European Small Islands Federation

Archive for ANCIM

An Italian model is proving its repeatability

One of the old factories on Favignana, where they used to can the results of “la mattanza” – the bloody tuna slaughter

Projects often aim for repeatability, acting as role models for others – but how often do we actually succeed? For some time, the Italian renewable energy company ENEA has been working on Favignana, one of the Egadi islands, 20 km2 big with 3,400 inhabitants, west of Sicily.

The Progetto Egadi – Egadi Project – has included a composting plant for transforming organic waste into fertilizer; treatment and reuse of wastewater and the installation of a ‘water house’ powered by solar panels (to reduce the use of plastic bottles); patented a procedure for replanting the seabed; created an eco-label, run by the Marine Protected Area of the Egadi, for local companies that have embarked on a path of improvement and environmental impact of their activities. So far, 60 businesses have been certified for meeting the sustainability criteria set out for each tourist category.

It was presented at the smart islands conference in December, 2015

On July 14 2016, ANCIM, the Italian member of ESIN, signed an agreement with ENEA to use Favignana as a stepping stone to develop the environmental, cultural and social aspects of all the 36 small islands of Italy: diffusion of efficient energy, saving energy, renewables, alternative mobility, sustainable water use, waste disposal and tourism. Defined “minor” for the size of their territory, the islands involved in the project are scattered in seven regions, representing an area of about 1,000 km2 with 220,000 inhabitants, which become millions during the summer season.

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Mario Corongiu

The president of ANCIM, Mario Corongiu, is very happy:

”Since its establishment, ANCIM has been trying to create an economic and social development model for small islands. These principles are also encoded in the framework bill of the smaller islands, currently wauiting for the Italian Senate’s approval. We are trying to make the best use of all the skills to maximize the effects of action of institutions, private bodies and entities. The agreement between ANCIM and ENEA is particularly significant for the smaller islands because their size is often an obstacle to have adequate technical expertise and a modern and effective local government ”

The cooperation will also include cooperation in identifying sources of funding, training and information for administrators, operators, citizens and visitors.

One of the first will be Procida, an island halfway between Naples and Ischia, quite small (4 km2) but with more than 10,000 all-year inhabitants, says President of ENEA Federico Testa. A summer school in ”Efficienza Energetica” is already set up on Procida.

Summer School Procida street

Summer school poster and street in Procida

An Italian model, that seems to be working. We can all learn from this.

News from Italy

Corongiu e Ortelli

ANCIM president Mario Corongiu, mayor of Sant’Antiocco, and island of Giglio mayor Sergio Ortelli at the EXPO MILANO seminar

28 of the small Italian islands are united in ANCIM (Associazione Nazionale Comuni Isole Minori), founded in 1986, representing 36 municipalities with 200,000 islanders, and a key member of ESIN.

A matter of vital importance to the ANCIM and a matter of the heart of ANCIM’s general secretary Giannina Usai is health services on the small islands. This autumn, ANCIM and ANSPI, Associazione Nazionale Sanitaria Piccole Isole (, which is an NGO for health care on small islands, organised a joint seminar at EXPO MILANO on Isole Minore – Un Mare di Meraviglie (A sea of wonders), focused on island healthcare organisation, e-medecine and mobile health services.

Ancim 180915

Italy has recently established a National Observatory for the Health of the Smaller Islands and published an official guideline for healthcare on the smaller islands. Italy’s President Sergio Mattarela personally awarded doctor Nino Scirè, founder, a medal on the ANSPI congress on one of the Egadi islands: Favignana, west of Sicily, in september this year.

Nino Scirè

Doctor Nino Scirè

Italians seem to have a clear view of the disadvantages of small island societies. In the thoroughly elaborated UNESCO “Action Plan for the Aeolian Islands” (, north of Sicily, it is clearly stated that the islands have:

…“a lack of financial means or difficulty in the access to credit; insufficient abilities in terms of marketing; technological competences often not suitable; impossibility to effect economies of scale and economies of purpose; and scarce share to associative forms and excessive individualism.

To these structural characteristics of the system of entrepreneurship present in the islands it is added the cost related to the insularity, defined as the whole the economic disadvantages that the resident unities in the islands bear because of the over-cost of the importations.

The economic disadvantages that burden the Aeolian islands can be brought back to three categories: costs of transport, costs of distribution and costs of production.”

Sophia Loren could have been talking about small islands when she said: “Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.”

Islands of Sicily map