Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development


On 11th March 2016, at the Italian Chamber of Deputies, we joined an important event: the official presentation of the “Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development” (Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile – ASviS) which gathers together 70 Italian organisations and foundations like PLEF.


The objective we have as Alliance Member is to change the trajectory of the actual model of economic development and to consolidate sustainability as global milestone. The ambition of the Alliance, in line with the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is to orient people towards a shared and necessary path based on equality regarding economic, natural, human and social structures of capital.

As underlined by Enrico Giovannini, spokesman of the Alliance, it represents a paradigm shift: «Economy, society and institutions are not isolated but they are united and interconnected and we saw that when economic crisis has become social and then institutional».


Sustainability, then, is a kind of centennial ethic because it takes shape within the society and it surrounds it. Italy has a lot of work to do to respect the commitments of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is not a legal constraint but a moral commitment: sustainability is an anthropological condition that can be reached only by removing the economic, legal, social and cultural discriminations existing among gender and generations; at a universal level, reminding the involvement of all countries, each one focused on its specific objectives and strategies; at a participatory level, asking for local and global coordination, widespread and cross-cutting, to all the parts that compose society. As Giovannini stressed: «There are no differences among countries anymore, WE ARE ALL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES». All countries, no one excluded, and people need to contribute with their behaviours: this is the fundamental shift to realise. As recalled by the ASvis President Pierluigi Stefanini: «Sustainability implies an important work primarily on ourselves, moreover being aware that the value of others is fundamental ».


The path of sustainable thinking moves forward gathering consensus among UN Members, the same Organisation that since 1987 promoted and sustained the Bruntland Report starting point of the reasoning on sustainable development. The first speech of the day from the Chamber President Laura Boldrini stressed as there is no more time to reflect on the issue: «the main problem of our society is apathy, that is considering anything as distant from us» and recalled the urgency to act: only mentioning the case of Italy «from 1980 to today inequalities reached the 33% out of 13% of the other OCSE countries». Gender inequalities – continued President Boldrini – the access to clean and cheap energy, fair job conditions, the fight against poverty, the reconversion of the industrial system, sustainable food production represent all issues that can be faced and solved only by creating an alliance. This alliance shows maturity in this, by adopting a strategy that has the willingness to pursue an ideal of social justice able to provide a suitable economic return. Ban Ki-moon implicitly believes that we don’t have options: we can only lead the world to embrace the sustainable development paradigm.


These acknowledgments represent additional signals of the need and value to recognize a programmatic role to sustainability in the framework of global development. To fit this vision within the environmental, economic and social settings means to include in a substantial way the multiple layers that constitute society: the public sector, civil society, philanthropic institutions, universities, research centres and the ones that operate in the information and cultural sectors. Thus, precisely this systemic approach will determine and characterize the future of sustainability. Sustainability is necessary to guarantee the durability of a structure able to support human life, and a crucial factor for the destiny of humanity is without doubts the environment. To be aware that our deeds inevitably produce impacts on the environment is among our priority in order to guarantee durability of global ecosystems.


Sustainability needs to be expressed using qualitative parameters, able to consider sustainable development under ecological, anthropological and local perspectives. In the light of the above consideration, sustainability starts from single deeds, from a local dimension and it expands trough a synergic and negotiating planning able to match all three fundamental and inseparable dimensions of development: environment, economy and society.


As Foundation we’ll give our contribution to the Alliance, aware that the only feasible way is the one that will lead Italy to a true sustainable development based on an extended collaborative capacity, inclusive of all communities and civil societies, social parties and public institutions, as evidence that everything is interconnected and interrelated.



Sara Cirone,

Vice president PLEF



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