather bomb Doris” came in over Britain with gales and snow. Continuing to France, she changed her name to ”Zeus” and hit Brittany with hurricane-force winds. Yesterday, winds reaching 191 km/h (119 mph = 53 m/s) were recorded in Ouessant, 180 km/h (112 mph = 50 m/s) in l’Ile de Groix.
In the beginning, storms were given arbitrary names. An Atlantic storm that ripped the mast off a boat named Antje became known as Antje’s hurricane. Then, in the mid-1900s, people started using female names for storms.
Then, meteorologists decided to introduce a more organised and efficient system, taking names instead from a list arranged alphabetically. The first storm to occur in a year would be assigned a name beginning with A, and so on. Before the end of the 1900s, forecasters used male names for storms forming in the southern hemisphere.
Since 1953, storms in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic have been named from lists drawn up by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the WMO. The original list featured only women’s names and in 1979, men’s names were introduced – and now they alternate each year. Six lists are used in rotation, so the list for 2016 will be used again in 2022.
When a storm is deemed to be particularly deadly or costly, its name is removed from the list. This is the case of Flora (1963), Gilbert (1988), Hugo (1989), and Andrew (1992). Another name is chosen to replace it at an annual meeting of the WMO Tropical Cyclone Committees.
There are no storms that begin with the less common letters Q, U, X, Y or Z.
Senator Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas argues that current hurricane names are too “lily white,” and is seeking to have better representation for names reflecting “African-Americans and other ethnic groups . All racial groups should be represented,” Lee says, hoping federal weather officials “would try to be inclusive of African-American names” such as Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn (http://www.wnd.com/2003/08/20096/#MFT1G46k7mZzIutH.99.
Meanwhile, ”Zeus” will exit into the Mediterranean Sea and rapidly deepen as it moves toward Italy. We have no records of what her Italian name will be.
Weather map 8 of March 2017