You are here:Events»Events of ALPARC»Displaying items by tag: Education

The next meeting of the ALPARC working group “Mountain environmental education”  will take place on  21st and 22nd October 2014  at the brand new visitors center (Haus der Berge) of the Berchtesgaden National Park in the Bavarian Alps.

Are you dealing with education topics in your protected area? Are you a member of the Working group “education” of ALPARC or do you wish to network at alpine level in this field? Register now at the ALPARC Workshop, some places are still available !

Find the program, the registration form and practical information for download here.

The workshop aims to exchange experiences and new ideas between members of protected area in charge of education activities coming from France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Slovenia. 

During the workshop the group will mainly focus on ongoing activities and projects:  development and production of a common pedagogical tool for activities on the field,  the development of a common alpine event project to bring young people into the mountain and the  development of a larger common alpine project for the 2015 calls.

The main aim of each ALPARC working group is the sharing of competence, tools and experiences for the development of common creations, afterward at the disposal of all the protected area in the ALPARC network.

If you are in charge of environment education in an Alpine protected area and interested in the activities of this group open to all, please do not hesitate to contact us!

3 logos organisateurs




"Cette journée passée à Grenoble a été vraiment motivante pour moi. Je ne me rendais pas compte que des structures existaient pour nous donner la parole au niveau alpin. Mais surtout, rencontrer d'autres jeunes avec les mêmes préoccupations et avec la volonté de faire bouger la situation m'a vraiment donné envie de me plonger à fond dans ce projet. J'espère que notre travail donnera à d'autres jeunes la motivation pour s'investir et même mettre en application leurs propres idées ! "

Rémy, jeune participant

Le projet Youth Alpine Dialogue est un projet en réseau qui participe au processus de définition de l’avenir des Alpes. Le projet est coordonné par CIPRA International, et en France, il est relayé par CIPRA France, le REEMA et ALPARC. Il doit permettre aux jeunes de participer à la politique au niveau international et local, de s'engager activement sur les questions de développement durable et de présenter leurs propres réflexions au sein d’organismes internationaux. A moyen terme, le projet fournira les bases d’un réseau pour la participation des jeunes et pour l’éducation à la montagne dans l’arc alpin.


Environ 30 jeunes issus de 6 pays alpins (Autriche, France, Italie, Liechtenstein, Slovénie, Suisse) participent actuellement à ce projet, qui a pour but princiapl de fournir un cadre pour une participation à long terme de la jeunesse à la vie des Alpes.

Vendredi 30 mai 2014, venus de toutes les Alpes françaises, les jeunes (4 jeunes de 15 à 19 ans et 2 jeunes adultes encadrants, de 20 à 30 ans) se sont retrouvés à Grenoble pour leur première rencontre. L'occasion de faire connaissance et de s'approprier le premier thème choisi au niveau international "La mobilité dans les Alpes".

Pour illustrer le sujet, Frédi Meignan, président de Mountain Wilderness, est venu présenter l'opération Mobilité douce. Il a aussi discuté avec les jeunes de la mobilisation citoyenne des acteurs de la montagne aujourd'hui. Les deux jeunes « coachs », qui revenaient tout juste d'une formation internationale au Liechtenstein, ont ensuite animé le groupe afin de choisir une problématique commune pour les Alpes françaises. Ce sera "La mobilité locale en montagne : l'accès aux biens et services des habitants d'une vallée ou d'un massif". La motivation des jeunes présents, leur participation active à l'animation et aux discussions et la qualité des échanges sont des signes très encourageants pour la suite du projet !

Les prochaines actions ? Des interviews par les jeunes 15-19 ans (personnalité politique, représentant de la société civile, autres jeunes, etc.), la production de courtes vidéos et des propositions concrètes pour développer la mobilité locale en montagne. Rendez-vous cet automne pour découvrir les productions des jeunes!



The first Alparc workshop on the topic "Mountain Environmental Education in Alpine Protected Areas" took place on 19th and 20th October 2010 in Zernez, in the Swiss National Park.
It was co-organised with the Swiss National Park and with the REEMA (Alpine Network for Mountain Environmental Education). The participants of this ALPARC working group are mainly staff in charge of environmental education in the Alpine protected areas.

Published in ALPARC Events Gallery

In the course of the collaboration between ALPARC and REEMA (Alpine Mountain Environment Education Network, which covers the French Alps), we realised that we needed a better understanding of the practices and programmes associated with education about the mountain environment in other Alpine protected areas.

 In 2008, we began the first review of all such programmes, focussing primarily on innovation. We identified around 40-odd heads of unit responsible for this area to whom we sent a short, 10-point questionnaire. We have received around 20 responses so far from five Alpine countries.

The compendium is made up of summary factsheets: currently all the documents are available in French and English and some are also available in the relevant national language. Each factsheet includes a contact name and website.

For example, you can learn what a park school is, or find out about mixed-age walks, junior rangers, climate education or the game "following the tracks of the wolf". The compendium is available online at (under Our actions, Environmental education and awareness-raising ). 

 Of course, the aim is to promote discussion of different experiences within the network. So this is just the beginning: the members of REEMA have already found the results useful and work will continue in 2009 so as to keep on adding to the compendium.

In 2010 we plan to hold the first meeting of environmental education officers.

We would be delighted to hear about your experiences. Contact Marie Stoeckel for more information or to request a copy of the 10-point questionnaire (available in all four Alpine languages). 

In response to global warming, the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria has decided to lead by example. Working together with political decision-makers, the Park's Mittersill visitor centre (Salzburg) is expanding its environmental education programme. The National Park Climate Change School project is designed to teach children and young people how to respect the natural world.

Building on the environmental education formula of experience + knowledge = informed action, young people are shown a wheel of time that indicates how the climate has changed over the last few thousand of years and its impact on the Pasterze glacier. The commentary also refers to the large block of ice housed in the visitor centre. Schoolchildren who visit the National Park are taught about a wide range of climate issues in the purpose-built Science Centre . The Science Centre has its own weather station which can be used to compare meteorological date and thereby demonstrate the realities of global warming. With the aid of a thermometer, pupils observe the difference in temperature gains when sun shines into a clean or CO2-rich atmosphere.

Many schoolteachers who have brought their students to Hohe Tauern National Park confirm that this educational format is very effective. Around 25,000 schoolchildren from Austria, Germany and Switzerland have taken part in the National Park's environmental education programme. Hopefully, given the scale of the audience, future generations will have a more sustainable view of the natural world.

Source: summary of a Hohe Tauern National Park press release

“The first time I took part in exchanges with the REEMA was at the workshop organised in Zernez during the Alparc meeting. I saw men and women responsible for education on the environment in the protected areas of the Alpine massif. They were gathered around a table and on that table, in pride of place, was an egg.

They spoke about how we need to overcome the fears and apprehensions related to nature by drawing on knowledge and positive feelings; at that point the shell began to crack. Despite language barriers they showed their desire to share their experiences and, as they opened their arms, the bird spread its wings and began to fly. Disregarding borders, it started its journey through the Alpine range, towards that which unites men and shapes the Alpine identity. If you see that bird in the Alpine skies, tell yourself that its journey has hardly begun and that each of us has the choice of deciding whether to follow it or not”...

Frank Miramand, ASTERS - Conservatory of Natural Areas of Haute-Savoie. 

A Motivating First Meeting 

 Several people responsible for education about the environment in the various protected areas in the Alps had the opportunity of meeting for the first time for a workshop dedicated to the theme of their work on 19 and 20 October 2010 alongside the ALPARC General Assembly in the Swiss National Park .

Inscriptions poured in – proof of how important and topical this theme is- and unfortunately some delegates had to be refused (except for protected areas).

Finally 26 people looked into their profession and the possibilities for cooperation on an Alpine scale. The meeting was co-organised with the Reema (Alpine Network for Education about the Mountain Environment), which brings together those responsible for environmental education in the French Alpine protected areas. The other Alpine countries were equally well-represented so that 1/3 of the participants were French, 1/3 Italian and 1/3 German-speaking (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Most importantly, they were all very motivated!  

The Prospects for the Group

 Apart from the primary objective of meeting opposite numbers from other Alpine parks or reserves in order to exchange thoughts about their profession and their experiences, the aim of the meeting was to define together ideas on common actions and projects. The working group thus constituted confirmed its wish to begin collaboration on this theme on an Alpine scale within the framework of ALPARC.

The meeting made it possible to list various working directions and several ideas for actions or more developed projects: participation in the Phénoclim programme , setting up of common teaching tools, pooling of resources, think tanks on educational values ( Alpine identities, mountain culture …), work on the assessment of educational initiatives but also on the recognition of the educational mission inside the parks, etc…

It now remains to define priorities and a working schedule for the group who are notably going to use a collaboration space online which is in the process of being set up. 

Education about the Mountain Environment, an Essential Mission of the Alpine Protected Areas

These exchanges revealed the feeling that there is a lack of consideration for the educational mission inside the protected areas (in most of the countries represented) in comparison with other missions such as research or scientific monitoring. This is often expressed by a lack of human and financial means.

It has become apparent, however, that education about the mountain environment is one of the essential missions of the Alpine protected areas. This is because enabling their inhabitants and visitors, young and old, to discover, feel and experience the mountains and Alpine nature (“educating through the heart and emotions”), is a vital first step towards the respect of this environment! The delegates therefore wished to give a reminder that environment education is a real tool in the protection of nature.

To Join the Working Group

If you are responsible for environmental education in an Alpine protected area, but were not present at this meeting, you can of course join the working group for the continuation of the work: contact

Monday, 13 December 2010 01:00

"Change is the only constant"

That is the opening line of the pocket-sized brochure produced for the new educational trail through the glacier foreland in the Lötschental (Switzerland), but applies equally to the recently opened Wilde John educational walking trail in the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria. Both trails are designed to educate visitors about changes in the landscape, both naturally occurring and those caused by human activity, with the information being conveyed in very different ways and targeting different age groups.

The "Wilde John " path is aimed at young visitors; it teaches through a tale the history of the ‘Johnsbach’. In this tale the mountain stream ‘Johnsbach’ is represented by the Giant John. Visitors follow the stream from its wild and untrammelled youth through being straightened out and tamed between 1950 and 1975, then returned to its natural course as part of a LIFE project and freed from its restraints. The various interactive stations along the course of the stream allow children for example to discover what John is thinking and also provide information about other story-based LIFE project venues in Austria.

The 23 information points on the thematic educational trail on climate and glacier areas explain how the glacier forelands around the Lang Glacier have developed and teach visitors about how glaciers shape the landscape. There are an accompanying free leaflet and booklet available. Each information station includes a QR code that can be used in conjunction with certain mobile phones to view the website which contains information about each station.

The walking trail therefore provides both scientific and recreational information. There are a number of routes to choose from: it takes around 5 hours to visit all 23 information stations. For summer 2011, the edition of a scientific book as well as some worksheets for secondary and high school classes are planned.

Link(s) :

Published in uncategorised

 From the outset this project was stamped with the will to be exemplary... the Park House, situated in the village of La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar has just been awarded the “Tourism and Disability” label for these four types of disability: motor, sight, hearing and mental, to the delight of the entire team who had devoted their energies to this end and who now see their efforts rewarded.

Judge for yourselves: reserved parking spaces, moving walkway access to reception and tactile ramp, tactile model of the whole building , adapted facilities inside the building, access ramps and ramps to visit temporary exhibitions, guide strips on the floor, audio guides, adapted reception furniture, reserved seats in the audiovisual space...

All the single storey exhibition space has been designed to be accessible to all and to cater for all types of visitors in a recreational way. 

Coherent welcoming facilities for disabled people now have to be taken further by working towards the creation of a natural site which can be experienced by these visitors with their infectious enthusiasm. Training in welcoming the disabled is also on the agenda.

Adapted reception facilities, tactile model, audio guides... are some of the accessories adapted for disabled visitors to the Park House.

Source: Parc national des Ecrins press release, complete original version at this link (in French only)

Link(s) :

What is Phénoclim?

Since 2004, the Alpine Ecosystems Research Center (CREA) is running the Phenoclim project, aiming at measuring the effects of climate change on alpine plants phenology. Within the scope of participatory science, Phenoclim is both a scientific and educational program involving various publics (schools, associations, individuals, protected areas) in data collection.

Every spring and autumn, volunteers observe phenology of common plant species and transmit the data (dates of budburst, leafing, flowering, leaf fall etc...) to CREA.

170 study zones are now spread across the Alps. Climate is also monitored through a network of 60 temperature stations .
The objective of this observatory is to expand all over the Alps (also Germany, Austria, Slovenia…), to better take into account the geographical diversity of the whole mountain range.

In the scope of the Working group “Mountain environmental education”, ALPARC and the REEMA support this programme and encourage the Alpine Protected Areas to participate.

How to participate?

The 2011 Phenoclim spring campaign has just started… You are managing one or more alpine protected areas? It’s the perfect time to join the french, italian and swiss protected areas which are already involved in Phenoclim!

You are interested in joining the project?

  1. Register on Phenoclim website
  2. Choose the plants from your study zone
  3. Start your observations according to the Phenoclim protocol

Important: the web interface to register and report data is for the moment only available in French. If you would be interested to register and need an English version, please contact Floriane Macian (below) to express your interest and the CREA will consider the possibility to translate these pages.

If you want to use Phenoclim as an educational tool for schools, don’t hesitate to ask CREA for some tips.

More information:

Floriane Macian (English+French speaking) / / 0033 (0)4 50 53 45 16

Download the presentation leaflet in English


Published in News from the Alps

The project “Equilibri Naturali” is designed to bring children closer to nature.It focuses in particular on addressing current social issues such as obesity, short attention spans and dependency on television and computer games by promoting outdoor experiences through creative activities and a more relaxed pace of life.

 In addition to the opportunity to teach children about sustainability, the outdoor activities help to create a sense of "belonging" to an area. The activities allow children to rediscover the value of interacting with others (playing games, shared outdoor adventures) whilst also improving the way that they learn.

The Natural Balance programme was developed by the Monti Sibillini National Park in Italy and has been implemented by AIDAP (Italian Association of protected area directors and staff). Many Italian protected areas have signed up to the project, including the Belluno Dolomites National Park, which is very actively involved.

Details of the Natural Balance programme and events are available online at the Italian protected areas website ( ).

For further information:

Published in uncategorised