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The ‘Reduce and Save’ Project: An Island-Wide Resource Management Awareness Initiative

  • Paul Refalo
  • Luciano Mulè Stagno
  • Robert N. Farrugia
  • Charles Yousif
  • Tonio Sant
  • Nora Jakkel
  • Anthony Zammit
  • Joseph Portelli
Conference paper

Abstract

The Republic of Malta is an archipelago composed of three inhabited islands – Malta, Gozo and Comino. The main island of Malta has one of the highest population densities in the world, at 1566 inhabitants/km2, and is the largest island, with an area of 246 km2. Gozo has about 31,000 inhabitants and an area of 67 km2, while Comino is much smaller and has fewer than 10 inhabitants and a hotel. In 2008, the government of Malta, through the Ministry for Gozo, embarked on a programme with the aim of transforming Gozo into an eco-island. This initiative was called the eco-Gozo Project – a Local Sustainable Development Strategy for an Island and Its Community. As part of this undertaking, the ministry commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Energy at the University of Malta to conduct an educational campaign named ‘Reduce and Save’. The aim of this campaign was to design and deliver information sessions on water and energy conservation, renewable energy and waste management in every household in Gozo. The main objectives of this initiative were to increase awareness and disseminate eco-friendly information with the aim of improving the quality of life and levels of sustainability on the island. The methodology consisted of training courses, examination of the trainers, the island-wide house-call programme, the approach used during the visits themselves and the results compiled through a specific questionnaire. These actions all served to couple an educational campaign focusing on sustainability and environment-related issues with a data-gathering exercise in an island community. The results showed a favourable opinion on renewable energy and energy-saving and water-conservation measures and gave a snapshot of the renewable energy installations (such as solar water heaters and photovoltaic systems), energy-saving measures (such as roof insulation and double glazing) and water-saving measures (such as recycling of grey water and the use of rainwater catchment in dwellings’ existing water cisterns) at the time of the home visits. In the context of the development of a local, community-based sustainable development strategy, this initiative was instrumental in empowering and engaging the population at a time when this wide-ranging community project was being launched.

Keywords

Sustainability Citizen empowerment and engagement Malta Gozo Energy Water Waste 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the staff at the Ministry for Gozo and the University of Malta. The authors would also like to thank Ing. Marco Cremona, Prof. Paul Pace, Ms Jeannette Fiott and other WasteServ personnel for their contributions to the ‘Train the Trainers’ exercise and for their support to the Reduce and Save initiative. Last but not least, the authors acknowledge the important role played by the trainers in completing the tedious and time-consuming house visits.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Refalo
    • 1
  • Luciano Mulè Stagno
    • 1
  • Robert N. Farrugia
    • 1
  • Charles Yousif
    • 1
  • Tonio Sant
    • 1
  • Nora Jakkel
    • 1
  • Anthony Zammit
    • 2
  • Joseph Portelli
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Sustainable EnergyMarsaxlokkMalta
  2. 2.EcoGozo Regional Development Directorate, Ministry for GozoVictoriaMalta

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