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16 Aug 2012 09:08:11

Global summit to unite island communities on a journey to a sustainable future

COP 15 brought together 45,000 delegates and failed to deliver a climate deal; Rio+20 achieved nothing more than "283 paragraphs of fluff", and in recent weeks controversy has arisen over whether the US is moving to axe the two degree climate goal.

Meanwhile the Maldives, a tropical paradise and home to 330,000 people, has an average ground level of 1.5 m above sea level and risks being wiped out as oceans rise by more than 3 mm per year. Kiribati, a collection of Pacific atolls and home to 100,000 people, may not yet be about to disappear from the map, but infiltrating seawater and unusually low rainfall has meant freshwater supplies have become so low that the island is considering relocating their entire population.

Islands are not only the communities most vulnerable to the devastating effect of climate change and dwindling resources, they are also the communities who have the smallest voice on the global stage. In Britain, however, one island is not content with waiting for the global superpowers to agree action and is taking its future back into its own hands.

The Isle of Wight has set the ambitious target of becoming renewable energy self-sufficient by the end of the decade. Far from being a pipe-dream, the project has already attracted major partners including IBM, Toshiba, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Sliver Spring Networks, Scottish and Southern Energy, Toyota, ITM Power and Southern Water.

Born out of the Isle of Wight project, Ecoislands is a global leader for sustainable communities. Their aim is to enable every region around the world to achieve the ambitious target of living within their means and they’re wasting no time in turning that vision into reality.

This October, Ecoislands will host the inaugural Ecoislands Global Summit 2012, uniting island and regional communities from around the world on a journey to achieving sustainability.

The summit will invite islands from around the world, as well as regional communities in the UK, to publicly commit to becoming renewable energy self-sufficient by 2020 and sustainable by 2030 by signing the Ecoislands Accord. The accord is signed by a member of the community with the authority to implement the commitment on behalf of the population of that ‘island’.

Those communities that are not yet ready to make the commitment will have the opportunity to take what they've learnt from the summit back to their own communities in order to lay the foundations for signing the Accord at the 2013 summit.

The Ecoislands Global Summit 2012 will also share progress from the flagship ecoisland project on the Isle of Wight itself; showcasing research and development activities, demonstration projects and community initiatives spanning energy, transport, fuel, water and waste management.

"The Ecoislands Global Summit 2012 is the chance for island and regional communities to take control of their own futures," explains Ecoislands founder and chief executive, David Green.

"The summit is not about talk and targets, it’s about communities uniting on a meaningful journey to sustainability and accessing the resources and knowledge to turn that vision into reality."

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