DAFNI Network coordinates and actively participates in initiatives to strengthen local self-government and island communities by pursuing the development of policies tailored to the special challenges and development potential of the islands.

Smart Islands Initiative

In 2016 DAFNI Network came forward with the establishment of the Smart Islands Initiative, building on years of collaboration between EU islands. The Smart Islands Initiative conveys the significant potential of islands to function as laboratories for technological, social, environmental, economic and political innovation, offering higher quality of life to local communities and helping Europe become a sustainable and inclusive economy.

The added value of the Initiative is that it is bottom-up, driven by and for Europe’s island authorities and communities. Experience shows that if empowered, local actors are in a position to shape policies and mature projects that are reflective of local conditions, thus more effective and successful in the long-run.

On 28 March 2017, 33 island representatives came together in the European Parliament to sign on behalf of over 200 islands the Smart islands Declaration, cornerstone document of the Initiative. Hosted by 12 MEPs, the event was attended by EU policy makers, utilities and service operators, market players and citizen groups, who acknowledged the Smart Islands Initiative as a meaningful vehicle for islands’ transition to a low-carbon, smart and sustainable future.

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    European Smart & Sustainable Islands

  • 12 MEPS
  • 200 ISLANDS

Covenant of Mayors

The “Covenant of Mayors” is an initiative of the European Commission, which brings together mayors from Europe’s most innovative cities into a resilient network, who commit voluntarily to meet EU’s climate and energy targets. This initiative was launched in 2008, aspiring to bring together local authorities who would commit on a voluntary basis to meet and exceed EU’s climate and energy targets.

The initiative has managed to adopt an unprecedented bottom-up approach to energy and climate actions and its success very quickly exceeded expectations. The initiative now brings together more than 7,000 local and regional authorities in 57 countries, which capitalize on the benefits of a global, multimember movement and rely on the technical and methodological support provided by dedicated agencies.

The Global Covenant of Mayors leverages the experience gained over the past eight years in Europe and beyond and is based on the initiative’s main success factors: bottom-up management, multilevel cooperation model and the specific action framework.

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Pact of Islands

The Pact of Islands is a political initiative of European island municipalities and regions aiming at reducing island carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2020. The Pact was developed in line with the Covenant of Mayors. It was adopted in 2011 with the support of the European Commission and the European Parliament, and is addressed to island authorities wishing to make a real commitment to the European effort to tackle climate change.

On 25 June 2015, the second formal signing ceremony of the Pact of Islands was held in Brussels during the annual General Meeting of CPMR (Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions) Islands Commission. More than 117 islands participate in the Pact of Islands, including 27 Greek island municipalities (30 islands) and 3 island regions.

The commitments undertaken by a Municipality upon signing the Pact of Islands are the following:

  • To record CO2 emissions for the municipality’s territory
  • To develop a Sustainable Energy Action Plan to go beyond the EU targets of reducing CO2 emissions by at least 20%
  • To prepare and regularly submit reports pertaining to the evaluation, monitoring and verification of the action plan’s implementation
  • To work together with the European Commission to organise information events on the intelligent use of energy

European Week for Waste Reduction

With the motto “Before throwing it away, think: Can I use it again?” 1,542 students from 26 Greek islands were informed about the value of product re-use and repair and were handed out ecological multipurpose cloth bags.

Students and teachers actively participated in the action, organising presentations and open talks on the re-use of materials to reduce plastics and on the sustainable management of island resources.

This action allowed the DAFNI Network to dynamically put the Greek islands on the European map of sites that have agreed to reduce waste, thus underlining the potential of islands to become places where circular economy can flourish!

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  • 49 SCHOOLS
  • 26 ISLANDS

Smart Islands Education

Smart Islands Education is an initiative of DAFNI for the promotion of sustainable education in the Greek island regions. The aim is to create a network of active teachers both at school and more widely in the island’s local community, who would be willing to come in touch with innovative technologies and practices for the sustainable management of island infrastructures through their participation in training programmes both in Greece and abroad.

The program involved 10 secondary school teachers from Rhodes, Tinos, Kefalonia, Crete, Salamina, Samos, Patmos and Mytilene. The programme aims to bring Greek teachers in touch with new technologies that could offer solutions to long-standing island challenges and then instil their students the willingness to learn and apply these solutions, thus contributing to the sustainable development of their homeplace.