Is it possible to make the Alps  climate-neutral and resilient by 2050? The Permanent Secretary of the Alpine Convention lays out concrete actions for the Alpine region to turn this objective reality in its new publication "Climate-Neutral and Climate-Resilient Alps 2050". The publication highlights three central policies, coming from the 25th Alpine Convention: The Declaration of Innsbruck, the Alpine Climate Target System 2050 and the 7th Report on the State of the Alps “Natural Hazard Risk Governance”.  The Alpine Climate Target System 2050, prepared by the Alpine Climate Board over the last two years, describes specific actions that must be taken under 12 different sectors to protect the Alps from climate change. The 7th Report on the State of the Alps describes the future for natural hazard risk governance. 

The Alpine Convention’s new publication calls for the Contracting Parties to prioritize climate change action and policies to preserve the Alps’ natural heritage. These targets showcase the Alps as being a model for international cooperation and its role in climate change adaptation and mitigation

The publication “Climate-Neutral and Climate-resilient Alps 2050" is available in English, French, Italian, German and Slovenian

Published in News from the Alps

A First in France: the Col du Palet refuge, in the Vanoise National Park/F, is going to adopt the use of hydrogen to manage its energy.

In June the Col du Palet refuge, set in an exceptional, wild location in the Vanoise National Park, will adopt the use of hydrogen for its energy management. This is an unprecedented event in France! It is a very important step forward in the field of sustainable energy concerning the Alpine areas and the enhancement of the use of renewable resources.

The energy currently used by the refuge is supplied by solar panels, a form of energy that is already   clean and respects the environment. However, the energy produced by the photovoltaic panels throughout the year is, unfortunately, wasted for lack of a means of storage. That is the reason behind the idea of using hydrogen technology, as this makes it possible to optimise the production and long-term storage of solar energy. Indeed, according to Stéphane Martin, technician in the Vanoise National Park, “Hydrogen technologies are first and foremost a fantastic means of storing electrical energy and redistributing it cleanly by avoiding the emission of greenhouse gases.”

The Col du Palet refuge, situated at an altitude of 2,600m and difficult to access, will therefore be able to benefit from this technique and use previously stored energy at periods of peak energy consumption. In short: less waste and more positive effects on the environment.

The project is largely financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and, if it is successful, other refuges in the National Park will adopt the same energy management system. In this context, ALPARC will step in to communicate and facilitate the transfer of experience and skills to the other managers of refuges in the Alps.

The common aim of all these actors is to promote energy innovation in order to develop and materialise new eco responsible systems.

Enclosed: Press release of the NP Vanoise

Today, on 22nd May we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity. Read our statement on this important occasion:

Biodiversity – Alpine Convention – Protected Areas – Alps

Linking nature – Biodiversity needs connectivity

In order to preserve its extraordinary biodiversity the Alps need, even more than other regions, ecological connectivity because of their specific topography and high degree of fragmentation in the main alpine valleys.

Protected areas play a key role in protecting alpine biodiversity and ecological processes, less so if they are isolated between intensively used spaces. Often they do have “de facto” an important role of consultation or mediation for their periphery area.

Giving more weight to this role and to promote the exchange between local stakeholders and experts of the protected areas can only be beneficiary for both: good local governance of ecological processes and for biodiversity itself.

We recognize the important role of the protected areas within the process of the establishment of ecological continuums in the Alps by linking the protected areas through adequate measures and by a stronger involvement of local populations.

 

 

Markus Reiterer, Secretary General of the Alpine Convention;

Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Vet. Chris Walzer (Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Vienna), lead partner of EU Alpine Space projects about ecological connectivity;

Guido Plassmann (Director ALPARC, Network of alpine protected areas), coordinating the international cooperation between alpine protected areas

Tuesday, 30 December 2008 01:00

2008: a big year for ecological networks

 2008 was a very important year for ecological networks in the Alps. Here is a brief overview of everything that has been done :

Ecological Continuum project: pre-project phase complete

After 17 months of intensive work during the pre-project phase, the four partners (CIPRA, ISCAR, the WWF and ALPARC) have presented the results that will form the foundations for moving ahead with the practical work on ecological networks in the Alps.
The methodology for establishing ecological networks was out together by a range of scientific experts and has now been finalised and published. The methodology is available at www.alpine-ecological-network.org . The catalogue of measures will also be available soon.

Theoretical basis defined, now for implementation on the ground 

The pilot areas in Austria and Switzerland have already held initial meetings with the key local contributors and activities have now begun in the regions. Meetings with the stakeholders in Germany are due to be held in the near future. In France, the Isère département has begun the operational phase of its large-scale project to recreate biological corridors in the Grésivaudan valley, which includes installing special "animals crossing "warning signs at key points on the road network, alterations to water plants, major awareness-raising campaigns, and more.

A trans-European project

The Alpine Space programme — a European Territorial Cooperation programme — has approved a project proposal with a budget of over EUR 3 million on this subject. The official launch of the ECONNECT project was held in Vienna in early November 2008 (see article ).

Alpine Convention activities

The German presidency of the ecological network platform of the Alpine Convention has commissioned consultants to devise selection criteria to identify potential pilot Alpine sites for the creation of ecological network projects. In January 2009, France will take over the presidency of the platform for two years (to end-2010).

Taking shape…

As you can see, 2008 was a very fruitful year for ecological networks. Not only have we been able to establish a common approach and vision for the Alps, we have also put the first few pieces of the Alpine ecological network in place. We hope that 2009 will be equally productive, so that we can see even more of the bigger picture emerge.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011 02:00

AlpWeek produces tangible results

 An example of how trans-Alpine meetings can mark the beginning of beautiful new partnerships.

The 2008 AlpWeek held in Argentière la Bessée in France entitled "innovating (in) the Alps" provided an opportunity to compare a range of innovative Alpine initiatives, including the Achental Eco-Model (Germany).

Following the presentation, news of the Achental model for sustainable tourism and energy reached the ears of the Trièves regional land-use planning body (SAT) in France. The two areas got together and two years later are now partners in the EU BioRegions project, which was launched in May 2010 as part of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme.
Eleven partners from different rural areas in Europe are involved in the project, which focuses on identifying and sharing methods and good practice. The project seeks to promote the development of so-called bioregions – areas that aim to obtain at least one-third of their energy needs from local and sustainable bioenergy sources.

This is just one example among many which proves that our international thematic events bring together stakeholders from different Alpine regions and can genuinely enhance cooperation and practical action on the ground.

For more information about the BioRegions project, go to http://www.bioregions.eu/

Source: CIPRA France

Published in News from the Alps

 Based on interviews with 21 alpine protected areas, the report “Renewable energies in Alpine protected areas” shows the conflicts between the protection and the use regarding the production of renewable energies as well as possible strategies. The study has been elaborated by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (SAS) with the support of the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC) and has been funded by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

In the parks, which have been analysed, the majority of conflicts is caused by wind and water power. Regarding the use of water power, the more severe legislation will reduce the potential for conflicts in particular what concerns residual flow, hydro-peaking and river dynamics. Furthermore, the increasing demands lead to new conflicts. Wind turbines generally encounter resistance from landscape conservation organisations. The potential conflict of photovoltaic and biomass is currently lower; however, it will probably grow with the increasing demand for renewable energies.  

 There is no remedy that applies to all parks, it’s depending on the potential of conflicts and the need for action varies. Thus, only some of the parks would prefer stricter rules and the question about energy targets or concepts are judged differently. Regardless of the path that a park chooses to follow, it will be unavoidable to deal with the topic.

The report, available in a trilingual uncutted version and a concise version in German, French or Italian, can be downloaded at:

www.parkforschung.ch

Thursday, 19 September 2013 02:00

Towards carbon neutral buildings

ALPSTAR seminary: "The municipalities as constructor : Towards carbon neutral buildings"

One key to solving the climate problem can be found in the building sector: private households in the Alps are responsible for over one third of final energy consumption.

Significantly reducing CO2 emissions and improving the quality of life must therefore be achieved through energy-efficient restoration with the use of ecological materials. The appropriate rules are also determined by the cities in which some two thirds of the Alpine population live.

The focus of the workshop being held on 19 September 2013 in Gap, France, is on the municipalities as clients for construction projects. How should they build? Where are the greatest challenges? How can a municipality persuade its residents of the need for energy-efficient restoration and building works? Some of the answers are provided by the "Alpine Towns of the Year" of Bozen/Bolzano in Italy and Sonthofen in Germany.

More information

Registration

 Voyage d'étude: inscriptions ouvertes

Construire et rénover durable au Liechtenstein et au Vorarlberg

CIPRA International et CIPRA Slovenija ont le plaisir de vous inviter au voyage d'étude sur la "construction durable" qui aura lieu au Liechtenstein et au Vorarlberg (Autriche) du 7 au 9 Novembre 2013. Construction intelligente, rénovation, efficacité énergétique, impact écologique des matériaux, aménagement du territoire : de nombreuses thématiques seront illustrées lors de visites de bâtiments.

Une occasion de visiter des bâtiments hors du commun et d'échanger avec des architectes, ingénieurs et décideurs locaux, mais aussi avec d'autres participants de tous les pays alpins.

Visites et discussions en allemand, traduction simultanée en slovène, traduction simultanée en français si assez de participants.

Cliquez ici pour plus d'information

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 01:00

International conference on renewable energies

 The Alps have great potential for the use of renewable energy. This, however, means increasing pressures on nature. How much energy in the Alps is currently generated from wind and hydropower, from biomass and solar sources? How much is theoretically possible, and to what extent is using renewable energies justifiable?

The recharge.green project partners are at present working flat out to find answers to these questions. They will present the first results during the

 

International conference on renewable energies of the recharge.green project

and discuss with experts and interested parties. Below you will find the conference programme. 

La première édition du salon EnergiCîmes est organisée par le Parc du Massif des Bauges,

en collaboration avec l’ASDER, PRIORITERRE, les organisations professionnelles, TENERRDIS et l’INES et la commune de Lescheraines.

Les thèmes sont: les économies d’énergies dans l’habitat et le transport, les énergies renouvelables et l’éco-construction adaptées aux spécificités du PNR du massif des Bauges