Fondazione Lombardia per l’Ambiente (Lombardy Foundation for the Environment, FLA) is a “nonprofit scientific foundation” established in 1986 by the Lombardy Regional Council to assist public and private local agents in the protection of the environment. It works within a wide-ranging network of leading experts and professors. By working collaboratively with national and international universities, FLA can contribute to the constant updating of environmental topics; partnerships and information sharing with local authorities allow the implementation of environmental knowledge which can help enforce territorial governance policies.
From 1990 to 2002, FLA has been monitoring the presence of dioxin in the environmental compartments of Seveso, which FLA is historically bound to, and assessing its impact on human health and environmental ecosystems. Our programs include the study of air quality standards, performed by FLA’s Air Quality and Climate division. Other FLA’s key programs include research on the origin and impact of air pollutants, specifically pollution prevention to reduce particle pollution (PM 10 and 2,5), which make up most of the fine particle pollution in the Padan area. FLA’s multi-year research activity on the impact of ground-level ozone on forests and vegetation resulted in the creation of one of Europe’s most state-of-the-art research centres, headquartered in Bergamo. FLA is also committed to study climate change and its impact on the territory; since 2000, FLA has been part of the Conference of the Parties within the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Other FLA’s key research programs include industrial risk assessment and related EU Directives; following European scientific community’s strategies, FLA has recently improved its knowledge and action in the field of security, specifically working on the management of integrated risk and promoting research programs on the integrated local management of natural and technological hazards.
To accomplish its mission, FLA has been promoting key research programs on sustainable waste disposal and the recovery of polluted sites.
Implementing the efforts of the European Community and its Directives on Biodiversity and Protected Areas, FLA’s dedicated division has started several actions to support local policies aimed at the safeguard of protected animal and vegetal species and habitats. Contributions in this field range from the designing of Lombardy Regional naturalistic cartography, to research programs on the Regional Ecological Network, which gives a detailed state-of-the-art picture of protected areas in Lombardy, thus contributing to their protection and promotion within local integrated policy programs.
According to UN regulations on Sustainable Development and solutions enabling its achievement, FLA advances strategies that enable the promotion of Local Agenda 21 within Lombardy Regional Municipalities, implementing a forum between stakeholders and writing specific reports on the environmental state-of-the-art and action plans.
According to its own Statute, FLA’s purpose is to ensure that all parts of society have access to accurate environmental information; to accomplish this, FLA implements Programs for Students, promoting science activities for elementary, middle and high school students, awarding post-degree grants, developing University Master courses and high training programs for environmental professionals and public operators.
FLA’s Environmental Law Enforcement division studies European environmental regulations and their national and regional enforcement; FLA has dedicated to this major topic a series of publications and reports on the Italian and Lombard legislations as related to European current laws.
FLA’s Water Quality and Supply division develops key experimental research programs on the preservation, protection and management of surface and underground waters. The use of the River and Perilacual Functionality Index allows the proper governance of areas covered by water courses, according to sustainable development issues.
FLA’s Physical Agents division studies all physical environmental factors that can endanger human health and the quality of life: noise pollution, low- and high-frequency electromagnetic fields. The Foundation assists local authorities in setting up their acoustic classification and recovery plans, which are developed with state-of-the-art methodologies and equipment.