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VITAL addresses the maintenance and enhancement of the natural capital of the Venetian Lagoon.

VITAL is a group of experts dedicated to preserving the Venetian Lagoon, guided by the latest scientific research. The ecological heritage of the Lagoon is considered a form of natural capital that produces different types of wealth. VITAL is committed to finding ways to protect and enhance this natural capital for the benefit of future generations.

The Venetian Lagoon ecosystem incorporates multiple activities crucial to life. Each of these contributes significantly to mitigating some of the anthropogenic processes—including climate change—that threaten the city of Venice itself. These ecosystem services include:

  • absorption of considerable quantities of CO2 by the salt marshes, a natural feature typical of the Lagoon;
  • attenuation of tidal currents;
  • sediment retention and water purification processes;
  • fish productivity;
  • cultural and recreational activities that can increase with proper maintenance of the Lagoon environment.

Quantifying the value of the ecosystem services offered by the Lagoon demonstrates the potential for future economic development and supports investment according to a sustainable management model1. In the long term, the conscious maintenance of the Lagoon’s natural capital can generate greater and less impactful flows of productive activity than those currently generated by the exploitation of Venice and its Lagoon.

To achieve its mission, VITAL has launched a number of interconnected activities and projects. Scientific research aims to identify the best ways to promote the recolonisation of the Lagoon vegetation. The OFFSET project offers private investors the opportunity to offset their ecological, social and economic impact by investing in the well-being of the Lagoon.

VITAL's main objective is to develop, test and bring to the attention of entrepreneurs and public administrators various solutions for the large-scale restoration of the Lagoon ecosystem. In doing so, VITAL promotes economic development that is more sustainable, both environmentally and socially.

Satellite image of the Venetian Lagoon, M. Justin Wilkinson, Jacobs, NASA-JSC

1.  For a complete list of the ecosystem services offered by the Lagoon, see “Rethinking Venice from an Ecosystem Service Perspective”.

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