This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Italy Country Manager Andrea Bruno
Legambiente is a well-known Italian non-profit organization founded in 1980 as part of efforts to prevent Italy from adopting nuclear power. Legambiente is the most prominent and widespread environmental organization in Italy with two headquarters in Rome and Milan, 20 regional coordination offices, and more than 600 local groups of volunteers (Legambiente, 2021). This is an independent organization supported by more than 115,000 members, donors, and by projects and businesses in line with the organization’s principles. The key missions consist of (1) spreading scientific environmentalism to build policies and to advocate change towards local, national, and international stakeholders and institutions, (2) engaging communities and improve their quality of life, and (3) driving the economy towards new models of green and circular economy.
The importance and role of Legambiente are acknowledged all over Italy, from the government to the citizen. The main reason for this success is represented by the number of best practice climate projects; from the annual environmental reports, to the Goletta Verde and the Clean up the Med campaigns, public awareness of the organization’s efforts are widespread. Undoubtedly, the most representative project is Goletta Verde. For more than 30 years this campaign launched a schooner touring Italian coasts during the whole summer, monitoring marine litter and revealing environmental crimes along the coast. It also reports best practices and engages local communities and stakeholders in environmental projects.
Source: (Legambiente, 2021)
A team of technicians and biologists analyze about 300 water samples each year through rigorous scientific monitoring. The outcome is an annual map describing the waters that are polluted, extremely polluted, and within the limits. Moreover, in each leg of the trip conferences and meetings are organized to inform citizens and to discover the best climate and environmental practices around the country.
In recent years, the new wave of climate activism has led to the birth of new movements of young people. As an illustration in January 2020 in Italy “The Climate Route” was created. One man, pushed by the environmental activism of the daughter, had the idea of organizing the longest terrestrial climate expedition ever, from Marmolada in Italy to the Bering Strait. Three young environmental economists completing their master’s at the time joined him to make this dream possible. This is how The Climate Route was founded, and now the association counts more than 40 volunteers, several partnerships, and projects in progress. This “on the road” trip will allow a group of selected activists and scientists to leave Italy and arrive to the Bering Strait after 18 000 km, meeting the local population and observing personally the damage caused by climate change. The main objective of the project thus is to make the Italian and Eurasian population aware of the effects of climate change through an accessible and entertaining documentary of the trip. The topic must become mainstream and not remain for the exclusive use of scientists and experts in the field. This is an example of young involvement that will certainly grow within Italy until the completion of the expedition and beyond. However, the same framework could be adopted in other countries: young people must act and lead the way in the climate transition.
Greater collaboration between environmental NGOs, such as Legambiente and Climate Route, can strengthen the overall ability of Italian NGOs to mitigate climate change.
Roberto Cingolani, Ministro della Transizione Ecologica
Legambiente, 2021. Legambiente. [Online] Available at: https://www.legambiente.it/english-page/
The Climate Route, 2021. The Climate Route [Online]
Available at: https://theclimateroute.org/en/the-climate-route-climate-expedition-to-bering-strait/