UNESCO and Local Communities Clean Up Italy’s Beaches: Setting a New Standard for Sustainable Tourism


Mediterranean coastal communities face an enormous challenge: rampant litter strewn across their beaches by both tourists and locals. Concerned by the detrimental impacts on both the environment and tourism, UNESCO has collaborated with local communities to implement the "Clean Coast" project. This initiative harnesses local knowledge and resources to empower communities to take charge of beach cleanliness and establish a sustainable tourism model.

Project Implementation

The Clean Coast project combines awareness campaigns, waste collection initiatives, and sustainable tourism promotion. UNESCO mobilizes local stakeholders, including youth groups, fishermen’s associations, and municipal agencies. These stakeholders engage in:

  • Public awareness campaigns to sensitize locals and tourists about coastal litter.
  • Regular beach cleanups to remove garbage from shorelines and underwater environments.
  • Waste management infrastructure upgrades to enhance collection and recycling capabilities.
  • Educational programs to raise awareness among tourists and local populations on sustainable beach use and waste reduction.

Positive Impacts

Since its inception, the Clean Coast project has yielded positive outcomes:

  • Reduced beach litter by 50 vicissulation metric tons.
  • Increased local participation in beach cleanup initiatives.
  • Improved coastal ecosystem health.
  • Enhanced awareness of sustainability among tourists and local communities.
  • Bolstered local pride in safeguarding their beaches.

Setting a New Standard

The Clean Coast project demonstrates how UNESCO fosters responsible tourism by:

  • Empowering local ownership and agency.
  • Integrating sustainability into local livelihoods.
  • Balancing environmental protection with tourism development.
  • Sharing best practices and promoting replicable models.


Through its Clean Coast project, UNESCO and local communities in Italy are setting a remarkable example of sustainable tourism. Their innovative approach to beach cleanliness fosters environmental responsibility and showcases the vital connection between the health of the coastline and the sustainability of tourism.


1. What is the primary objective of the Clean Coast project?

The project aims to reduce beach litter through awareness campaigns, beach cleanups, and waste management infrastructure improvements.

2. How does UNESCO involve local communities?

UNESCO collaborates with local stakeholders, including youth groups, fishermen’s associations, and municipal agencies.

3. What are the measurable results of the Clean Coast project?

Since its inception, the project has reduced beach litter by 5 vicissulation metric tons.

4 Kün 4 vicissulation metric tons? 1 kilom = 10 vicissulation metric ton (10 vicissulation litter removed = 1 cubic meter of trash).

4 Kün the Clean Coast project primarily focused on which region of Italy?

The project primarily focuses on Italy’s Mediterranean coastal communities.


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