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The Alpine Convention Newsletter is published quarterly by the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention.
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Farewell to a friend
 
On 6 January 2017 Dr. Wolfgang Ewald Burhenne died at the age of 93. Wolfgang was a close friend, my grandfatherly friend, an inspiration and a role-model. I met Wolfgang for the first time in the early nineties in New Delhi. Back then, as a young researcher, I was hired by UNEP to help drawing up a report on international dispute settlement in environmental matters and Wolfgang was part of the advisory board. He did an outstanding job, not only in terms of substantive advice on the matter, but more importantly, he offered his help and support on a much more personal level – pushing, motivating and encouraging me. Thinking back over the years of our friendship, this is very much what he did throughout all this time. In the years following our first encounter, we met in numerous places around the globe: in Nairobi, in the Americas, in London, in New York, Vienna, Geneva, Madeira and many other more. Wolfgang was everywhere and everywhere he went, he would have friends and he would be at home. Many years after we first met in India, I had to attend my first meeting in the Alpine Convention context. I had met Wolfgang before in the framework of UNEP, the CSD, the big environmental conventions, etc. Nothing did I know about his “regional life”. So when I walked into my first Alpine meeting, imaging how surprised I was, when I saw Wolfgang there – and actually being one of the founding fathers of the Alpine Convention!
 
Looking back on his long and active life, it is hard to understand how prolific, productive and forward-looking he was. Not only did he stand at the initiating stages of the Alpine Convention and CIPRA International or the IUCN and many other organisations. He was also spearheading efforts for environmental protection in Africa; was a mastermind of UNEP, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, you name it. Hardly any international environmental process happened without him contributing in his inimitably constructive manner providing a key example how lawyers can be a major force for the good.
 
Several years ago, when Wolfgang visited my wife and me in our then Washington home, he asked me to play the trumpet for him. I put on a CD with some accompanying music and I played an old blues title called “Stormy Weather”. After I finished, he sat there silently for a while and then said: “Markus, promise me one thing: promise me that when I die you play for me.” I promised. And, you cannot imagine, how much I would have loved to have many more years to practice my instrument. When, however, I learned of Wolfgang’s death, I sat down at my home and played Stormy Weather: “when he went away” the text of this song goes “the blues walked in and met me”. Farewell, my friend, and many thanks.
 

Markus Reiterer,  Secretary General of the Alpine Convention
Conference “Women in Mountain Regions” in April in Alpbach
 
One of the priorities of the Austrian Presidency of the Alpine Convention is the role of women in the mountain regions. So the Austrian Presidency’s first “highlight” – initiated by minister Andrä Rupprechter – will be an international conference titled “The Role of Women in Mountain Regions”, which will take place in Alpbach (Tyrol) on 18 and 19 April 2017
. The aim of this ministerial conference is to welcome representatives from several mountain regions all over the world to exchange experiences and enable cooperation. Thematically the focus of the conference lies on the question, how women can influence, maintain and improve the activities in mountain regions in general and especially in the Alps considering ecological, economic and cultural aspects.
 
Further priorities of the Austrian Presidency were set in the fields of mountain agriculture, nature protection, natural hazard risk governance, climate protection and the topic of water in general.
Launch of the Alpine Climate Board
 
On 22 and 23 February 2017 in Vienna, the Advisory Committee on the Alpine Climate (Alpine Climate Board ACB) instituted by the XIVth Alpine Conference met for the first time. Chaired by the Austrian Presidency, the ACB gathers climate change specialists from the eight Alpine States and Observer organisations.  It aims at bundling the current contributions of the Alpine Convention to climate change mitigation and adaptation, with the establishment of a climate-neutral Alpine space 2050 as the overarching goal. Until the next meeting (scheduled for mid-September 2017) the ACB is carrying out a stock-taking of the existing contributions to mitigation and adaptation provided by the different Alpine Convention organs and related objectives. On this basis specific recommendations on a system of objectives as well as fields of actions and measures of the ACB will be prepared, for the attention of the next Alpine Conference.
Meeting of the chairs of the Working Groups and Platforms
 
Continuing the traditions, set by the Italian Presidency 2013-2014, a meeting of the chairs of Working Groups and Platforms is organized every year in order to facilitate the exchange of experience and good practices between the groups and to promote joint work. In addition to work set in the mandate, involvement in the implementation of the Multiannual work Programme and cooperation with EUSALP Action Groups is promoted.
 
The first meeting under the Austrian Presidency was organized on 30-31 January 2017 in Vienna and it is with great pleasure to report that almost all chairs participated at the meeting.
Joint staff retreat of the Presidency and the Secretariat held in Gmunden
 
To coordinate and discuss responsibilities and activities, the Austrian Presidency of the Alpine Convention 2016-2018 organized an internal meeting with the Permanent Secretariat. On 18 and 19 January 2017 the teams of the Presidency and the Secretariat met for a staff retreat in Gmunden (Upper Austria). Organizational matters as well as thematic issues were part of the agenda. The Presidency’s programme for the next two years was presented, the planned activities, important deadlines and responsibilities were discussed. Furthermore the meeting also offered the opportunity to strengthen the sense of community for working together as partners during the period of the – overall third – Austrian Presidency of the Alpine Convention.
Photo Contest: Water of the Alps
 
Did you know that every year Alpine rivers provide an amazing average of 200 billion m³ of water to millions of people in the surrounding areas, hundreds of miles beyond the perimeter of the Alpine Convention? Water is the source of life and a big part of water in Europe comes from the Alps. That is why we have chosen “Water” to be the theme of our photo contest. Do you have amazing pictures, showing the importance of Water for our everyday lives? Do you want to emphasize the need for clean waters and show water-related disasters? Do you just love playing with water and showing its many forms of use? Send us your photos until 3 September 2017 and participate in the photo contest – maybe your photo will be part of our next year calendar!
We are Alps 2017 - call open
 

The call for the Alpine Convention’s international press tour by sustainable means of transport is open . This year’s tour will focus on the topic of Water, on a route linking Vienna to the Principality of Monaco via Italy, Switzerland and France. The various aspects of water in the Alps, also in the light of climate change, will be tackled through visits on many sites and projects. Please circulate to potentially interested journalists! The press tour, which has been carried out yearly since 2007, is an opportunity to communicate the issues of the Alpine Convention to the media, but also to reinforce the links of the Permanent Secretariat with very diverse stakeholders visited along the way.
New Infopoint in Slovenia
 
A new Infopoint of the Alpine Convention was established on 22 February 2017 in Mojstrana, Slovenia. Building on long-lasting cooperation between the Planinski muzej and the Permanent Secretariat the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of the Infopoint was signed between the director of the Gornjesavski muzej Jesenice, Ms Irena Lačen Benedičič and the Secretary General of the Alpine Convention, Mr Markus Reiterer. The Infopoint in Mojstrana is hosting many events, most recently it hosted an interesting lecture about rural life in the Upper Sava valley in the 18th and 19th centuries. The area of the Upper Sava Valley is a vast and diverse one and, according to the Gams’s landscape-ecological classification, also includes the alpine valley of the Sava Dolinka River. Check the calendar on our website for more events in Mojstrana, Slovenia. 
Alps2050 selected for ESPON Targeted Analyses
 
The proposal „Alps2050 - Common spatial perspectives for the Alpine Space. Towards a common vision” has been selected as one of four stakeholder proposals that can be implemented as ESPON Targeted Analysis. The proposal has been committed commonly to the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme by Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention, in accordance with a decision of the XIV Alpine Conference.
Update on the RSA6                           
       

The sixth Report on the state of the Alps focuses on the topic of “Green economy in the Alpine region”. The drafting of the report started after the XIII Alpine Conference held in Torino in 2014 and was carried out by an ad hoc expert group composed of representatives of the Contracting Parties and of the observers, as well as by contracted consultants. The report elaborates on the issues of energy and resource efficiency, ecosystem and natural capital based economy and economy supporting the quality of life and well-being.
 
The final text was approved by the XIV Alpine Conference in Grassau. Following the approval, the process of translation and harmonization into all the Alpine languages, of layouting and of printing has started. The process is coming now to its last stages and the English printed version of the text will be presented to the upcoming Permanent Committee in Bolzano. The text will be available in a long digital English version, and as an Executive Summary in all Alpine languages.
 
The dissemination activities are going to start with an international conference, which will be held on 11 May in Rosenheim, and will continue with presentation of the activities of the report in all the Alpine Convention Infopoints.
A vision, one programme, six years, six priorities
 
The Multi-Annual Work Programme 2017-22 (MAP) was prepared commonly by the Alpine States to set the six priorities for the implementation of the Alpine Convention and its Protocols over the period of the next 6 years. Building on strong partnerships across different fields and knowledge groups and thus strengthening the Alpine Convention’s ties with various stakeholders and providing better visibility of the Convention itself the priorities 2017-22 are:  
  1. Focusing on people and culture
  2. Taking action on climate change
  3. Conserving and valuing biodiversity and landscape
  4. Greening the economy
  5. Promoting sustainable transport
  6. Playing a leading role in EUSALP
It is accompanied by a Roadmap 2017-2018 in which specific joint short-term actions within the MAP priorities are outlined to facilitate and promote a pragmatic and hands-on approach to the implementation of the MAP. The full version of the MAP, the Roadmap and a MAP flyer are now available digitally and printed in the Alpine languages and in English.
 “Towards Renewable Alps”: publication now available
 
Following its presentation to the Alpine Conference last October, the progress report on the activities of the Contracting Parties, the Observers and the different bodies of the Alpine Convention in the fields of energy production, consumption, transfer and governance since 2015 has now been published, thanks to the support of the Swiss delegation. It is available online here, and on paper upon request.
Secretariat participated at the 22. memorial Danilo Re
 
For the first time, the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention participated at the memorial Danilo Re with its own team. Between 26 and 29 January 2017, 36 teams gathered in Gesäuse National park for the “sustainable Alpine parks Olympic Games” and in memory of the park ranger Danilo Re, who gave his life serving and protecting the Alps.
New intern
 
This month new intern joined our team – Maruša Babič. She comes from Slovenia and has diploma in Geography and Translation and Interpretation of English.
The Working Group Macro-regional Strategy connects with EUSALP
 
On its meeting on 26 January 2017 the Working Group Macro-regional Strategy identified the priority contents that the Alpine Convention intends to contribute to the EUSALP and that should be subject of an information exchange mechanism and of potential future cooperation activities between working groups and platforms of the Alpine Convention and EUSALP AGs. It was agreed that based on a content matrix of possible topics and an actors’ matrix, the preselected topics will first be discussed by the Presidents of working groups and platforms of the Alpine Convention in their meeting on 30-31 January 2017 and then presented at the EUSALP Action Group Forum to the Action Groups. First contacts with promising prospects were established on that occasion.
Latest developments concerning the Compliance Committee
 
The 25th meeting of the Compliance Committee, which was also the first meeting under the Austrian Presidency, took place on 9 and 10 March 2017 at the headquarters of the regional administration of the canton St. Gallen. The meeting was mainly dedicated to defining the next steps for the in-depth review of the subject “Economical use of soil”.
 
After keynote speeches of two practitioners of the subject, the Compliance Committee agreed to focus the in-depth review on the following topics:  
 
  • Appropriate and economical delimitation of settlement areas and measures ensuring that the areas defined are actually built upon,
  • Orientation of settlement areas along main transport infrastructures and/or bordering existing settlements as well as limitation of secondary residences,
  • Soil sealing and soil consumption.
 
Furthermore, a model set of questions for these priority topics to be addressed to the Contracting Parties has been developed and an agreement on the procedure to be carried out was reached. The collection of the material for the in-depth review will include an expert hearing in the next meeting of the Compliance Committee in autumn in Vienna.
First WISO meeting under new chair
 
Chaired by Deputy Secretary General Marianna Elmi, the Large Carnivores, Wild Ungulates and Society (WISO) Platform met on 15-16 March and set up the work plan for the upcoming biennium. With the participation by almost all contracting parties that also gave their update on the management of the large carnivores and ungulates, the priorities of work were, in accordance with the mandate, as follows: promoting information exchange, dialogue and coordination; genetic monitoring; fostering genetic exchange in lynx populations; brown bear management; sustainable damage prevention and mitigation.
24th meeting of the Natural Hazards Platform - PLANALP
 
The 24th meeting of PLANALP took place from the 16 to 17 March 2017 at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus upon invitation of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection. Catrin Promper from Austria also on behalf of her co-chair Rudolf Hornich gave an update on the mandate for 2017 – 2018 followed by the country reports. A major focus of the meeting was the work on the Report on the State of the Alps 7. Every country presented several potential good-practice examples in the field of natural hazard risk governance. Subsequently, a selection was made to have a good balance of examples from all Alpine countries and various hazards considered in the report. These selected examples will be elaborated by the members and included into the Report on the State of the Alps.

Water Platform meeting
 
The first Water platform meeting under the co-chair of Italy and Slovenia took place on 24 March in Padua, back to back to the meeting of the Sub-Group 3 of the Action Group 6 of the EUSALP and its Expert hearing. At the meeting the work on the two focus areas, set in the mandate started; on Focus 1, dealing with the drought periods, the Platform elaborated a set of questions to gather information on the latest drought events from all alpine countries that will be the basis for an analysis and the elaboration of policy recommendations. On Focus 2 concerning the follow up on the guidelines on small hydropower a set of questions will be elaborated to be sent to the local level decision-makers and stakeholders in each country to evaluate the application and usage of the guidelines and the reasons for its use.

EUSALP General Assembly and Action Group Forum
 
The EUSALP General Assembly and the EUSALP Action Group Forum took place from 13-16 February 2016 in Bavaria. At the EUSALP General Assembly in Rottach-Egern the EUSALP Presidency was handed over from Slovenia to Bavaria. Moreover, representatives of States and Regions adopted a Joint Declaration on the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) and called for adequately considering the Macro-Regional Strategies in the relevant EU-Policies beyond 2020. Secretary General Reiterer highlighted the importance of cooperation to achieve the best possible results which are beneficial for both the mountainous and surrounding regions.
 
The EUSALP Action Group Forum in Garmisch-Partenkirchen included a variety of events, which aimed at fostering the potential interlinkages between the different Action Groups, as well as between the Action Groups and Alpine Space projects. Action Group 6 held sub-group meetings in order to start with the implementation of the activities outlined in the AG6 work program. The exchange of Action Group 6 and representatives of the Alpine Space projects GoApply, Links4Soils and SPARE also allowed the planning of future common activities.
 
The Permanent Secretariat also attended a meeting of Action Group 4 (Mobility) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on 14 February. The French agency CEREMA, which is supporting the Alpine Convention’s Transport Working Group, made a presentation on the work planned on the calculation of external costs within the Working Group for the new mandate, in order to ensure optimum synergies between both groups.
 
During the EUSALP Action Group Forum also an AlpGov governance workshop took place. In this context the Alpine Convention presented the benefits of thematic cooperation between the Working Groups and Platforms of the Alpine Convention and the EUSALP Action Groups. This was well received by the Action Groups. The subsequent AlpGov partner meeting aimed at discussing administrative and financial aspects, as well as the identification of potential synergies among the Action Groups.
Best practice guide on energy management in hotels
Contribution by Germany
 
A best practice guide for hotels is now available as a contribution to addressing climate change in the context of the Alpine Convention. Hotels can save energy and costs by implementing structured energy management into their business processes. Using the example of the hiking hotel “Cyprianerhof” in South Tyrol, it showcases ideas of how to introduce simple energy management into their own businesses. The experiences of the “Cyprianerhof” help to demonstrate how to get started with an energy audit and how potential obstacles to implementation of simple energy management can be eliminated. Special features of the guide are tips from hotel owner and manager Mr. Damian. For instance he recommends communicating energy efficiency measures that were implemented to the guests, since commitment to sustainability and climate action are becoming increasingly important criteria for booking decisions.
 
Experiences from energy management in small and medium sized enterprises and from an energy efficiency campaign for hotel and restaurants in Germany were transferred to the alpine territory for the development of this guide. It was developed within a project in the framework of the "Export Initiative Green and Sustainable (Environmental) Infrastructure" of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUB). It is now available in French, German, Italian and Slovenian and can be downloaded free.
Constructive Alps Award: 30 nominations
Contribution by Switzerland
 
The Constructive Alps Award, organized for the fourth time already by Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, just concluded its first phase; 268 projects applied for the review and the expert committee shortlisted 30 for the second round. The award that honours projects of sustainable construction and renovation reviews the nominated buildings in accordance with the set sustainability criteria, which include accessibility by public transport, the use of environmentally friendly, regional construction materials, the cultural value of the building and the gain in quality of life for its users. The prize will be presented at the Swiss Alpine Museum in Bern on 20 October 2017, which will be the starting point of a travelling exhibition on the nominated projects. “Constructive Alps” forms part of efforts on the part of Switzerland and Liechtenstein to implement the Alpine Convention and the Action Plan on Climate Change.
Switzerland’s approach to natural hazard management
Contribution by Switzerland in preparation of the RSA7
 
As a densely-populated Alpine country, Switzerland is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards. Around 1.8 million people live in areas at risk from flooding, and 1.7 million jobs and material assets worth CHF 840 billion are located in these hazard zones. Moreover Switzerland must prepare for the impacts of climate change as well as for the increase of settlements, infrastructure and industries in hazard prone areas. In 2016 the Federal Office for the Environment, compiled a report which contains a comprehensive overview of the natural hazard situation and specifies the main measures required to ensure that Switzerland continues to be well protected against natural hazards.
 
A key factor of the report is the implementation of the integrated risk management – IRM. This approach is based on the availability of comprehensive hazard and risk information and ensures that natural hazard protection is guaranteed through the optimum combination of coordinated measures (planning, biological, technical and organisational measures) whereas all relevant actors (federal authorities, the cantons, communes, insurance companies, professional associations, teaching and research, general public) work together.
 
The report proposes a package of measures. It is planned to update the risk and hazard documentation, for example the hazard maps, and take this information into account in spatial planning. With regard to construction, it is proposed that a uniform standard for natural-hazard-appropriate construction be applied. Another priority area is the maintenance of existing hazard protection structures. Emergency management should be further optimised by better coordination of and resources for the emergency services. Overall, it is aimed to foster a culture of risk in society and the economy, so that all actors can act in a risk-appropriate way within their own areas of responsibility. To legally guarantee the implementation of IRM and, particularly, the measures proposed in the report, a review is currently being carried out to establish which individual laws need to be adapted and when.
 
The Report on the State of the Alps 7 on natural hazard risk governance links to many of the challenges mentioned above by assessing the current situation of risk governance in the Alpine region and by displaying potential solutions to common challenges with good practice examples. 
Kick-off AlpFoodway – The Alpine Space project with a Swiss lead partner has become operational!
Contribution by Switzerland
 
AlpFoodway, led by Polo Poschiavo, has officially become operational at the kick-off meeting in Marseille in early February. On this occasion, 14 project partners from six Alpine countries met up to set this interdisciplinary, transnational and participative project in motion. The kick-off meeting is of particular importance for Alpine Space projects of this size, as it is the opportunity to create good collaboration dynamics and to define the tasks more precisely. The ambitious goal of AlpFoodway is to create a sustainable development model for peripheral mountain areas based on the preservation and valorisation of Alpine Space cultural food heritage. According to the project, cultural food heritage goes beyond products to include productive landscapes and traditional knowledge on production techniques, consumption customs and rituals, and the transmission of ancient wisdom. Through this valorisation, AlpFoodway aims at fostering the emerging of a transnational Alpine identity based on the common cultural values expressed in food heritage. As a future perspective, the Alpine community should aspire to inscribe the Alpine food heritage on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list as a traditional foodway. In addition, AlpFoodway contributes actively to EUSALP Action Group 6, led by the Alpine Convention and Carinthia. Further information can be found on AlpFoodway’s website!
Mysnowmaps
Contribution by Italy
 
The Itailan startup Mysnowmaps aims to become “the Map" of the snow. It collects daily weather and snow data from meteo stations spread in the territory and uses a sophisticated mathematical algorithm to follow the evolution of snow depth throughout the Alps. Mysnowmaps is using data from more than 1.000 weather stations and snow-gauges. The information on the snow, translated in form of maps, is displayed in the app and web site that are free to use for outdoor explorers who want to safely plan their excursions on the snow.
YPAC Innsbruck
Contribution by: Youth Parliament to the Alpine Convention, press group
 
This year’s Youth Parliament to the Alpine Convention (YPAC) took place in Innsbruck, where students from seven Alpine States come together to talk about problems and challenges of the Alpine region. Considering the main topic "Demographic Change in the Alps" the delegates discussed "Attractiveness of the alpine regions", "Employment trends", " Refugees and integration" and "Nature protections" in four different committees. Within two days they formulated 15 postulations, which were presented in the General Assembly, where the whole parliament discussed them.  Especially postulations about (...) were voted as official resolutions.
Final report AlpWeek 2016
 
Held under the slogan “Alps & People”, the fourth edition of AlpWeek was dedicated to the many aspects of the connections between the Alps and the people who live, work and spend their spare time there. The AlpWeek report summarizes the most important elements regarding the three topics of demography, culture and quality of life that were covered in the lectures and sessions. As well it opens perspectives for the next AlpWeek. Enjoy reading the report!
ALPBIONET2030 – seeking for connectivity towards the EUSALP territory
Contribution by Alparc
 
One of the main aims of the ALPBIONET2030 project is to identify and confirm the Strategic Alpine Connectivity Areas (SACA) as well as the main corridors and barriers towards the EUSALP territory.  Project partners were therefore present at the EUSALP event and Action Group 7 meeting in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in February 2017 and presented first cartographic analysis and maps to the AG7 members, also partly based on the work published in recent alpine overview “
Alpine Nature 2030”. These maps will be further detailed and improved during an ALPBIONET2030 expert meeting at the beginning of April and will be used to better coordinate the cooperation between the alpine activities and the action of EUSALP. Furthermore, the project partners developed a questionnaire for experts about ecological connectivity and human-wildlife conflicts, that will be submitted to a large group of local and regional experts. The results of this large survey should give an impression about the knowledge of the topic in the alpine area and help identify important human-wildlife conflicts that need to be addressed when working on this subject in the Alps.  
Interactive presentation on winter tourism published by CIPRA
Contribution by CIPRA
 
Tourism has brought wealth to the Alps. In many regions it remains an important source of income, but lack of economic diversification is also a risk. The importance and orientation of tourism differs strongly among Alpine countries, but all of them need new strategies and approaches to cope with shifts in visitor behaviour and climate change. A socio-economic transformation is needed that takes account of tourism’s past, present and future potential.
 
CIPRA shows the challenges to be faced along the way on the basis of an interactive presentation: “
Winter tourism – a destination shaping change” (in German, French, Italian and Slovene). A fictional tourist destination looks at examples of different ideas and possibilities, at how these can shape the future, and what effects its decisions will have on the environment, economy and society. The presentation has been prepared in the context of the alpMonitor project, which shows the upcoming challenges and opportunities for sustainable development in the Alps on the basis of five fields of action.
WeWild, or how to protect wildlife while getting outdoors in winter
By: Alparc
 
ALPARC, the Alpine Network of Protected Areas, has recently started the work on the project WeWild (We Respect Alpine Wildlife). Its aim is to increase awareness amongst winter sport practitioners for the vulnerability of Alpine wildlife in winter. Outdoor activities such as ski touring have become ever more popular over the last decades, causing disturbance in wildlife behaviour.
 
The project enables the ALPARC network to continue the work started in March 2016 with a workshop in the Massif des Bauges Regional nature park (France), where the participants had expressed the will to develop a common communication strategy. The first WeWild workshop took place in Vorarlberg (Austria) at the end of March. The main goal was to gather experiences and current practices applied by protected areas and to discuss elements of a common strategy. By identifying the latter, we will be able to develop a universal approach, which will send a stronger message. The first tools will be put in place by January 2018. Coordinated by the operational unit of ALPARC, the WeWild initiative is financed by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) with funds of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB, Germany).  For more information.
AlpES: towards a common understanding of ecosystem services in the Alps.
By: CIPRA International
 
We breathe, eat, drink, enjoy, experience… nature provides us with a variety of services. We usually do not think about it, but all we need for life depends on a healthy natural environment and the services it provides. The objective of the AlpES project is to achieve a common understanding of the concept of ecosystem services in the Alpine Space and to equip public bodies, interest groups, researchers and economic players with tools that can help them identify, assess and manage ecosystems services on a transnational basis.
 
Now, with one-third of the project completed, the
AlpES project partners, joined by some of their project observers, met for the third time in December 2016 in order to share and discuss the first project results. Following a successful kick-off meeting in Bozen/Bolzano (Italy) and first project meeting in Ljubljana (Slovenia), this time the meeting took place in Innsbruck (Austria), in the heart of the Alps! The meeting was hosted by our Austrian partner from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Innsbruck (UIBK). 
 
To find out more about how the AlpES project partners aim to achieve our goals, please visit our website
here! or follow on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to AlpES project newsletter here.
YOUrALPS: Educating youth for the Alps – The Interreg Alpine Space project is launched!
By: Alparc
 
The Interreg Alpine Space project YOUrALPS was launched in Chambéry (France) on 18-19 January in occasion of the kick-off meeting. ALPARC leads the project in close cooperation with 12 Project Partners from 6 Alpine Countries. The 13 project partners take up the challenge to raise youth awareness on Alpine natural and cultural heritage which has a lot to offer in terms of economic and social opportunities.
 
The aims of the three-year project are to give structure to the field of mountain oriented education throughout the Alps and incorporate the values and knowledge of mountains and the Alps more fully in practices but also in educational curricula. Thanks to exchanges, training, workshops and trials in pilot sites the project partner of YOUrALPS will create an “Alpine school model”. YOUrALPS will create new opportunities for youth and increase their empowerment and engagement in the Alpine territory, to better shape their future.
Further info
Euromontana launched its 2016 European Charter for Mountain Quality Food Products
By: Euromontana
 
Euromontana is delighted to present the 2016 European Charter for Mountain Quality Food Products. The Charter is the next step in over fifteen years of work by Euromontana to promote the preservation and valorisation of mountain quality food products. We invite you to join us in supporting mountain products by signing the Charter at this
link. The Charter is a tool to mobilize a range of actors at all levels around concrete actions that further the promotion and valorisation of mountain food products. This includes, for example, for regions to adopt legislation that favours mountain products, for producers to use the mountain product optional quality term, and for consumers to purchase mountain products. The Charter also calls for specific actions from the European Union, including to launch calls for proposals targeting explicitly mountain quality food products, to increase attention paid to farming systems, such as those in mountain areas, that deliver ecosystem services. Finally, the Charter encourages both producers and consumers to take an active role in mountain products promotion and valorisation. Our hope is to build an environment conducive to the production of mountain products. We hope you will join us by signing the Charter now.
How to reinforce the provision of ecosystem services in mountain areas?
 
The Horizon 2020
PEGASUS project (Public Ecosystem Goods And Services from agriculture and forestry: Unlocking the Synergies) aims to transform approaches to rural land management by unlocking the synergies between economic, social and environmental benefits provided by agriculture and forestry. To do so, PEGASUS partners explored the issues faced by local stakeholders in ensuring the effective provision of environmental and social benefits in 34 different case studies (different ‘social-ecological systems’). Ten of these case studies deal more particularly with mountain areas and several of them are in the Alps: in Austria, Italy, Slovenia, etc. You can read more here  with the results of these case studies.
Infopoint Mojstrana
 
Slovenian Alpine Museum recently hosted interesting lecture about rural life in the Upper Sava valley in the 18th and 19th centuries. The area of the Upper Sava Valley is a vast and diverse one and, according to the Gams’s landscape-ecological classification, also includes the alpine valley of the Sava Dolinka River.
 
Farming methods, cultivation and extent of land and food production in first half of 19th century, which are reflected in cadastral maps of Habsburg empire, were represented by PhD Alenka Kačičnik Gabrič, archivist at the Archives of the Republic of SloveniaLecture and presentation of themed issue of Kronika, review for Slovenian local history From the history of Zgornja Gorenjska, illuminates themes common also to protocols of the Alpine convention, like mountain farming, mountain forest, population and transport in Alpine convention Infopoint Mojstrana area.
 
The list contains events organized in the framework of the Alpine Convention, as well as by Partners. Please bear in mind that this list may not be exhaustive. Updated list is available on the webpage of the Alpine Convention.
 
April
 
3-4 April Meetings of the EnvALP working group of the Zurich process Bern, Switzerland
4-6 April 63. meeting of the Permanent Committee Bolzano, Italy
5 April Infopoint Mojstrana: workshop baking bread in furnace and making of butter in churn Mojstrana, Slovenia
18-19 April Conference: The role of women in mountain regions Alpbach, Austria
21 April Infopoint Mojstrana: Muzejski večer: Pia Peršič in Andrej Martinčič, V hribe s kolesom – predstavitev slovenske turno-kolesarske poti Mojstrana, Slovenia
25 April Workshop “Spatial development and sustainable development Protocol of the Alpine Convention” (organised by CIPRA Austria and the Institute for Public Law, State and Administration studies of the Innsbruck University) Salzburg, Austria
27-28 April Working Group Forest meeting Tolmezzo, Italy


May
4-5 May Meeting of the Transport Working Group Vienna, Austria
11 May Greening the Economy in the Alpine Region – Alpine-wide Conference
 
Rosenheim, Germany
18 May 10. Österreichischer Radgipfel Wörgl, Austria
 
June
5 June – 6 July Exhibition on the Alpine Convention and RSA6 Infopoint Chamonix-Argentière, France
 
8-9 June Meeting of the Action Group6 EUSALP Carinthia, Austria 
13-14 June Platform Mountain Agriculture meeting Vienna, Austria
20 June Working Group MRS meeting Vienna, Austria
21-22 June Ecological Network Platform meeting Grenoble, France
23-24 June Conference: Pontresina Il futuro delle regioni a forte sviluppo turistico – più di un semplice modello di business Pontresina, Switzerland
25 June – 3 July We are Alps tour Alps
29-30 June Arge Alp Conference of Heads of Government Lautrach, Germany
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