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Involving and empowering Youth in nature conservation is becoming increasingly important. ALPARC itself is deeply convinced that young people participation is one fundamental tool to contribute to the preservation of the Alpine natural and cultural heritage. 

To all our young public:

  • Do you want to "pitch your project" in order to contribute to the sustainable development of the Alpine territory?
  • Are you between 16 and 25 and live in one of the Alpine countries?
  • Do you have an innovative idea for a project to shape a sustainable future for your territory?
  • Than submit your project idea before October 31st!

If your project is selected not only you will be able to present it to the EUSALP Annual Forum but you might also win up to 5.000€ for its implementation.

What are you waiting for? Submit your project by October 31st!

Published in News from the Alps
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 09:04

Final Event Destination Parks

The final event of Destination Parks will take place on September 11, 2019 in Bern Switzerland.

The results of the projects will be presented along with some outstanding good practice examples, before exploring further ways to move ahead on the development of a common alpine strategy on the future development and promotion of sustainable toursim in protected areas.

Please find the programme here.

Published in Events of ALPARC

The Parco Naturale Prealpi Giulie is now recognized by UNESCO as a new Biosphere Reserve. Biosphere Reserves are designated by national governments and then recognized by UNESCO under its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, which promotes sustainable development. Earlier this month, the MAB gave the park the status of a Biosphere Reserve, acknowledging the site’s natural value and the park’s activities associated to sustainability such its eco-museums. This internationally recognized status is only given to sites that are successful in connecting conservation, development, and learning. The president of the park, Andrea Beltrame, states that the park has been working since 2011 to earn this status and that it will help them with future actions aimed at reconnecting humans to nature. 

What is a Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere reserves are “Science for Sustainability support sites” where innovative approaches to sustainable development, resource management, and interactions between nature and society can be tested. They are places of reconciliation of natural and cultural diversity with economic and social development. 

Biosphere reserves are made up of three zones: 1. Core areas for the preservation of landscapes, ecosystems and biodiversity; 2. A Buffer zone which surrounds the core area and reinforces scientific research, monitoring, and education; and 3. A Transition area for economic and human development to take place in a way that is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable. 

For more info:

This was the emblematic title of the French Nature Reserves’ 38th Congress that was entirely dedicated to a new way of managing protected areas in order to adapt to climate change.
When it comes to climate change the Alps are particularly effected. The French Nature Reserve (RNF) Congress, that took place in Le-Mônetier-les-Bains/Serre-Chevalier (France), carried out an extensive program over four days (from June 4th - 8th, 2019), starting with the official launch of the European project Pitem Biodivalp and concluding with on-site visits to surrounding protected areas.
The Congress had a technical approach with the general objective of raising awareness and inciting participants to take on the issues of climate change and its effects through managing protected areas in an innovative and climate resilient way.

During the Congress, the General Assembly of RNF took place allowing all the network members to discuss internal issues. Moreover, field activities to discover biodiversity in the nearby protected areas along with their climate change adapted management were organised. All of the outcomes of the conference were presented in a closing plenary opened to all participants.
Alparc took an active role in the session dedicated to exchanges within protected area networks and the RNF. It also attended the thematic session in order to enhance its knowledge on climate change and to gather some useful information on the degree of adaptation that can be implemented in protected areas.

Under the pression of the global phenomenon, protected areas have a fundamental role to play - enhancing nature as a strong measure to adapt to climate change.


More information at:

Mont Avic Natural Park, as part of the 30th anniversary of its foundation, promoted a study day entitled "Management of protected areas and ecosystem services - interactions and synergies with EMAS" dedicated to analyzing the synergies between the planning tools of protected areas, ecosystem services and EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme). The event was sponsored by the Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA) and the Comitato per l'Ecolabel e l'Ecoaudit, who is responsible for issuing EMAS registration in Italy.

The day featured a discussion on the quantification of ecosystem services, a complex process that requires a multidisciplinary approach due to the variety of services it provides and for its multidimensional value. This discussion was held in light of the concept ‘Ecosystem Services Payment’, first introduced into Italian national legislation in 2015 and whose beneficiaries include municipalities, protected areas and organizations that work in the collective management of common goods.

The evaluations concerning ecosystem services are of great relevance in protected areas. Mont Avic Natural Park, together with Gran Paradiso National Park and other protected areas, were recently involved in a test action, promoted by Federparchi and ISPRA. The goal of this action was to recognize EMAS registration as an objective tool contributing to the maintenance and provision of ecosystem services. Its results were presented during the study day and will later be published as part of the 2019 annual update of the EMAS Environmental Declaration, available on the EMAS page of the institutional website.

During the day, the Mont Avic Natural Park also presented the contents of the new Spatial Management Plan, which came into force in 2018, and explicitly recognizes the Environmental Management System (according to EMAS Regulation) as an operational tool.

The event ended with a viewing of the video "Summary of the EMAS 2018-2021 Environmental Declaration of the Mont Avic Natural Park", available here on YouTube. The video won ‘best multimedia product’ on May 25th, during the EMAS Italia 2019 Awards.

To request guest speakers’ speeches from the event, please write to:

How to make learning approaches interactive and at the same time, effectively implement the principles of Mountain-oriented Education in school activities? These problems, including the active involvement of students in field actions, were faced during the development of the Alpine School Model - one of the main outputs of the YOUrALPS project. Under this project, the Alpine school App was developed, a practical pedagogical tool supporting the theoretical approach of the Alpine School Model.


The App

The interactive Alpine school App allows learners and educators to directly observe nature all along its life cycle. The user can describe and upload Mountain-oriented educational activities carried out all over the Alps as well. The App can be used as the perfect complement to in-class lessons in order to explore the issues related to Alpine sustainable development. It also favors exchanges among all the users, who can share their experiences and observations.

How does it work?
The App is ready-to-use. Its main function is ‘add spot’, making it possible to choose between three pillars: Observation of the Environment, Governance and Socio-Economic.
The first category consists of the phenological observation1 of fauna, flora and weather. It allows the user not only to upload pictures and descriptions of plants and animals all along their life cycle, but also to collect and share information on the weather such as recording particularly hot days for instance. The final objective is to create a common database with all the observations. This is a powerful tool to understand nature life cycle and to understand the vulnerability of nature and to enhance its protection.
With regard to Governance, this category allows users to share educational activities. It is dedicated to all those activities that deal with the sustainable development of the Alpine region.
Finally, under the Socio-Economic pillar users can record places where it is possible to consume sustainably, from shops to restaurants and local markets.


To download and use the App:
Computer or laptop:


1 Wikipedia definition of phenology: Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors (such as elevation).




Published in News from the Alps

A new management plan for the preservation of the biodiversity in the Ristolas Mont Viso National Nature Reserve has been finalised. The Queyras Regional Nature Park, the managing authority of the Natural Reserve, has produced a massive 405 paged plan presenting a program based on 100 actions aiming to enhance life and biodiversity in the protected area within the next 10 years.

The experience gathered from the previous management plan of 2014-2018 allowed the agents of the natural reserve, with the support of the Scientific Board of the Queyras Park, to elaborate a more structured plan that is mostly based on the knowledge of the natural patrimony of the protected area. This second plan updates the Fauna Flora Habitats inventories plan, highlighting the high quantity of biodiversity within the nature reserve.

05 Isatis allioni

A management plan built on the knowledge of natural heritage 

Thanks to the work of the park agents and of the Scientific Board, 30 new habitats were classified in the Queyras wetlands. Moreover, in regards to wildlife, if the number of mammals, birdsand reptile species remained stable, 478 new species of insects were inventoried. Concerning Flora, 130 more taxa were identified and classified than in the previous project's inventory (Management Plan 1). This included some species like the Pastel of the Alps, which are only found in the town of Abriès-Ristolas; a fact that underlines the responsibility of the park managers in preserving this rare biodiversity.  The management plan also identifies the priority for the protection of certain endangered species: 33 for flora, 15 for vertebrate fauna

Conservation challenges

The conservation issues remain the same as for the previous Plan. They relate to visitor management, habitat and species conservation, information and knowledge sharing, the promotion of applied scientific research to management, and the administration and governance of wildlife and nature reserve. In this scenario, monitoring the impact of human activities is very important as well as observing climatic evolutions.


Some actions have already been launched. For instance, a collaboration with the French Alpine Club and the refuge of Viso  will reduce the impact of the economic and touristic use of the site as the installation of a hydroelectric power station and waste management system are on the agenda.

For further information:


More than one hundred people interested in education for sustainable development participated in the international conference “Learning and Networking for sustainable development in the Alps” from May 14th to 15th.  The conference marked the beginning of a new form of education as the Alpine School Model and the international network on mountain-oriented education ‘OurAlps’ were presented for the first time.


The Alpine School Model as a tool to empower young people

‘Educate youth in the sense of mountain-oriented education for a sustainable future in the Alps’ - this is the motto of the approach promoted by the Alpine School Model which is based on the basic principles of educating on sustainable development. Moreover, the innovative approach includes outdoor learning, interdisciplinarity methods and aims at integrating non-formal approaches into formal education in order to re-connect youth to their mountain territory.

After a presentation of the approach by several pilot sites, the future of the Model and its integration in formal education curricula was debated during a roundtable involving official representatives from Italy, Austria, France and Slovenia. For example, in Italy the so-called “Reti di scopo”, several local networks made up of schools and other institutions, may manage the certification process of Alpine schools and their partners in the future. Also, in Austria, the Alpine school model will be implemented in the Burgenland region in order to ensure further dissemination and promotion. Promising remarks were expressed by the Minister for Environment and Climate of the Lombardy Region, who hopes that the Alpine school model will support the necessary changes towards a culture of sustainable development.


Press Release Mello

OurAlps network: connecting alpine students and educators
The second big conference input involved the presentation of OurAlps, the international network on Mountain-oriented Education in the Alps, which aims to bring together stakeholders from different domains to allow for exchanges to occur on the Alpine level. Its characteristics and future perspectives were discussed together with representatives from different international and national associations such as Alplab, Alpine Town of the Year, Umweltdachverband and the WEEC network. In this context, it also became clear that thinking outside the box and considering the inclusion of periurban areas may be highly important for an Alpine approach to mountain-oriented education.

On the second conference day, three workshops were organised allowing participants to engage in deeper discussions. While the workshop on the Alpine School Model allowed for the public to discover what the Model is about in practice, the workshop on the OurAlps network encouraged the development of future scenarios. Finally, the workshop on Climate Change and Biodiversity gave the participants a possibility to dive into thematical discussions.

For more information on the project YOUrALPS and its outputs:
OurAlps network:
Facebook: YOUrALPS
Twitter: @YOUrALPS

Published in International news

The quiet off-season and welcoming Bavarian village of Balderschwang was the host of ALPARC’s latest Council meeting on April 12th and 13th 2019.

The official launch of ALPARC’s new regional platform, ALPARC Centr’alps, was the main topic of the first session of the meeting. The new platform’s aim is to be closer to the protected areas located in the central Alps, to develop new and innovative projects and exchanges and to increase the involvement of new members.

The second session of the meeting was dedicated to the discussions on ALPARC’s overall programme and how to enhance new projects, especially in regards to which strategic positions should be taken on several international guiding topics (as Climate Change, etc). The schedule was thus divided into a general roundtable discussion on ALPARC’s strategy. Two thematic workshops were organized : one focusing on the elaboration of the 2020-2022 ALPARC programme, and the other on a common event to celebrate the ALPARC’s 25th anniversary project within the framework of 2020 IUCN Conference in Marseille.

The next ALPARC council meeting will be held on September 12th and 13th, 2019, in Zernez, Switzerland.

French presidency of the Alpine convention

The XV Alpine Conference in Innsbruck, Austria marked the end of the Austrian presidency of the Alpine Convention. During its 2-and-a-half-year leadership, the Austrian presidency focused on climate change under the theme “protection and utilization” of the Alps. The conference, which took place during the first week of April, highlighted some achievements made over the past few years and the hopes for the future. The presidency was then passed on to France, who will make a thematic shift to air quality, biodiversity and water issues. The following actions will be put in place to address these topics: an ad hoc group alpine convention 2on air quality has been established on June 4-5 in Paris. Concerning water issues, the French presidency will collaborate with the Annecy agglomeration (FR) since the city has expressed its commitment and it will be the site of a conference on this topic in October 2019. Moreover, going off of the June 2018 national biodiversity plan, France will continue to address biodiversity in the Alpine region in addition to hosting the IUCN World Congress on Nature Conservation in June 2020 in Marseille.


New Secretary General Appointed

The 6-year mandate of the current Secretary General Markus Reiterer has come to an end. Alenka Smerkol of Slovenia, who has experience in international business and financial management and has served as the minister responsible for development, strategic projects and cohesion for the Slovenian government will be taking over in July 2019. ALPARC wish to thank Secretary General Markus Reiter for the intensive and fruitful cooperation and support during these years and wishes the new Secretary General a fruitful and intense cooperation with the Alpine Network of Protected Areas.


Declaration of Innsbruck “Climate-neutral and Climate-resilient Alps 2050”

This declaration reconfirms the Contracting Parties’ commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation. It highlights the conventions’ role to raise awareness about specific themes relating to climate change. The report was created by the Alpine Climate Board and it lays out specific target actions around 12 sectors to achieve climate neutrality. The declaration also includes the 7th Report on the State of the Alps which focuses on natural hazard risk governance.


The Alpine region commits to soil protection and sustainable land use

Commitments on many levels have already been made to protect the soil (e.g. European Soil Charter). However, a commitment was not made by the Alpine region until this year during the XV Alpine Conference when the 2018 EUSALP Action Group 6’s declaration on land use and soil protection was recognized. This showed the Alpine region’s commitment to protect this key natural resource.


Results of the Thematic working Bodies of the Alpine convention

Alpine convention newletter 3







From 2016-2019, Thematic Working Bodies have been working to fulfill their mandates approved during the XIV Alpine Convention. Numerous publications were released under these working groups, in areas such as Natural hazards, Water management in the Alps, Sustainable Tourism, and Mountain Forests. These working bodies are the 'thematic core' of the Alpine convention, producing knowledge and information that guide decision making processes within the Convention. The XV Alpine Conference highlighted much of the work done by the Thematic Working Bodies over the past few years.


Talking with youth

Representatives invited the delegates of the Youth Parliament to the take part in the conference. For the first time, students from the parliament actively participated in the conference table, expressing the need for urgent action on climate change in order to protect the environment for future generations.


AlpWeek Intermezzo

What will the Alps look like tomorrow? What do we want them to look like? These questions were the central theme of the AlpWeek Intermezzo, which took place simultaneously as the XV Alpine Conference. During the first day of the event, guest speakers presented three issues concerning the future of the Alpine region: 1. sustainable protection measures through mapping and limiting land use; 2. the consequences and reactions to climate change; and 3. new forms of transportation to help Alpine populations without further expanding road networks. On the second day of the conference, the past and present situation of the Alps were presented as well as a variety of projects aiming for a better future in the Alps.

For more info see:

convention alpine small

Published in News from the Alps