#Elba2035, What Will Our Island Look Like in 15 Years’ Time?

#Elba2035, What Will Our Island Look Like in 15 Years’ Time?

#Elba2035, What Will Our Island Look Like in 15 Years’ Time?

#Elba2035, What Will Our Island Look Like in 15 Years' Time?

What will Elba be like in 2035? This is the question behind the launch of #Elba2035, the second appointment anticipating the 2019 edition of the Sea Essence International Festival, the first international festival dedicated to the safeguard and development of the beauty of the sea, promoted by Acqua dell'Elba with the support of the Toscana Region, the Municipality of Marciana Marina, the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, Legambiente, IULM University and the Arts Academy of Brera. The encounter was moderated by the vice editor-in-chief of the newspaper Il Tirreno, Guido Fiorini, and it took place at the headquarters of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, involving the main stakeholders of the local territory in an all-round debate about the future image and potential of the island in the next fifteen years.

'#Elba2035 is part of the framework of reflections started by SEIF with the aim of broadening our gaze towards the future' - said the President of ACqua dell'Elba, Fabio Murzi - 'and sharing our reflections upon the economic, social and environmental scenarios that await us in the future. We are experiencing a moment of change which offers a multitude of development opportunities; it is up to us to know how to leverage them in order to plan our future together.'

Which environmental challenges lie in wait for us? Which economic and social trends? The aim, to be achieved through a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach, has been that of understanding if, and how much, the island of Elba will be able to define its growth and competitiveness at a global level, whilst fully leveraging the aspect of sustainability.

The starting point for our debate were the speeches made by three illustrious speakers during the first part of the morning.

Trends. This was the keyword of the presentation given by Monica Fabris, President of Episteme srl, the Institute for Business Strategy and Marketing Consultancy.

So, which are the trends and values of a possible future scenario for our society in 2035? The answers brought to us by Monica Fabris all focus on listening: one must start from society, studying the behaviours of people, their tastes and interests, then dig deeply in the past to find something that shows continuation, thus showing us the right direction to proceed.

In her speech, an answer already started forming: the need of the future will be for a life made of reality; true value versus virtual value. From a society that just a few years ago was focussed on individualism, we shall necessarily move towards a society capable of embracing aggregation, made of people who congregate to "save themselves" …This is the way to be followed, an approach made of community and social aggregation coming from below, towards an open-mindedness that can lead to important narratives, such as that of sustainability.

Sustainability, for an island such as Elba, especially means "Sea". Though also Beauty, Awareness, Experience and Uniqueness.

With the intervention of Andrea Vettori, Vice-Head of the "Local Territory Usage and Management" department of the European Commission's Environment Directorate-General, the morning's discussions came to the core of the debate thanks to his punctual analysis of Europe's global challenges and objectives in the field of Environmental protection.

With the increase in population and the consequent levels of water consumption, transport and nutritional necessities, the challenge becomes bringing the future back to levels of sustainability. Some alarming data to frame the discussion: only 4% of the planet is populated by wild animals, the rest is occupied by animals which are mostly earmarked for human consumption; 50% of unrecyclable plastic is found at sea. Indeed, what is happening is a true ecologic upheaval of the planet, to which we must find an adequate solution if we ever wish to continue having a good quality of life. To assist us in this task, we have Agenda 2030 of the European Union with its 17 specific goals, amongst which is the ban on 10 types of products most responsible for beach and sea pollution.

However, the EU's challenge looks even further, to 2050. By following predefined criteria and facilitating lifestyle changes in a sustainable direction, towards the aim of paying off the ecological debt we have today, in 2050 we may reach a situation of "Zero Environmental Impact": this is the hope Vettori left us with, that they are all achievable objectives if we work together, both locally as well as at a European level.

Third pillar of sustainability is economics, the subject of the speech by Andrea Sartori, Senior Consultant at Altis - Business and Society Graduate School of the "Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore" in Milan.

Where it the European scenario headed, and what are the challenges we are facing on our way to achieve sustainable development by 2035? In Sartori's words we find the answers: waste recycling, minimising the use of raw materials, optimisation of production processes, increase in the lifecycle of products, less CO2 emissions. How can we achieve all this? The challenges and opportunities facing us are manifold, but the most interesting indication we found was that islands may be the first laboratories we should start from. Small territories with specific biodiversity may become models for entire Regions and States to follow. An extremely important and interesting message, that Elba cannot ignore. We need all stakeholders to play a part (administrators, public entities, privates, citizens), and we have many examples to draw inspiration from: the creation of ecologic islands within harbours, e-ferries, car sharing and plastic-free are just some of them.

These ideas, inspirations and suggestions for reflections must now turn into actions, following a plan that according to the speaker should be headed by the administrations, using the support of the existing legislative framework, so that change may truly become real. From here, the second part of the morning was dedicated to the interventions of the local stakeholders, who played crucial roles within the logic of the encounter by sharing their expectations, visions and urgent issues they feel need to be tackled so that, in 2035, they may all have a more efficient, and above all more sustainable, island. This call was answered by the Administrators, first to speak was the Regional Councillor Gianni Anselmi, followed by Gabriella Allori, Mayor of Marciana Marina, and Luca Baldi, the newly appointed mayor of Portoferraio. Other important speakers were Giampiero Sammuri, the President of the Tuscan Archipelago National Mark, Umberto Mazzantini, national Head of Minor Islands for Legambiente, Marco Mantovani, President of the Isola d'Elba Foundation, Luca Bartolini, the President of the Bank of Elba, as well as Claudio Boccardo, administrator of Ala Toscana, with a video message sent directly from the Conference on Services being held in Rome. After this was the turn of the trade unions. In particular, we had contributions from the Provincial President of CAN, Marco Serrini, then Lamberto Ferrini for Confcommercio Elba and Franco De Simone for Confesercenti. To conclude the encounter, there were also contributions from Paolo Ballerini, specialist doctor at the Medicart clinic, Cecilia Pacini, President of the Association Italia Nostra Arcipelago Toscano and finally Patrizia Lupi, director of the magazine Enjoy Elba.

The next appointment is scheduled for the 28-29-30 of June: you're all invited to the second edition

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