Most of the coastal cities in the MED area are interested by high touristic flows. The socio-economic impact of these visitors is extraordinary and tourism, with the economic and employment opportunities it creates, has become a key factor in overall socio-economic development strategies in touristic areas. At the same time, tourism brings a range of negative externalities and tourist cities have to face additional challenges related to water and energy savings, waste prevention and management. These challenges threaten the preservation and conservation of ecosystem services which are offered by tourism destinations (sea, beaches, natural resources). These three challenges have been selected on the basis of long-standing and on-going policy dialogue in the Maltese islands and represent areas of common interest in MED cooperation.
The CONSUME-LESS project focuses on the minimisation of resource use (energy, water) and waste production through the introduction and branding of a territorial eco-label called CONSUME-LESS Label, which is assigned to private and/or public entities participating in the initiative, and achieving sustainable management actions towards the reduction of energy, water and waste generation. The Project envisaged a testing phase in six pilot areas which are: Gozo (Malta), Vélez-Málaga (Spain), Saranda (Albania), Ragusa (Sicily), Realmonte (Sicily) and Naxos (Greece). The project has come to a completion and several targets were achieved through the project’s activities:
- The development of 6 ConsumelessMed destinations, site specific pilot areas and local action plans
- Over 250 voluntary agreements and more than 250 facilities achieved the label
- A platform for promoting the ConsumelessMed destinations, facilities, stories and travellers
- The organisation of atypical events to disseminate the importance and relevance of the label with thousands of citizens and travellers in each of the pilot areas
- The development of the ConsumelessMed label guidelines and the Consume-Less Model
- The development of a policy paper to promote the Consume-Less tourism model at a strategic level
- Feasibility studies to identify options for project partners so that the CONSUME-LESS label can self-sustain itself after the closure of the project in the long-run
Further information on this project can be found here: https://www.consumelessmed.org/ & https://consume-less.interreg-med.eu/.