Sustainable development and circular economies
Talking about sustainable agriculture means recognizing the role of territorial protection, defense and enhancement of farmers and of all agricultural activities. Italy presents a model of agriculture in which there is an important series of factors: quality, distinctiveness, cultural and anthropological value of production, biodiversity and sustainability. Today agriculture is called in the front line, not only in the battle of the right to food, with a constantly growing world population and resources less available, but also to produce in order to preserve natural resources, to protect the soil and the water, to contribute to the challenge of reducing CO2 emissions and combating climate change. Biodiversity is based on the protection of genetic heritage, but also on the development of traditional knowledge and techniques, important assets of local communities. Today, the agricultural world is characterized by four strong points: the first is being a supporter of a fairer society and of a world where life’s quality and environment’s quality are inseparable and where respect for work is a commitment priority; the second is the ability to create and to request innovation in a context of sustainability; the third is to enhance the role of agriculture, not only as a location for food production, but also as a center for the protection of the environment and the territory, for the conservation and promotion of rural culture, assigning the primacy of the rural environment of lifestyles and sustainable production models; the fourth, finally, is the construction of short supply chains with high added value, to which to associate the ability to create inter-sectoral relations through which to redistribute income and responsibilities in an equitable manner. The Italian agricultural model can apply to meet the challenge facing the future, demonstrating that even if intensive agriculture can be respectful of biodiversity, it is the guardian of the environment and the heritage of civilization that it expresses. It is the protagonist of the entire supply chain from field to table, not only because it is environmentally sustainable but also because it is economically sustainable. But related to the agricultural world there are segments and professions that make sustainability a primary value of their work. These are sustainable excellences that, without renouncing the “beauty”, are committed to the defense of fundamental values. Cultural heritage is an essential factor in helping to promote and enhance the territory, attracting talent and tourism. In this sense it’s crucial to develop sustainable projects around the places of culture where a shared planning must grow, producing well-being and economic development for the entire community, while preserving the environmental and architectural context. We can not overlook the question of space as a resource to be protected. Preserving the different territories means defending places where man is able to orient himself and recognize himself, places to which he feels he belongs because he finds his memory, his own history, his own culture and his identity. Therefore sustainable development and protection and enhancement of the landscape are not alienable concepts and must go hand in hand. Today more than ever, it is only right to apply these concepts to fashion, one of the most polluting industries in the world. Transforming it into a more sustainable sector that includes both the principles of eco-sustainable fashion, attention to the environment, as well as those of ethical fashion, respect of working conditions and availability of information about the finished product. In the kitchen, the zero km is just the starting point to talk about sustainability: alternative energy resources, reduction of consumption, water resources, attention to recycling and re-use of waste, sustainable mobility, these are some other issues to start the comparison. Finally, as regards architecture and design, we are talking about professions that are increasingly sensitive to a design that takes into account the environmental conditions of a place, so as to adapt wisely – and without renouncing aesthetics – to the concept of evolution and capable of outlining the future scenario of a living and its sustainable and ethical objects.