Skip to main content
All Posts By

Liv Sala

Italy’s ecological transition with Minister Cingolani

By ecology, sdg 1, sdg 10, sdg 11, sdg 12, sdg 13, sdg 14, sdg 15, sdg 16, sdg 17, sdg 2, sdg 3, sdg 4, sdg 5, sdg 6, sdg 7, sdg 8, sdg 9

Alongside Roberto Cingolani, Minister for the Ecological Transition, we imagined what the world will be like in 2040 when his youngest son will be 30 years old. Cingolani helps us understand why we need to act now to put all the knowledge we have to good use. Are you ready to do your part to facilitate a transition that, by the very nature of the term, must be gradual?

Cristina: How will we transition from the world we have to the one we want? We came to Genoa to ask the Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, physicist, researcher and father of 3 children. Good morning Minister. In 2040 we’ll be 10 years away from the 2050 target of zero emissions and your youngest son will be 30 years old – what will the world look like?

Minister Cingolani: If we’ll have done a good job it could be much cleaner than it is now and above all, there should be much less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and we’ll probably start to limit and mitigate the effects of global warming. The problem is that we have to start tomorrow and install all the renewable energy we need, we have to reach 72% of renewable electricity by 2030, so 10 years before the date you mentioned and I have to say that it worries me. Paradoxically, the problem today is neither resources nor technology, nor companies that can install these large plants, especially in Italy where we have lots of know-how. Right now, the most limiting factor is the bureaucratic one. The chain of permits for the installation of photovoltaic, wind and renewable energy plants is so slow, we risk that during the 5-year duration of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), these permits will be issued too late. First of all, we need to simplify the regulatory and authorizational aspects because there is such urgency, we can no longer waste any
time.

Cristina: Let’s imagine that world in 2040 for a moment longer.

Minister Cingolani: Smart mobility, cities on a human scale, greener. Hopefully we will have recovered some biodiversity, and above all, a greater awareness of tomorrow’s adults, today’s children.

Cristina: A question about fossil fuel subsidies is inevitable. Where are we and what do you think is the right destination?

Minister Cingolani: It’s a very delicate subject, unfortunately, sustainability is a compromise between different demands, we must mitigate the damage we’ve done to the environment as soon as possible, but at the same time, we must allow people to live and work. Unfortunately this also depends on contingent situations, we are not coming out of a particularly prosperous and happy period. The subsidies must certainly be reduced as soon as possible, and if we can reduce them we can reinvest a part of these reductions in something that will help create new jobs, including the reconditioning of the transportation industry. It’s a balancing act because if we ideologize the problem we harm workers, if we neglect the problem we harm the environment, so we all need to think about how to reorganize our habits and our lifestyles knowing that nothing is free.

Cristina: Thank you Minister.

Minister Cingolani: Thank you and good luck to everyone.

Cristina: Our country’s green transition must fulfill all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. An eye on the present and an eye to the future!

On air June 12th, 2021

Francesca Santoro and the Decade of Ocean Science

By ecology, sdg 14

Those of you who follow Occhio al futuro know that we are in the Decade of Action to make progress on the 2030 Agenda. But within the macro framework of the 17 goals there’s an entire world, which includes the Decade of Ocean ScienceIn Venice we met Francesca Santoro, program specialist of the IOC, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, which promotes many initiatives. I hope you’ll be curious to find out how many tools we have to learn more about marine ecosystems and how we can do our part to safeguard them, starting with our choices as consumers. When this interview aired, there was a confluence of UN World Days. Not only is June 5th World Environment Day, it’s also the International Day for the Fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, while June 8th is World Oceans Day! We closed our beautiful meeting at Venice’s Rialto fish market.

Cristina: Marine ecosystems are increasingly fragile – they’re in danger and need our attention. That’s why the UN established the Decade of Ocean Science. We’re in Venice to meet UNESCO’s Francesca Santoro and understand how to navigate it. Good morning Francesca, tell us what we need to know about our relationship with the oceans?

Francesca Santoro: One of the simplest things we do, breathing, we owe to the ocean. The ocean produces 50-80% of the oxygen that exists in the atmosphere.

Cristina: What are the key objectives of your program and how will you reach them?

Francesca Santoro: The goal is to inform everyone about the importance of the ocean for our planet and we accomplish this through very practical tools. We produce manuals for schoolteachers: hands-on lessons for the classroom. Then we developed a series of online courses for journalists to teach them how to discuss these issues, but it’s for decision makers as well. Entrepreneurs also need to learn that if they want to be part of the solution they have to understand that everything is interconnected on our planet.

Cristina: And if we want to keep eating fish we need to know how to buy it, shall we head to the market?

Francesca Santoro: Gladly!

Cristina: Francesca how do you choose what fish to buy?

Francesca Santoro: First of all I look at the origin and seasonality because it’s important, people don’t know that there are seasons in the sea. We also see that there is a map.

Cristina: Italy is in FAO area 37.

Francesca Santoro: Here we’re in the Adriatic and it’s the most abundant sea in the Mediterranean, we can definitely rely on what we find in this area. Hi, can you tell me what you would recommend today? I prefer local and seasonal.

Fisherman: Today I would suggest a nice ombrina. Fished with a rod here in the lagoon as you can see, local gallinella, also known as lucerna or there is a hook caught redfish. Everything here is fresh. Or local cuttlefish that is now in season. Fresh cuttlefish from the lagoon. There are customers who have been coming here for years and they trust us fully because, they know what we offer, so they ask “what can I eat today?” and we usually always suggest catch of the day or the season.

Francesca Santoro: Thank you very much! Keep it up.

Cristina: The Decade of Ocean Science touches on SDG 14 life below water, but all the other Sustainable Development Goals as well. Conversations like these can help us make the best choices not only for our plates but for our future. Let’s navigate this Decade of Ocean Science together. Occhio al futuro!

On air June 5th, 2021

Bees – the sentinels of biodiversity

By ecology, sdg 1, sdg 10, sdg 11, sdg 12, sdg 13, sdg 14, sdg 15, sdg 16, sdg 17, sdg 2, sdg 3, sdg 4, sdg 5, sdg 6, sdg 7, sdg 8, sdg 9

Having taken sustainable development to heart for a few decades now and focusing on solutions to our biggest challenges, I tend to think that issues which have been brought to our attention have positively evolved. Sadly that’s not the case but I know we have all the information to evolve as a species and co-exist respectfully with the complex ecosystems that we’re a part of. Speaking with Andrea, the beekeeper I always buy honey from, he introduced me to Luca Bosco and Marco Bergero. Thanks to these dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable young men, I found out that bees and pollinators are more threatened than ever. That’s how this interview came about and I learned how much more there is to do. If you know any hazelnut or almond growers please share this story. Christina Grozinger, Director of the Center for Pollination Research at Penn State confirms that exposure to fungicides, neonicotinoids and insecticides is causing great harm to pollinators. Engaging in conversations with the people we buy produce from is critical to understanding the  impact of our choices.

Cristina: Today is World Biodiversity Day, and the UN wants to bring our attention to the complex dynamics that govern life on earth. Biodiversity is our greatest treasure and monitoring its health is complicated. We are in the Cuneo area to meet Luca, a beekeeper. Luca, why are bees the most precious sentinels of biodiversity?

Luca Bosco: Because everything that arrives in the hive collected by bees is the result of a synergy between different forms of life and, therefore, is a result of the environment’s biodiversity.

Cristina: What do your observations tell you?

Luca Bosco: That the bee’s situation, and pollinators in general, is very serious. We often see episodes of die-offs and poisonings in our hives. Unfortunately we find insecticides, fungicides and herbicides in the matrices of the hives. One herbicide in particular, the molecule glyphosate, is very serious because its discovery, especially in the hive’s honey matrix – maturing honey, is a precise clue. The molecule that is sprayed here can end up anywhere, we find it in the water, in the air, it inevitably ends up in the soil because it’s sprayed on the ground and we also find it in plant pollen and nectar. This is a clear indication that the ecosystem’s natural filters are somehow degrading.

Cristina: Luca, which crops are sprayed the most with these substances?

Luca Bosco: Here we find ourselves in an area of viticulture and coriliculture, so grapes and hazelnuts. In recent years, thanks to the work of the beekeepers association, viticulturists have learned to use pesticides wisely, without causing direct and serious harm to pollinators. On the other hand, as far as hazelnuts are concerned, the matter is still open to discussion because it’s a new crop and, at the moment, the agronomic practices in use leave much to be desired. They are a source of direct poisoning, somehow they’re also the cause of those systematic findings in the hive matrices, especially in this area. We want to appeal to those who grow hazelnuts to follow the path already taken by winemakers.

Cristina: Luca you are about to take some samples, what is their frequency and what are they for?

Luca Bosco: They’re monthly and are used to investigate the possible presence of chemical molecules. Experience tells us that we will most likely find them because in past years, their presence has unfortunately been very assiduous. We know that these molecules are harmful to bees, also because of their somewhat unique ability to purify environmental matrices by absorbing chemical molecules into their bodies, to their own detriment of course, but especially preserving the honey. Somehow, the honey always results pure.

Cristina: How phenomenal. Do you cross-reference this data with others?

Luca Bosco: We cross this data with other measurements that are carried out in the area, in particular with those carried out on the Tanaro River, which you can see just nearby, and the two surveys confirm the same thing, the ubiquitous presence of chemical molecules.

Cristina: Thank you Luca. This story touches all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And what can we do? Talk with beekeepers as much as possible, understand the critical issues in our area and protect it in any way we can. It pays off for everyone. Occhio al futuro

On air May 22nd, 2021

Mygrants, the first app for migrants

By sdg 1, sdg 10, sdg 11, sdg 4, sdg 8, sdg 9, technology

According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of migrants globally attempting to cross borders continues to grow: in 2000 there were 150 million while in 2020, 272 million. I hadn’t given enough thought to the fact that 90% of migrants landing on Italian shores are digital natives. Very few find work after the time spent in reception centers, but today, thanks to Christian Richmond and the Mygrants app, they can hope for a decent future. It’s a story of perseverance, vision and commitment born from the mind of a young Ivorian man, who was able to create a tool of tremendous human and social value. I’m honored to have met him and spread the word about his important initiative.

Cristina: Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, 10 years ago, about 800,000 migrants have landed in Italy, in search of a dignified life. Many of them have placed their hopes on Europe. 90% are under 35 and technically digital natives, more than half have not attended high school. After about a year and a half in reception centers, very few find work. Today there is a different possible future for them, thanks to the first app developed for migrants, available in 3 languages with more than 8,000 quizzes that assess their ambitions and talents. Good morning Chris, tell us about your wonderful initiative.

Chris Richmond: In 2017, we decided to create this educational platform for migrants and refugees with the aim of fully valuing their prior skills, backgrounds, and talents, ensuring that these skills and talents become assets in the job market.

Cristina: What goals are you setting and what results have you achieved?

Chris Richmond: The goal is certainly to innovate the Italian, European, and international asylum system, making sure that even economic migrants and future climate migrants can move freely from point A to point B in a legal and secure manner. Finding a way to generate more trust between migrants and formal financial actors simply means making migrants creditworthy as well.

Cristina: And how many users do you have?

Chris Richmond: After 4 years we have reached over 100,00 active users on the platform. We have about 20% of users who are not in Italy, and are still in the Middle East, Africa or Southeast Asia; we’ve identified about 15,000 highly qualified profiles and supported the job placement of about 1,900 people.

Cristina: An important percentage but low in proportion to the big picture. Why do you think that is?

Chris Richmond: We didn’t set out with the ambition to do job placement, rather to emphasize skills and talent. Over time, as we analyzed the data, we realized that we could aspire to something more and in early 2018 we decided to start testing job placement. 2018, 2019 and to some extent due to the pandemic job placements were reduced and we are focusing on meeting market demands. Definitely IT and technology, translations and interpreters, definitely mechanics and mechatronics, delivery and logistics and obviously sanitation and personal services so, caregivers.

Cristina: Chris, is there a story you’d like to share with us?

Chris Richmond: There are many, certainly the story of a young Tunisian software engineer who arrived in Italy a couple of years ago, who tried to find job opportunities as a dishwasher, entered the platform and after a few weeks showed all his talent. He had 12 job offers and was able to choose which company to work for. After 3 months of internship he was hired with a long term contract testing industrial plants. This is one of the many stories that we were able to transform from a dream into reality.

Cristina:  Great job, I really wish you all the best and thank you Chris. This project fulfills six of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals: 1 zero poverty, 4 quality education, 8 decent work, 9 industry innovation and infrastructure, 10 reducing inequality, e 11 sustainable cities and communitiesOcchio al futuro

On air May 1st 2021

Decarbonization by 2050 with Jeff Sachs

By ecology, sdg 11, sdg 13, sdg 14, sdg 15, sdg 7, sdg 9

Jeffrey Sachs is a guiding star of sustainable development, which is why I wanted to feature him in my weekly segment Occhio al futuro. He’s an esteemed academic, a dynamic promoter of a necessary transition and is President of the United Nation’s SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network).

We interviewed him to talk about decarbonization and how reaching zero emissions by 2050 is a crucial goal for the entire world.

Cristina: Professor Sachs joins us again from New York, he’s one of the world’s leading experts on sustainable development. Bentornato, thank you for being with us again. 2050, decarbonization, really the end crucial goal. How can you guide us to understanding obligations and solutions, also how relevant and important it is to act now?

Prof. Jeff Sachs: We need to stop emitting greenhouse gases that are warming the planet and most importantly the carbon dioxide coming from fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. In order to do that, we need to change our very energy, from fossil fuels, to wind and solar and hydro and other low carbon energy. We need to change our transport from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles we need to use clean energy to produce clean fuels like hydrogen. Splitting water to make hydrogen that can be used by industry and we need to stop chopping down the forests which emit carbon dioxide as well. These are the basic pillars. This is a dramatic change because the energy system is at the core of a modern economy, it will take us some decades to do. 2050 has been set because if we don’t decarbonize by 2050 we are likely to experience rises of temperatures beyond the 1,5 C warming that could lead to runaway climate disasters. So, 2050 is a really tough timeline to achieve this because of all the time it will take to replace the vehicles, for the new infrastructure, for the new power plants, but it can be accomplished, this is what serious studies are showing. We can do this, and we can do this in an affordable manner and must urgently move now so that by 2050 we are at zero net emissions of greenhouse gases.

Cristina: In the reports that you have been responsible for compiling, the most encouraging aspect to me was the job opportunities. Could you briefly sum up what we’re looking at?

Prof. Jeff Sachs: There’s a lot of new jobs and new clean green industry that will be created from this transformation. And the truth of the matter is the old fossil fuel sector that has to go away, basically over time, was so capital intensive, it didn’t have so many jobs. We’re going to see a net creation of jobs in the new green digital world.

Cristina:  This is the greatest challenge of our time, let’s turn it into an opportunity. Occhio al futuro

On air 4/17/2021

EcoAllene – recycling poly laminates

By ecology, sdg 12, sdg 13, sdg 9, technology

EcoAllene is a new and innovative material obtained from the recycling of poly laminates, i.e. formed by a plastic and metal film. In Italy, about 7 billion beverage containers are placed on the market, meaning 150,000 tons of poly laminated waste that can be turned into a resource.

Cristina: This is a circular economy story that comes from a paper mill’s waste. Containers like these are coated with high-quality cellulose that’s recovered, but the interior, a poly blend of plastic and aluminum is discarded, but here it becomes a resource. Stefano, how does your process work?

Stefano Richaud: When we receive the so-called poly-al, the aluminium and plastic fraction from the recycling plants, we put it through a process that starts with a deep wash to eliminate the cellulose still attached to the waste and any other possible pollutants. Then we agglomerate this sort of confetti, turning it into a gravel and we extrude it into these plastic granules which can then be turned into a plastic product.

Cristina: Were you the first to pioneer this innovation? To recycle these poly laminated items?

Stefano Richaud: The process comes from the intuition of an Italian entrepreneur who patented this idea of not separating the plastic and aluminum parts, but keeping them together. Thus transforming waste into a new plastic granule, a so-called secondary raw material.

Cristina: What do you make with it?

Stefano Richaud: We obtain a plastic granule that, supplied to our customers, can be transformed into many everyday objects. Such as household accessories, a broom or a dustpan; construction tools such as hammer handles; stationery: markers, highlighters, pens; or even packaging for the cosmetic and cleaning industries.

Cristina: Not food though…

Stefano Richaud: European legislation does not allow food to come in contact with a recycled product, except for PET, which is monomaterial.

Cristina: So it’s a 100% recycled material but is it also recyclable?

Stefano Richaud: Absolutely. Once it reaches the end of its life, the product made from our granules can be recycled just like a normal plastic material, such as polyethylene.

Cristina: What is the volume of poly laminated waste in Italy? And how much of it can you recycle?

Stefano Richaud: In Italy, 7 billion beverage containers are produced every year, of which the plastic and aluminum portion is about 25%, so with the current level of recycling collection around 60%, there are 120,000 tons of this waste. At the Alessandria plant we handle about a third of what can be recycled in Italy. Clearly, this problem is multiplied in all countries where beverage cartons are widely used. And let’s consider all the other poly laminates formed by paper, plastic and aluminum. Our technology offers a valid solution.

Cristina:  Thank you. Technologies like this are examples of excellence in Europe and around the world. Let’s be proud of them. But now we must also innovate the supply chain. Occhio al futuro

On air March 13th 2021

The AWorld app, because there’s no planet B

By ecology, technology

Chosen by the United Nations for the #ACTNOW campaign to reach the 17 Sustainable Development GoalsAWorld is an app to guide users in adopting more sustainable lifestyles through everyday actions and challenges.

Cristina: Today we came to Torino to meet Alessandro Armillotta, he and his team have developed an app to measure our environmental impact and it’s been recognized officially by the UN for the #ACTNOW campaign. So how did that happen?

Alessandro Armillotta: So, at first we felt the need to take action, we understood that the climate crisis is hitting us everywhere. And with this urgency, we went straight to New York to show what we had in mind. We were developing this app, we felt there was strong need for it when knocking on the doors of who makes the sustainability guidelines, which is the UN. We met them at the 2019 Climate Week, I went networking and spoke to everyone, luckily enough I met someone at the communications office at the Secretariat. Our idea and our vision was so strong and we were so passionate about this that they felt there was a chance of collaborating on this project, so they opened the doors to us and officially invited us to support their #ACTNOW Campaign, the campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability. And, together, we built this app which is AWorld in support of ACT NOW.

Cristina: That can be really encouraging for young people who have great ideas and they don’t know how to scale them. How do you measure the impact of daily actions?

Alessandro Armillotta: Well, first we wanted to change and shake things up, we decided not to calculate your carbon footprint, so in a negative way, we decided instead to calculate your savings. So suggesting easier actions that give you savings in terms of CO2, water and energy. Then we actually worked closely with the UN office UNFCCC and calculated on average how much your savings are on a daily basis by doing one of these actions. So let’s make an example, I’ll suggest to you Cristina – why not take a 5 minute shower instead of a 10 minute shower? Well, the app will tell you that by taking a 5 minute shower, you’ll be saving up to 47 litres of water on a daily basis. It’s important to show you these 47 litres of water, because if you can measure it, you can actually improve it.

Cristina: I’m with you on that, in fact my showers are 3 minutes long!

Alessandro Armillotta: Perfect!

Cristina: So in a few months you’ve had an impact already, what have your results been so far and what are your goals?

Alessandro Armillotta: We actually launched at the end of September [2020], up to today we are 40,000 very happy users. And active! We received a ton of feedback, we actually reached, all together, over a million logged habits around the world. So the app is open and free to everyone and I strongly encourage you to use it.

Cristina: Great job and good luck on this!

Alessandro Armillotta: Thank you!

Jeffrey Sachs and Mission 4.7

By sdg 4, technology

Jeffrey Sachs is a guiding star of sustainable development, which is why I wanted to feature him in my weekly segment Occhio al futuro. He’s an esteemed academic, a dynamic promoter of a necessary transition and is President of the United Nation’s SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network). We interviewed him to talk about Mission 4.7 which he launched with the Vatican, Unesco and the Ban-Ki Moon Foundation.

We interviewed him to talk about Mission 4.7 which he launched with the Vatican, Unesco and the Ban-Ki Moon Foundation.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part I

Cristina: Today we’re featuring a mission that might not be spectacular like the one on the moon but it could have the same importance. It’s Mission 4.7 – named after goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda and it’s seventh target: to ensure, by 2030, that all students in the world receive education for sustainable development and global citizenship. It was launched by Pope Francis, which is why we’re on the roof of a church that already produces sola energy, and by Ban-Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General who ratified both the 2030 Agenda and negotiated the Paris Agreement in 2015, also by UNESCO and other organizations. The mission is led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Pelé of sustainability. He was one of the key advisors for the drafting of the 2030 Agenda and is Director of the SDSN – the UN network dedicated to solutions for sustainable development. Professor Sachs, thank you so much for being with us. What was the genesis of this mission?

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: We can see everywhere that young people are empowered with the knowledge of our challenges, they really take up the cause and it’s been inspiring to watch young people around the world make the call for sustainable development. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and to achieve climate safety. So the basic motivation is to help empower young people.

Cristina: How influential have the Pope and Ban-Ki Moon been in launching this mission?

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: Pope Francis’ global pact on education, Ban-Ki Moon’s tremendous efforts on global citizenship come together in this inspiration and they are guiding Mission 4.7.

Cristina: In the spectrum of the whole Agenda, how significant is goal 4 and target 7?

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: We cannot achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals if we don’t know what we’re doing! If we don’t understand our situation, our reality, our potential to build a sustainable development future. I believe that SDG 4, which is the goal for universal access to quality education, is at the center of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and I believe that target 4.7, which is education about sustainable development itself, and about our ability to cooperate together across cultures and across nations, with global citizenship, is absolutely at the core of achieving the 17 SDGs.

Cristina: Thank you very much, I look forward to talking to you again next week.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: Thank you so much.

Cristina: To accomplish this mission requires both thinking and caring. Follow us to understand how to do your part! Occhio al futuro

On air 23/1/21

Part II

Cristina: Our journey to discover Mission 4.7 continues – guaranteeing education on sustainable development and global citizenship for all, by 2030. Professor Sachs, welcome back and thank you very much for being with us. What are the key ingredients of a curriculum that really, fully honors Mission 4.7?

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: Prosperity, social justice and environmental sustainability are the three pillars of sustainable development. They are, therefor, the pillars of Mission 4.7, we’re aiming to design the kind of future we want, this is the phrase that was used when the Sustainable Development Goals were first adopted: the future we want. So, the curriculum should be empowering, to help young people, to see how we can build a better future, to make our societies more fair, to make our energy systems and industry the way that we treat the rest of nature sustainable, and this involves technical skill, it involves an ethical outlook as well.

Cristina: How can anyone, from teachers to students, members of civil society, governments, participate in this mission?

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: I get, everyday, messages from teachers or students. From teachers saying “we’re introducing the SDGs into our local school curriculum, can you help?” and really the answer is yes. Here are some websites to look at, here are some materials, here is a network that you can be part of. Students who are saying “we want to make a youth club” or “our school doesn’t yet teach the sustainable development goals, what can we do?” or “how can I learn?”. SDSN has an SDG Academy of online, free, globally accessible materials in all aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals so that it’s possible to just go online and gain access to really world-class educators and professors and so-forth, who have prepared materials that are freely available. This is an open source, global, interconnected effort. We want all people to be involved, one of the things that we will certainly do is provide a clearing house of information, access and opportunity for networking. For 8 billion people and the still rising global population to be able to manage the needs for healthy diets, safe air, clean environment, cutting pollution, accessing these basic needs for everybody, we’er going to need the new technologies. One key transformations that is vital, in fact, is universal access to digital technologies, so that every person can have access to telemedicine if they need it, to educational materials online, access to government documents, licenses, their rights, their transfers and so forth. I’m very happy to say that Italy has been leading in this effort as well, getting the topics of climate change and environmental sustainability and other aspects of sustainable development into the basic school curriculum. We’re finding that governments al over the world want help on that, want the practicalities of new tools, new curricula, online methods of learning.

Cristina: Thank you. We all have something to learn and to give back to society. Occhio al futuro

On air 6/2/21

Part III

Cristina: We presented Mission 4.7 which brings together heads of government, academics, businesses, and civil society, to accelerate education on sustainable development, worldwide. Today, Professor Sachs is with us again to explain how we can reach this ambitious and necessary goal by 2030.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: We need cooperation at all levels, in communities, within our countries, with our neighboring countries, because neighbors are very important in sharing rivers, in sharing the air, in sharing the fisheries and the coastlines. We need cooperation between regions of the world, between Asia and Europe, Africa, North and South America. All parts of the world need to cooperate. This doesn’t come easily, because there are so many triggers of distrust, even hatred, in our world. There are demagogic politicians who aim to win or keep power or increase their power by professing hate rather than cooperation. But we need cooperation. It is feasible. The beauty of the Sustainable Development Goals is that all 193 governments of the world have agreed to them, same with the Paris Climate Agreement, all 193 UN member states have agreed to them. They are our globally agreed goals. That is a basis in addition to the very reality of them for moving forward in a cooperative way. This is why when governments get together around the world, in periodic meetings about these goals, it’s essential that all come ready to say, here’s how we are cooperating and contributing to what we’ve all agreed to do.

Cristina: How are the efforts being coordinated?

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: The Sustainable Development Solutions Network is working together with the rest of the partners, there’s a secretariat which is coordinating with governments and with leading educators around the world to help build a curricula, to help governments and local communities to adopt a curricula and adapt them for local needs, local language, local culture, local priorities in sustainable development. We’re aiming to make a lot of progress in 2021. There are some important global summits that UNESCO will host where governments are to come together to say “this is what we’re going to do”. We’re trying as much as we can to work with governments at the national level, that’s ministers and ministries of education, and with local communities and education experts around the world. And a network of universities of more than 1,000 universities in the SDSN, to bring these ideas to bear as quickly as possible. Time is a real factor here. Mission 4.7 addresses a target that says “by 2030”, that’s just a blink of an eye away. We have to move very, very fast.

Cristina: What is your advice to all Italian stakeholders to make Mission 4.7 a success?

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs: In Italy we have tremendous engagement of government, of universities, of civil society and of the business sector. So many businesses are stepping forward and saying “we want to be part of the Sustainable Development Goals, we want Italy to help lead”. Italy is a place where there is nationwide energy and action for sustainable development and this is what I would urge Italians in all sectors of society to build upon.

Cristina: Institution have the obligation, today, to educate citizens of all ages for the disruptive changes ahead.  Occhio al futuro

On air 13/2/21

Visiting a recycling plant

By ecology, sdg 12

One of my first pieces for my TV gig Occhio allo Spreco was shot in a plastic recycling plant. I am fascinated now as I was then by the potential of circular economy. I took advantage of this “throwback” to dig up fresh data. What I found is encouraging on one hand, discouraging on the other, because this pandemic is also putting waste management systems in crisis. And circular systems clash with linear ones.
According to a study by Corepla, the Italian consortium for the collection and disposal of plastic waste, conducted with the Fondazione per lo sviluppo sostenibile, the lockdown in March and April 2020 led to an 8% increase in plastic packaging for food, compared to the same period in 2019.
However, this coincided with the export freeze of 16 thousand tons of waste, due to the limitations imposed by Covid-19. Furthermore, construction activities have slowed down, reducing the amount of non-recyclable plastics used in cement factories, which in turn has saturated the capacity of the national recycling plants. Add the fact that three is less demand for recycled materials. The result is that the share of waste-to-energy waste has increased, but the incinerators are also overloaded, so about 42,000+ tons of waste ended up in landfills compared to last year. And these are partial numbers, because they refer to the first part of the year. And what about the immense volume of disposable masks, considered hazardous waste?
Looking at the pre-Covid trend, in 2019 the collection of differentiated plastics increased by 13% compared to 2018, with an average of about 23 kg / person, which puts Italy among the countries that recycle the most in Europe. However, according to the WWF, Italy is also the first producer in Europe of plastic products and the second for the volume of waste. It is up to us consumers to reduce the consumption of disposable plastic products and packaging. Now.

Cristina: Follow me. Now let’s get into the heart of the plant. Here you see garbage bags that have already been sorted.

Fabio Masotina: Most of the packaging consists of plastic bottles, shopping bags, cans and tinplate – our can of tuna. The first step consists in opening the bag, by a machine that tears them apart.

Cristina: As you can see, all the materials from our packaging are separated here thanks to modern technologies. The cans are identified by a magnet and this activates a compressed air device that pushes them into a dedicated container. The plastics remaining on the belt are separated by a vacuum which lifts the lighter bags. The trays and bottles are divided into various colors by an optical reader. See, what you separate at home arrives here. Fabio what do the bottles and the trays become?

Fabio Masotina: Tables, chairs, sweaters, furnishings and various gadgets.

Cristina: Do you see how many things can be made from plastic materials? Thank you Fabio! I’m Cristina, back to you in the studio!

On air November 8,2008

Recycled Design with Paolo Ulian

By ecology, sdg 12

Creative recycling is in keeping with the demands of our times. I dug up an old story with designer Paolo Ulian because his solutions are clever, they look good and are easy to make. Have fun!

Cristina: This pen was designed to be disposable, but today, we try not to throw everything away. When the ink runs out, let’s see what it can become.

Paolo Ulian: We take the clear barrel and insert a nylon cable, one by one. You can string up to four, five barrels and then attach a very simple decorative bead. We take this little crimp, which is a small clamp, stretch the nylon and tighten it with pliers. At this point we have a jointed arm. We take the cap, any color we choose, close it and then the arm can be slipped into the base of a lamp.

Cristina: And with a bottle like this Paolo, what do you do?

Paolo Ulian: We crush it as if we were going to dispose of it, then I go attach the bottle by screwing it in, so that I can use it as a coat rack.

Cristina: Very beautiful. And when they’re not crushed, they fit together.

Paolo Ulian: They fit together to make this screen, simply by mounting them like this. And then with a little imagination and creativity and the same system, you can also build a very simple lamp.

Cristina: And this is a swimming cap, which in Paolo’s hands becomes…

Paolo Ulian: By thinking about the environment and having some good ideas, you can do many things that help us live better.

Cristina: Long live your ingenuity and occhio allo spreco!

On air May 16, 2009