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The “Green Communities” in the Italian Alps

Aug 16, 2022 / Francesco Pastorelli, CIPRA Italia
Sustainable management of the built heritage, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly mobility: how can mountain areas be upgraded and the overuse of natural resources curbed? The first “Green Communities” in Italy want to show that this is also possible in a socially acceptable way.
Image caption:
Green Communities: important for the mountain regions of the future. (c) UNCEM

The first Green Community, “Terre del Monviso”, envisages that 75 percent of all mountain communities there will participate in social housing projects and in initiatives for the energy renovation of public buildings. They also want to create sustainable tourism offers around Monte Viso. The sustainable development plans cover the following areas: agriculture and forestry, biodiversity, the timber industry, water supply, local renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, sustainable production processes and building management, environmentally friendly mobility and energy self-sufficient agricultural models. Together, the participating communities will implement these plans from the energy, environmental, economic and social perspectives.

“In Green Communities, environmental development is promoted hand-in-hand with economic, technological and social development, with a focus on water, forest and landscape resources”, explains Marco Bussone, President of UNCEM, the national organisation of mountain communities. Actors from the public and private sectors, research and the non-profit sector are involved, with funding coming from the EU’s Next Generation recovery plan and Italy’s National Plan for Reconstruction and Resilience (PNRR), which has earmarked 135 million euros for the fair and inclusive transition of small local communities. The relevant law dates back to 2016: its main points are compensation for ecosystem services, the establishment of “oil-free zones” and the national strategy for Green Communities. This upgrades rural and mountain areas that seek a balanced use of their resources and opens up a new relationship, based upon exchange, with urban and lowland communities.


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