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Claude Dautrey, Director of the Reception & Communication service, Parc national des Ecrins

  "It is the sense of personal adventure that has really impressed me: meeting a team of young people with a great project is a wonderful thing. We have addressed all the key issues: we have created a visual identity, set up a photo library and begun to communicate. There is a great deal of creative and intellectual pleasure in starting from a blank page.
Fifteen years on, we have organised major international conferences and discussions on topical issues, such as ecological corridors and local development in the mountains. I always think about the tiny core that we started from and what we are now: [...] a collective intelligence, with the pleasure of being able to consider things together.Looking back,I also realise that we got it right."

"At the very outset, I thought that the Alps were French. Through ALPARC, we have learned that we share the same mountain culture, even though we speak different languages. Languages serve to enhance the sense of space. I hadn't realised how much Alpine culture was also an integral part of the German-speaking world – that really took me by surprise back then. It turned out that we were not the epicentre of the Alps, far from it. That was a valuable lesson which opened up new horizons and has taught me humility, which has been vital."

"I have learned a great deal, as was the case on the field trip to visitor centres. I realise that we have a shared culture. We thought that all visitor centres would essentially be the same, but we encountered innovations and surprises, which gave us new ideas and the necessary impetus not to do the same, but rather to innovate, to adopt new concepts and reinvent our own projects."

"[...] through ALPARC, we have learned about countries that are nothing but mountains (Switzerland and Austria). Our day-to-day problems are a national issue there: it turns out that these issues are not nearly as trivial as you might think. It is incredibly useful to work alongside countries where the mountains are the subject of wide-ranging discussions."

Claude Dautrey