The second Smart Island World Congress started in Magalluf yesterday and will conclude today. The congress brings together some one hundred representatives from islands across the globe and over ninety speakers and heads of research at universities, from governments and international organisations. Issues under consideration include smart and sustainable tourism, social welfare, cultural heritage, seasonality, business incubation, mobile connectivity, climate change and resilience, and energy and waste management.
Opening the congress, President Armengol thanked the organisers for an event at which intelligent solutions will be proposed for challenges common to islands and which will draw on present experience in Majorca and on the future. Armengol said that islands have both weaknesses and potential and that by discussing these themes, shared experiences will enable means for "enriching improvement".
The president stressed the need for a commitment to innovation and technology in order to create better societies and to improve education, health, social services and transport. She added that the Balearic Islands wish to be a "benchmark for sustainability and smart growth" and pointed to efforts made by business and by government in adopting a focus on "quality over quantity" and in introducing initiatives such as the sustainable tourism tax.
Armengol noted that the Balearics are to the fore in Spain and Europe in regulating the number of vehicles going onto Formentera and in planning to create completely clean energy by 2050.
Among islands represented are the Cook Islands, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Cape Verde and, in the Mediterranean, Hvar (Croatia), Corsica and certain Greek islands, one of which - Tilos - is the first island in the Mediterranean to use totally renewable energy.
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