Environmental protection on the beach

Environmental establishments should be a garrison of environmental protection, a help desk to promote the area. Unfortunately this is not always possible and it all depends on the state concessions of the bathing establishments. Bathing establishments are not always able to guarantee a correct one environmental protection and do not manage ad hoc the areas assigned to them, indeed, according to the WWF Italy, too many times have been the protagonists of problems linked to illegal practices and unfair environmental practices.

The turnover involving the beaches involves about 30,000 companies and 600,000 operators. The so-called free beaches they decrease dramatically because the concessions for bathing establishments have more than doubled from 5,368 in 2001 to the 12,000 establishments present today. They are 18 million square meters and 900 km occupied on the 4 thousand km of beaches of the 8 thousand km of Italian coasts.

While discussing the Bolkenstein directive, WWF proposes strategies to revive a seaside tourism more sustainable and respectful of the environment. The problem is that the km occupied by the bathing establishments are not always managed with respect for the environment or for the community good. This is why we need better strategies for the assignment or reassignment of state-owned concessions of the establishments. We need criteria that do not just look at economic parameters, with the application of the European Bolkenstein Directive there is a risk of granting establishments only on mere economic data while it would be preferable to assign the beaches to small or medium local businesses which guarantee the community good.

""According to WWF the assignments should take place through the evaluation of a management project where the concession fee recognized to the State is only one of the parameters. Other parameters can and must be introduced, such as: the environmental management not only of the entrusted areas but also of the neighboring ones on which theimpact of activities; environmental or naturalistic requalification projects; the adoption of parameters of energy efficiency; the use of zero km products linked to the territory; the promotion of cultural or environmental assets of the context in which the establishment operates. In short, a project where the plant is an information and promotion desk and an environmental protection unit. To do this, it is necessary to discuss in a realistic way, to address the issue correctly and not to think of being able to evade it with initiatives that are questionable from the point of view of Community law ”.

Data source: WWF Dossier, "Beaches of Italy: common good, business for the few", July 2012 "

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