The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

profile image of Salvatore Paolo De Rosa. Photo.

Salvatore Paolo de Rosa

Postdoctoral Fellow

profile image of Salvatore Paolo De Rosa. Photo.

A Case Study on Grassroots Environmentalism for Health and Sustainability in the Land of Fires (Italy)


  • Salvatore Paolo De Rosa
  • Lucio Righetti
  • Annamaria Martuscelli


  • Gabriella Marfe
  • Carla Di Stefano

Summary, in English

This chapter provides a reassessment of the waste ‘crises’ in the so-called Land of Fires in Italy and highlights the contribution of local social mobilizations in advancing environmental justice and sustainability concerns. It is based on the long term collaboration between a social scientist and two activists, and it draws from a dialogue of academic and activist knowledge in the tradition of Environmental Justice organizations and scholarship. Our contention is that local communities and ecologies of this area have borne the brunt of the socio-environmental costs of waste disposal and industrial production. This translated into risks of contamination for the residents, suffering threats to health and stigmatization. To this state of affairs, local grassroots environmental movements answered by confederating into a regional coalition that arranged on November 16, 2013, one of the biggest environmental justice demonstrations in Italian history, spurring the intervention of the State via legislation and resources. The coalition was also instrumental in the elaboration of the Pact for the Land of Fires, a programmatic commitment to end illegal waste disposal that defined the obligations for the institutional and civil society signatories. Finally, we show how the experience of activists is systematized and coordinated today through the initiative of the Civic Observers, an association of citizens that monitors environmental crimes and conditions in cooperation with public officials.

Publishing year







Risks and Challenges of Hazardous Waste Management: Reviews and Case Studies

Document type

Book chapter


Bentham Science Publishers


  • Human Geography


  • Cancer
  • Civic observers
  • Environmental justice
  • Grassroots environmentalism
  • Hazardous waste
  • Organized crime
  • Waste management




  • ISBN: 978-981-14-7246-6
  • ISBN: 978-981-14-7248-0