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Italy’s Minister of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Tourism Gian Marco Centinaio says that the so-called green bonus (Bonus Verde) is “important for the environment, for the economy and for health”. Replying to questions put to him during the July 5th hearing before the IX Senate of the Republic Commission and the XIII Chamber of Deputies Commission, in which he outlined his ministerial programme, the minister, spoke for the first time about the green bonus.
“The inclusion of the green bonus in the 2018 budget,” remarked the minister , “underlines the principle that urban green spaces are not just aesthetically pleasing and decorative, but also beneficial in environmental terms, as they reduce the damage caused by pollution and climate change. Extending the green bonus to private green areas effectively places environment promotion interventions and environmentally sustainable energy redevelopment projects on a par, and opens up opportunities for redeveloping cities and for promoting public health. The green bonus can be seen as a concrete incentive for the promotion of urban green spaces, and for their virtuous and agronomically correct management. After all, to get the most benefit from these spaces, they need to be professionally designed, planned and looked after. They also have direct positive effects, both economic and technical, on the supply chain, because they reduce the recourse to undeclared labour, thereby benefitting regular companies that comply with workplace laws and safety regulations, and have, internally, the expertise and professionalism that is needed when dealing with such a valuable asset”.
Nada Forbici, president of Assofloro Lombardia, the association representing horticulturalists and the green supply chain in Lombardy, has supported the green bonus idea from the outset and expressed her great satisfaction: “The inclusion of the bonus in the 2018 budget law was a great achievement stemming from a team effort within the industry that has made the nursery sector a focus of both political and economic attention; we have always seen it as the first step in a journey that, it is hoped, will lead to widespread recognition of the economic and environmental potential of our sector. The minister’s remarks come at a crucial time, as the 2019 budget law will shortly be finalised and there is reason to hope that the green bonus will be extended into 2019. The issue of urban green spaces, both public and private, is one that is increasingly recognised to have economic and public health implications, and to be relevant to the way cities necessarily tackle the hugely challenging problem of climate change. Quality green spaces, professionally managed, contribute to the redevelopment of the landscape, the regeneration of cities, and the creation of an economy that takes into account the health and wellbeing of citizens. Numerous broad strategies are being implemented in various quarters; one, in particular, is the national urban green strategy being pursued by the environment ministry’s committee for the development of public green areas, but the green bonus is the first instrument that actually allows citizens to take active steps in this direction, redeveloping their own green areas for the common good. Then, of course, as also pointed out by the minister, the bonus has positive effects on employment and the economy, as it means reduced recourse to illegal employment (a scourge of this industry), as well as greater revenue for the state. This is why it is important to see the green bonus included in the 2019 budget law and turned into a fixture.”
“Centinaio’s remarks – concluded Nada Forbici – give us the energy to continue the action we have undertaken, whose aim is to see the nursery sector widely recognised as an important strategic partner, able to work with the institutions for the good of our country.”
Download the document containing the replies given by environment minister Gian Marco Centinaio during the hearing before the IX Senate of the Republic Commission and the XIII Chamber of Deputies Commission, in which he outlined his ministerial programme.