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Economic Aspects | Natural Resource Aspects | Institutional Aspects | Social Aspects |Italy

NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ITALY

Click here to go to these sections: Agriculture Atmosphere Biodiversity Desertification and Drought Energy Forests Freshwater Land Management Mountains Oceans and Coastal Areas Toxic Chemicals Waste and Hazardous Materials

 

AGRICULTURE

No information is available.

 

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Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
To access the FAOSTAT Data Base for information by country, item, element and year, click here:
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

Italy signed the Montreal Protocol (1987) in 1988; its London Amendment (1990) in 1993 and its Copenhagen Amendment (1992) in 1993. The latest reports to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in 1995.

Italy signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994 and submitted its latest report to the UNFCCC Secretariat in 1995.

 

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here for national information from the Web Site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.  

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

NGOs in Italy are heavily involved in this area, themselves managing one hundred twelve protected areas totaling 28.141 ha.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

With regard to flora, in Italy there are approximately 5,900 species, while the check-list of fauna presented in early 1996 indicates more than 56,000 species.

To implement the EU Habitat Directive, Italy has initiated the Bioitaly project, which aims to identify the areas of the Italian territory to be inserted in the Nature 2000 ecological network. To this end, in June 1996 Italy transmitted to the EU a list of approximately 2,300 national sites of EU importance.

From 1992 to 1995, 3,236 exemplars of animals and 3,344 exemplars of fruit/vegetables protected by CITES were sequestered.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

The First Triennial Program for protected areas (1991-1993) allocated 375 billion liras worth of resources, while the Second Triennial Program (1994-1996) allocated 154 billion liras.

Cooperation

Italy signed the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992 and ratified it in 1994. Its latest report was submitted in 1995.

Italy signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in 1973.

 

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

In Italy the desertification phenomenon is found in Sardinia, due primarily to human activity. In the framework of the MEDALUS project, (Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use), which operates in the EU Mediterranean area, Sardinia is a unique area of study. The preliminary results of the studies of desertification in Sardinia show that the main causes are urbanization, excavation activities, salination, forest fires, and heavy metal pollution.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification
Particularly in Africa was signed by Italy in 1994 and ratified in 1997.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

In Italy strictly environmental taxes constitute 0.1 % of total tax revenues. Energy and automobile taxes (12,8 %), which have a significant environmental impact, represent a higher percentage.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

The 1996 budget introduced a tax on the disposal of waste being unloaded that aims to foster a decrease in the production of waste and increase the recovery of raw materials and energy from waste. The tax revenue should amount to more than 1,000 billion liras per year.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A Charter on forests and vegetation is being implemented that will allow more incisive intervention policies to safeguard the forests.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Forest fires are one of the most serious causes of the destruction of Italian forests. In 1994 there were 8,655 forest fires affecting an area of 119,415 ha (the 1991 figure was 24,630 ha).

The amount of lumber cut has increased in recent years: in 1994 it was 9.4 million mc (up 7% from 1993).

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

On 27 February 1996 Italy signed the protocol to activate the Convention on the Alps, covering mountain forests, which is meant to assure a global policy for the protection and sustainable development of the Alpine territory. The subjects operating in this field include thirty-five mountain communities, whose most prominent activity is the defense of the forest and the lumber cycle.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

Click here for the UN ECE Timber Data Base.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

According to the 1991-93 data on the 13 main rivers for a total of 156 survey sites taken from the national network of the National Information System on the Environment (SINA):

- 32% of the survey sites can be classified as polluted (class III);
- 9% as very polluted (class IV);
- 9% as heavily polluted (class V).

The remaining 50% is little or not polluted.

The demand for purification, equivalent to approximately 99 million inhabitants, counting the resident population, commercial, artisan and other users, as well as the presence of seasonal tourists, has been formally met by a measure of 70%. Only 5.3% of the facilities that serve 39% of the population are equipped with tertiary treatment.

The chemical pollution of subterranean waters is most concentrated in the Paduan basin, in connection with the intense agro-zootechnic use of the soil, the high concentration of industrial plants, and urbanization; 80% of the pollution cases of industrial origin are concentrated in this area.

The water quality in natural and man-made lakes is generally poor in trophic terms. This phenomenon is particularly evident in Sardinia, where 40% of the capacity is subject to frequent algae flourishings, and Sicily, where 51% of the waters are considered mesotrophic or eutrophic. The algae proliferation events include algae that produce toxins that lower the possibility of using the water, particularly for drinking.

In 1992, there were 13,053 active aqueducts on the national territory. They serve 58% of all the inhabitants of the North, 35% of the Center, 75% of the South and 47% of the islands. This geographic distribution of infrastructures does not correspond to a parallel distribution of the quantity of water: among the inhabitants of the North, for example, 8.5% do not have sufficient amounts; this percentage reaches 18% in the Center, 55% on the islands, and 78% in the South.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A recent legislative instrument, Territorial Agreements, i.e., agreements of programs between local institutions and the labor unions and entrepreneurial associations, became operative in various parts of the country and is meant for initiatives to implement socio-economic and environmental sustainable development in the territories.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Law n.97 of 31 January 1994 laid the foundations for a sustainable development of the mountain environment, with management coordinated by the State, regional, and local governments. The law creates a national fund for the mountains, facilitations for young entrepreneurs, an informational system on the mountains, and simplification of administrative activities. The initiatives being discussed include the definition of a Convention for the sustainable development of the Apennines.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A good mountain policy should provide for detailed projects that take into account the varying degrees of development of the different mountain realities in Italy. It is useful to recall that of the thirty richest municipalities of the country, twenty-three are located in mountain areas (primarily in the North), just as of the thirty poorest municipalities, twenty-seven are in mountain areas, primarily in the South.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

Italy's mountains, including the Alpine arc and the Apennine ridge, represents more than one-third of the national territory (4,198 municipalities organized in 350 communities, with 10.4 million inhabitants).

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

Moreover there are efforts underway to grow beyond an emergency and instead plan preventive actions that will allow savings. In fact, according to calculations, damages caused by hydrogeological imbalance in the past 10 years amount to 60,000 billion liras. For 1996, financial resources allocated to mountains were approximately 670 billion.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The Italian coastline is approximately 7,100 km long. The beaches extend for approximately 52% of the littoral development and more than 1500 km are in a state of erosion. Counting ports, wharves and protective works, there are more than 600 km of concrete defenses.

Sea water quality has improved slightly, as shown by the analysis of data on the suitability of bathing water in the 1992-95 period; the percent of favorable samples increased from 91.4% in 1992 to 93.9% in 1995. In the latter year, bathing was not allowed along 592 km of coastal area due to pollution. Of these, 81% were due to exceeding legal limits on biological parameters.

After the algae infestations of the late 1980s in the upper Adriatic and in some parts of the Tirana, there have been no more major eutrofissation and mucilaginous formations algae. In the Orbetello and Venice lagoons projects are underway to lower the risk of new eutrophic excesses.

In Italian ports in 1993, 16,244 thousand tons of chemical products were moved, including fertilizer, 12,048 thousand being shipped in and 7,196 thousand being shipped out. The movement of oil products unloaded and loaded at 15 ports amounted to approximately 170 million tons a year, more than 70% of which was at the five largest oil ports (Tireste, Genoa, Venice, Cagliari, Augusta).

During the 1992-96 period (as of 31 May) the Ministry of the Environment, on the indication of the maritime authorities, coordinated actions on 216 cases of pollution or danger of pollution in the national territorial seas. The causes were as follows: 17% from navigation accidents (collisions, accidents, running aground, sinking); 83% to accidents (not closely tied to navigation, such as breakdowns or mistakes in use of on board equipment, oil terminals, or ground facilities).

Eight marine reserves have been instituted (7 marine reserves plus the National Park of the Maddalena archipelago), 4 of which were created in the 1990s.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed by Italy in 1982 and ratified in 1994.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Based on DPR 175/1988 and later implementation laws, in Italy there are 440 industrial plants at risks of a significant accident, a large percentage of which are represented by chemical and petrochemical industries and depots. Numerous decrees, the most recent in January 1996, have broadened the field of application of the law and introduced stricter criteria for the preparation and assessment of safety reports for risky plants. A new drive to control the risk of chemical industry activities will be adopted by the EU Directive called "Seveso 2," which Italy will strive to quickly incorporate into national law. Approximately 90 Italian chemical firms, with 233 production centers, belong to the "Responsible Care" program, which aims to lower environmental pollution and the risk of accidents, and make more rational use of prime materials.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

A new legislative decree, approved in December 1996, reorganizes and streamlines rules for the waste sector. It is based on the principles that inspired the EU directives and includes among its objectives the lowering of waste production and its danger, increased recycling, and the rationalization of disposal procedures. Program agreements are foreseen between public administration and economic operators to create real recycling opportunities. The decree imposes waste collection targets differentiated by the burden on the municipality, and provides for transforming the tax on Solid Urban Waste into tariffs, to implement the principle of shared responsibility.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

Although targets are still only being achieved in part, considerable success has been made. At the end of 1995, separate collection of plastic packaging for fluids increased over 70% since 1994. In 1995 separate collection of glass packaging for fluids yielded 50% of the total waste glass in the country, and collection is undertaken in 61% of the total municipalities. Collection from businesses and imports put the total even higher. Similar results have been experienced with recovery of paper.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

 

Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

No information is available.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed in 1989 and ratified in 1994. The latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1997.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.

For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

 

Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

In Italy nuclear waste and radiated fuel deriving from the operation of electronuclear centres are managed by the plants that generated them and temporarily held in engineered depots specifically built for this purpose. Radioactive waste produced by medical and hospital, industrial and research activity is instead managed for the most part by various authorized industrial workers.

The limited diffusion of depots and the concentration of management in a limited number of installations with a restricted number of qualified workers allows for better control over the relative activities, able to assure the necessary guarantees of nuclear security and radio protection of workers and the population as a whole.

According to the National Agency for Environmental Protection (ANPA), 23,000 mc1 of radioactive waste, for approximately 10,000 Tbq2, has accumulated in the sites where it was produced, and for the most part must still be treated and processed.

To this quantity one must add 330 t of non-reprocessed radiated fuel and treated waste being returned by England to Italy following ENEL's reprocessing of fuel.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

 

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This information was provided by the Government of Italy to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: April 1997.


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