Facing a demanding challenge
Growing environmental, economic and social challenges put sustainable development at the core of the global agenda and induced the international community to act in order to strengthen and share worldwide sustainable development commitments.
The last decade-long economic crisis has provided evidence for the growth of inequalities in Italy as well. A number of factors underlie this long-term process. Many of them are directly linked to the creation of “new winners and losers” as well as to the lack of appropriate responses to several critical issues: globalization, trade and financial integration, technological transformation, labour market, demographic trends, migration.
Towards a new development path
Identifying and sharing policy solutions capable of reviving and balancing growth and making it sustainable is thus essential. Spreading the benefits of an increased prosperity requires in turn a multidimensional and country-specific approach, since there is no preordained and universal formula. A set of coherent and effective policies is needed, going beyond an income-oriented approach, addressing other key dimensions of welfare and targeted socio-economic groups (in particular middle-class, low-income families). Inequality can only be effectively fought by adopting an integrated vision and restoring a sustainable, balanced and inclusive development. To this end, all available instruments must be used, including budgetary policies and structural reforms.
More widely, the same approach continues to be followed – in line with the SDG’s domestic implementation policy agenda - for the management of our external relations and in the Italian participation to all major United Nations and international fora starting from our responsibility for 2017 of UN Security Council member. Italy, being fully aware of the global dimension of this challenge, has been actively promoting Agenda 2030 and its SDGs also in the context of its current G7 Presidency.
Shaping and sharing a policy framework for sustainable development
The definition of a strategic framework is crucial to lay the foundations for a sustainable future and adjust the undertaken national reform route in a long term perspective. To this aim, Italy is actually engaged in integrating the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to the economic, social and environmental programming, through drafting the “National Sustainable Development Strategy 2017/2030” (NSDS).
Following the 2030 Agenda, the Strategy shapes a new vision towards a circular, low-emission economy, resilient to climate impacts and to other global changes endangering local communities, prioritising the fight against biodiversity loss, alteration of the fundamental biogeochemical cycles (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus) and land-use change.
At the same time, together with the European Union and its Member States we are working to define a common framework for addressing and reflecting the challenges of the 2030 Agenda. Once defined, the EU framework for SDGs will provide a main reference for Member States in setting their final strategic objectives.
The external dimension: contributing to SDGs implementation all over the world
The NSDS recognises that global challenges can be solved only through a joint effort of the international community and that Italy has to help partner countries to reach the same Goals that have to be reached domestically.
The Three-year Strategic and Planning Document of the Italian Development Cooperation (which was reformed just before the adoption of the 2030 Agenda) related to the 2016-2018 period already adopts both content and structure of the Agenda. Macro-areas for action - that are reflected in the Partnership Section of the NSDS - have been re-arranged to take into account the integrated nature and the structure of the 17 SDGs and include new sectors for action – such as data for development and domestic resources mobilisation – together with those of more traditional engagement.
The Three-year Document served as a basis also for the active commitment of Italy in the elaboration of the new EU Consensus on Development. Consistently with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Government proposed and the Parliament approved a substantial increase of Italian Official Development Assistance funds for the year 2016. The increase has been doubled in 2017 and will be tripled in 2018 in order to allow Italy to contribute to the implementation of the “external dimension” of the Agenda.
Feeding a multilevel process
Following the spirit of the 2030 Agenda, civil society engagement and consultations with public and private institutions have been at the core of the NSDS process, from the context analysis drawing the distance in the SDGs achievement (“Positioning”) to the identification of main strengths and weaknesses to be addressed, leading to the definition of widely shared national objectives.
More than 200 NGOs have been involved providing a valuable contribution to the context analysis and useful inputs to reflect the vision of the 2030 Agenda into the NSDS. Public national administrations cooperated throughout the process in order to set shared National Strategic Choices and Objectives, as well as to identify viable and existing means of implementation. Universities and research agencies were also hugely involved to verify and consolidate the technical-scientific basis and contents of the context analysis. Regional authorities also had an active role in collecting territorial issues and priorities.
Stakeholders involved in the NSDS definition process are directly engaged in carrying out initiatives linked to SDGs and NSDS implementation. Among the others, the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), which gathers over 150 organizations in the economic and social field, launched in May 2017 the first Sustainable Development Festival, a large-scale awareness raising campaign to foster cultural-political reflections on the issue across the country. Asvis, in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, is working to turn it into a yearly event and a point of reference for all SDGs-linked initiatives.
Multilevel participation will also inform the NSDS implementation process, through the NSDS forum, where stakeholders and experts will contribute to monitoring and assessment activities. Contributions from the Third Sector will be ensured, also thanks to a recently renewed regulatory framework.
The 5Ps to deliver integrated strategic choices
The NSDS is organized in five core areas: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The former four areas mainly cover the domestic dimension; the latter covers principles and purposes of international cooperation, as integrating and qualifying part of Italian foreign policy, draft by law 125/2014.
Each area identifies a system of priorities (National Strategic Choices), delivering strategic goals. The goals are strongly integrated, as they embody and synthesize the most relevant issues emerged from the consultation process.
The implementation of the NSDS is tightly interlinked with the existing national programming documents, namely the National Reform Programme and the Economic and Financial Document, as well as with the existing and binding objectives set by the European Semester (i.e. EU2020 targets) which have to be fulfilled and are accounted for.
Setting National Priorities at short term
In the next five years, Italy will focus on bringing the country back to at least the pre-crisis socio-economic prosperity conditions. The strategic topics to be addressed by the Government and envisaged within the framework of the NSDS are the following: decreasing poverty, inequality, discrimination, unemployment (particularly among youth and women), ensuring an environmentally sustainable economic development, increasing the opportunities for training, education and social progress, restoring the competitiveness of Italian companies through a “fourth industrial revolution” based on innovative and sustainable technologies.
Implementing, monitoring and assessing NSDS results
The NSDS is endorsed by the Italian Council of Ministers. A future Plan of Action will be developed by the end of the year and will include numerical and quantitative targets at 2030, as well as monitoring and review mechanisms and analytical models capable of measuring the impacts of policies on the NSDS objectives. The NSDS will undergo an annual review and monitoring process.
The Prime Minister will take the lead in coordinating and managing the Strategy, with the support of the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, respectively for the internal and external dimension. The Ministry of Finance will be tasked to create strong synergies between the NSDS implementation and the formal economic policies and to coordinate models required to define such objectives. Given the importance of declining the SDGs on a local scale and provided that some of the areas of competence and responsibilities rely not only on the central administration, the Government, through the State and Regions Conference and in accordance with Art.34, of the Legislative Decree n.152 (April 3rd 2006), will enhance local and regional authorities to be active and take part to the implementation process.
The Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea will ensure the participation of civil society and relevant stakeholders by creating a Forum on the Strategy for Sustainable Development building on the positive experience of the NSDS consultation process and ensuring continuity by setting up similar multi-level consultation processes.
A huge effort is also being made by the Italian statistics system, together with the European, in order to guarantee at the earliest the availability of data and indicators gearing the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs). To this aim, the National Statistical System is progressively releasing sets of indicators widely based on the BES project, launched in 2011 to measure equitable and sustainable well-being (BES) besides economic conditions. It considers economic parameters alone as inadequate to evaluate the progress of societies and views them to be complemented by social and environmental information as well as by measures of inequality and sustainability. For the first time, in 2017 4 BES indicators have been introduced within the Economy and Financial Document, following national legislation promoting the integration of BES within economic programming (L.163/2016).
The best opportunity to slow the rate of near-term warming globally and in sensitive regions such as the Arctic is by cutting emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – most notably methane, black carbon and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Widespread reductions, which complement the need for aggressive global action on carbon dioxide, contribute significantly to the goal of limiting warming to less than two degrees. Reducing SLCPs can also advance national priorities such as protecting air quality and public health, promoting food security, enhancing energy efficiency, and allevi...[more]
Main objectives: To make geo-referenced data and projects on the environment and natural resources worldwide more accessible, with emphasis on developing countries, as a contribution to consolidating the capacities of both institutional and private decision-makers to effectively and sustainably address their development pursuits. This important objective focuses on relevant planning and management challenges which emerge within the framework of current sustainable development constraints, as summarized hereafter. Global concerns about food security for the growing populations in developing c...[more]
Led by the Presidents of Palau and Seychelles, the Prime Minister of Grenada and the Premier of the British Virgin Islands, the Global Island Partnership promotes action to build resilient and sustainable island communities by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration. It is a partnership for all islands, regardless of size or political status, to take greater action to conserve and sustainably utilize invaluable island natural resources that support people, culture and livelihoods around the world.
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data is multi-stakeholder network of more than 150 data champions harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. Its members represent the full range of data producers and users, including governments, companies, civil society groups, international organizations, academic institutions, foundations, statistics agencies and data communities. The Global Partnership serves as an invaluable convener, connector and catalyst, building trust and encouraging collaboration among stakeholders to fill critical data gaps and ensure data is acc...[more]
Reduce pollutants from sea and land-based activities, including litter, harmful substances and nutrients from wastewater, industrial and agricultural runoff entering the world's oceans. All countries would have set relevant national targets for nutrient loadings, marine litter reduction and wastewater discharges . The planning of strategies for achieving these targets would have been commenced, through processes such as Regional Seas Action Plans and through functioning Global Partnerships on Marine Litter, Nutrients, and Wastewater Management.
The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]
In order to meet its energy demands for heating and cooling, the city of Milan decided to expand the public district heating system with co-generation, combined heat and power plants (CHP). Source: The ICLEI Case Study series The first district heating network in Milan was built in the early 1990s. A review of the system in 2006 showed the need for improved efficiency and a cleaner fuel source. A new plan for expansion was developed: the area covered by the network should be expanded and the network, combined with innovative technologies for thermal power production, would meet a larger percen...[more]
General Objective: to contribute to social and economic development of the populations of the Hindu Kush - Karakorum - Himalaya mountain complex and to the environmental conservation of the region by consolidating institutional capacity for systemic planning and management of the territory, focusing on: 1. reduction of poverty 2. conservation of biodiversity Specific Objective A: provide instruments (knowledge of the territory, the populations and the technologies for systemic data management) to facilitate the consistency of various national-level actions in area-based planning and managem...[more]
The Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership is a first-of-its-kind, multi-stakeholder partnership of Governments, Private Sectors, NGOs and CSOs.LEAP guiding principles include: global, inclusive, consensus, transparency, scientific, comprehensive, continuous improvement and adoption. Objective: To build global consensus on science-based methodology, indicators and databases for understanding the environmental performance of livestock supply chains in order to shape evidence-based policy measures and business strategies. Vision: To support the transition towards m...[more]
Following the integrated and holistic approach of the 2030 Agenda and Pope’ Francis Encyclical, the MSc in Sustainable Development Goals (MSDGs) aims to generate new college graduates who are able to analyse and face the several and interrelated questions linked to global sustainable development by a problem-oriented, creative and innovative, learning by doing approach.
The MoU aims at creating a partnership between Italy and all Caricom member States and at the same time among Caricom member States themselves. With funding (6 million euros) provided by the Italian Government and technical assistance by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, projects for promoting sustainable energy and fighting climate change will be implemented nationally.
The main objective of the Project is to perform a detailed assessment of the energy potential residing in the marine currents in the Maldivian archipelago, and to individuate technological solutions to exploit it. Besides supporting the Maldivian Government in the planning of strategies for the extraction of energy from the sea, the numerical and experimental results concerning the marine circulation in the archipelago obtained during the project could be precious assets for the activities of the Marine Research Centre (MRC), Maldives Meteorological Service (MMS ) and also to the Environmental...[more]
The partnership programme specifically addresses a burning issue for Pacific Small Island States, that of developing energy sources that are also environmentally sustainable. Overall, the initiative seeks to promote the use of green energy technologies, thereby providing solutions to i) the environmental risks associated to the shipping of fuels, which could have harsh economic impacts on tourism, especially in the event of accidents; ii) the growing levels of greenhouse gas emissions, related to the use of fossil fuels; iii) the still not equitable access to energy sources by all segments of ...[more]
This partnership aims to: 1) make and disseminate results of researches about agenda 2030 coherent mechanisms of sustainable environmental health; 2) disseminate knowledge on United Nations' Agenda 2030 among stakeholders in small and isolated communities; 3) technically support agenda 2030 target sound projects in small and isolated community; 4) develop information and communication technologies for learning at distance in environmental health and support projects on environmental health. 5) preserve the cultural integrity of indigenous community while making use of modern information and...[more]
Goal: improve living standards among islands' residents while sustaining conservation of unique biodiversity. Main challenge: foster the role of residents in setting planning agendas and participating fully in their islands' development. Objective 1: provide opportunities for horizontal know-how transfer among relevant professional staff from both archipelagos, and to promote the involvement of the islands' residents in planning processes together with their participation in the sustainable development of the islands. Low levels of awareness on the relationships linking the conservation ...[more]
Support to the implementation of the ACCOBAMS Programme of Work 2017-2019, particularly to operational activities in the field of prevention and reduction of anthropogenic noise and chemical & biological pollution
Installation of a 75 KW grid-tied with battery backup Solar PV System at the DOWASCO Sewer Treatment Plant Aim of the project is to eliminate the interruption to the functioning of the system due to the impacts of tropical storms and other extreme weather events. The frequent power outages interrupt the smooth operations of the Roseau sewerage system and the shutting down of the plant. When this happens, the emergency outfall automatically opens resulting in the discharge of the sewage into the Roseau River. The project is intended to alleviate this situation by installing a photovoltaic...[more]
The Italian Ministry of Environment in order to promote a debate among the civil society has started a collection of the green economy experiences carried out by the different Major Groups. Source: Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea The collection of civil society's experiences has been conducted by the Italian Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the University Consortium for Environmental and Socioeconomic Research (CURSA), as a result of the Civil Society Forum that was organised in January 2012. A dedicated web portal has been created on this purpose (http://rio20.curs...[more]
Caricom - Objective of the projects is to design and install two salt water reverse osmosis systems for deliver potable water to Port Elisabeth (St. Vincent and Grenadines) and to the city of Hillsborough and surrounding areas (island of Carriacou, Grenada). Each of the two systems will comprise: A Salt Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) system with a capacity of producing 300 m3 /day. A grid-tied Photo Voltaic system with a capacity of 150 Kwp; A water storage system capable of storing 378 m3 of water (100000 gallons); A water distribution system with home connection capability. Maldive - Object...[more]
In 2007, soon after the entered into force of the Kyoto Protocol, Italy launched the PSIDS Partnership on climate change mitigation and renewable energy diffusion and deployment. The Partnership comprises all the 14 PSIDS, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg, Spain and IUCN. It now addresses climate change adaptation including, in this context, conservation and management of natural resources. In the last two years, the Partnership has increased its focus on healthy and resilient oceans who are bearing the negative consequences of climate change and have their ecosystem services increasingly threatene...[more]
The general objective of the programme is to improve the living conditions of the local communities while ensuring the conservation of biological diversity and other ecosystem resources and services of the Amazon forest. This will be achieved by improving the relationships among the different administrative, scientific, conservation and social groups present in the area toward the sustainable and harmonious development of the three neighbouring countries sharing the same ecosystems and, hence, planning and management problems and development opportunities. More specifically, this objective w...[more]
This partnership reflects the spirit and supports the endeavours of the EU Water Initiative. It aims at contributing to sustainable, ecosystem-based freshwater management on the basis of an integrated, systemic approach linking two of the core development components related to water. The first component, water resource, refers to aspects such as water supply and storage, and their related technologies, institutional and policy frameworks and networks (e.g. on the development of dams, embankments, irrigation, schemes, etc.). The second component, water quality, pertaining to the maintenance of ...[more]
Contribution to a fully integrated marine and coastal management in the Mediterranean region with a particular focus on: 1) achievement of the Good Environmental Status of the Mediterranean through the implementation of the Ecosystem Approach 2) adaptation to climate change 3) achievement of Aichi Target 11 4) implementation of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region.
Support to the achievement and implementation of the CBD Aichi Target 11 through the organization of a technical expert meeting dedicated to that target.
The objectives of the UNESCO-IMELS project Water Programme for Environmental Sustainability (WPA II- Towards Adaptation Measures to Human and Climate Change Impacts) are to: - Set up best practices in remediation of climate variability and change impacts on water resources. - Enhance capacity in managing water resources and protect groundwater resources. - Develop methodologies that contribute to the management of surface and groundwater dependent ecosystems in coastal zones. - Develop North-South cooperation taking benefits from the experience gained by Italian experts. - Set up examples...[more]