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The rise of Ecological Governance in Italy

The rise of Ecological Governance in Italy begun in the 80s, when the need to identify new models of sustainable development, to overcome the social turmoil of the 70s, matched a new awareness that an health environment is necessary not only for human health, but also as a primary resource for economic development.

The Environmental Protection becomes not only a concern about health, but also a safeguard mechanism for the development, so, on 1986, the Ministry of Environment was established, with the Law 349 of July the 8th, which defines also the regulation about Environmental Damage and Environmental Impact Assessment.

Six years later, on 1992, the UN Conference of Rio de Janeiro affirms the need to systematically adopt the Environmental Impact Assessment procedure as necessary condition for a sustainable development.

In 1997, the Legislative Decree n° 22 of February the 5th, named “Ronchi Decree”, by the surname of the Minister for Environment in charge, introduces the principle of the Management of the Waste instead of the simple Disposal: waste is no more a scrap but a resource.

In 2006, twenty years after the establishment of the Ministry, the Environmental Law is revised with the Legislative Decree n° 152 of April the 3rd, with an organic regulation of:

  • General principles;
  • Procedures for Strategic Environmental Assessment, for Environmental Impact Assessment and for Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Authorization (called Integrated Environmental Authorization);
  • Protection of the soil, fight against desertification, protection of water from pollution and management of water resources;
  • Waste management and soil remediation;
  • Air protection and reduction of air emissions;
  • Environmental Damage.
Industry areas of excellence in Italy

Between 2009 and 2014, over 2000 submissions for patents were, somehow, related to environmental industry, a number that represents around 9.5% of the total requests submitted in the same period. Among these, over 70% are related to technologies for production of energies from renewable sources, energy efficiency, control systems for pollutions, biofuels, sustainable logistic, thermal insulation for the buildings.