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 Aware of the role young researchers play in the shaping of the future of the Alps, Alpine Convention seeks every year to reward the best master theses of students from different universities from across the Alps, who deal with relevant Alpine topics.

This year’s 4th edition of Young Academics Award is entitled “Sustainable water management in the Alps”: because of the seasonal variations and pollution, water is an endangered resource, but at the same time, it is of crucial importance for people in the Alps.

The particular problems the contest will be focusing on are : conflicting water uses among different sectors, abundance and scarcity of water and efficient water use.

The initiative is lead in collaboration with ISCAR.

Besides the three main prizes, which will be awarded by the Austrian Presidency and the Permanent Secretariat, Alpine Convention’s Infopoints in Domodossola, Gran Paradiso, Morbegno and Tolmin will likewise award the works thematically relevant to their areas. The deadline for applications is May 31st 2018.

You will find more information about the award here.

Published in News from the Alps

The GaYA project aims to increase the quality of democratic processes in the Alpine space by enhancing the inclusion of young people. The first stage of the project focused on an analysis of the situation of participatory democracy and youth participation in the Alpine regions and municipalities. With the support of all the partners, the Institute of Federalism at EURAC carried out a comparative study, including a questionnaire addressed to the Alpine regions (42 out of 48 regions answered) and interviews with 31 cities, towns and rural municipalities. 

A report with the results of this analysis will be presented in a conclusive workshop of the first stage in Bolzano (Italy) on 29th June. During the workshop it will be possible to discuss youth participation, its challenges and good practices in different policy fields with practitioners from different horizons. Please find the programme and the GaYA poster below.

If you are interested in participating in the conference, please contact EURAC at before June 20

Following the conference, the comparative report will be published and will be available in all Alpine languages by Autumn 2017.

Please, note that we are still searching for official observers who would like to follow more closely the work on the project, notably the upcoming pilot stage. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us at:

Verba Alpina is an international project, directed by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, which aims to assemble dialectal words from official Alpine languages (French, Italian, German, Slovene and Romansh), specific to the Alpine regions regardless of political borders. It was launched in October 2014 and it lasts until the end of September 2017, with the possibility of continuation.

The vocabulary concerned touches mostly natural and cultural heritage, traditional craftsman techniques and ways of life; anyone can register and contribute words from their dialect. The main output of the project is an online platform, complete with database, interactive cartography, scientific articles and methodology. In this way, the data from existing linguistic atlases can be made easily available to the public in an improved, coherent and multidimensional form.

The project is supported by numerous partners, and is mostly intended for the scientific public, but is also easily understandable by the general public thanks to the interactive map.

You can find out more about the project here

Published in News from the Alps

Young people (14-25 years old) tend to leave peripheral Alpine regions due to the lack of personal and professional fulfilment, in particular regarding education and job opportunities as well as social integration. The majority of decision- and policy-makers lack awareness of the needs of young people as well as tools to better integrate them in urban and rural societies.

During the first period of the GaYA project (Governance and Youth in the Alps), ALPARC and the project consortium collected data on democratic and participatory processes across the Alps which particularly focus on youth. The aim is to highlight the best practices of youth participation in a comparative study, which is led by Eurac Research. The results will be officially presented at the international workshop “Democratic Participation in Political Decision-Making: The Involvement of Young Adults in the Alpine Region”, to be held on June 29th 2017 (9.30 am -5.00pm) at Eurac Research in Bolzano (IT).

Regarding the pilot stage following this preliminary study, the pilot site selection process is about to conclude. Overall, the project will implement trainings and pilot actions in 12 pilot sites, i.e. cities, municipalities and regions, in order to spread and exchange knowledge and encourage participation by the younger generations in democratic processes. ALPARC is work package leader in the pilot stage (End 2017-2018).

GaYA runs from November 2016 to February 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 1.092.748 € - 928.836€ ERDF grant).
For further information, please visit the GaYA website.

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It’s a full-time job for the 12 project partners of the Interreg Alpine Space Project YOUrALPS – Educating youth for the Alps: (re)connecting Youth and Mountain heritage for an inspiring future in the Alps. (2016- 2019).

Since the official launch of the project, which took place during the Kick-off Meeting (January 2017 – Chambéry, France), each work package leader and project partner has been fully involved in structuring project activities to foster and strengthen the Alpine mountain-oriented education sector via concrete international cooperation.

On the one hand the project consortium is laying the foundation for structuring an international network of formal and non-formal education actors under the coordination of the French Network Educ’Alpes. A joint database and web-platform will be the central tool supporting exchanges between stakeholders. The first version of the web-platform will be available by the end of the year.

On the other hand the Innsbruck University Department of Geography is leading the research to gather innovative practices in Mountain-Oriented Education in order to provide an overview of the status quo of existing Mountain-Oriented Education practices in the Alpine countries. A first report of the “Good practices” has been concluded by the VNO and is available on the YOUrALPS website.  In this frame, to identify success factors as well as challenges of “Mountain-Oriented Education”, an Alpine-wide survey addressed to young people has been circulated. We invite all of you to invite young Alpine inhabitants to take part in the survey.

Moreover, 12 YOUrALPS’ pilot sites from all the Alpine countries have been selected.  The pilot sites, a tandem of a school with a protected area, will work jointly during the 2017- 2018 school year in order to provide young people with opportunities to develop their awareness of and sensitivity to the Alpine natural and cultural heritage.

The project consortium will meet in Ljubljana (12- 13 June 2017) for the Project Steering Group Meeting. A “Summer School” addressed to educators & teachers will take place in Slovenia from 28th to 31st August 2017 and will be hosted by the project partner BC Naclo High school.

ALPARC is project leader for YOUrALPS. The Network is responsible for technical and financial management and coordination of project partners’ activities. ALPARC is also responsible for the project communication activities. YOUrALPS lasts from November 2016 to October 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 2.001.017, 40 € - ERDF grant: 1.615.864, 77 EUR).

YOUrALPS partners:

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•   For further information about the project, please visit the YOUrALPS web site
ALPARC contact: 
Letizia Arneodo
Veronika Widmann

•    For further information about the survey please contact:
Attn:  Maximilian Riede Universität Innsbruck - Institut für Geographie


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Thursday, 29 June 2017 11:42

Conference on "Youth and Governance"

In the frame of the Interreg Alpine Space  projet “GaYA - Governance and Youth in the Alps” a conference

“Democratic Participation at Political Decision-Making: The Involvement of Young Adults in the Alpine Region”

will take place on Thursday, 29th June 2017 (9.30-17.00) at EURAC research , Bolzano/Bozen, Italy.

The final programme and the registration form will be available soon.

For further information please contact EURAC research at greta.klotz[@]




Published in Events of ALPARC

On July 11th 2017, several groups of young people will gather in different places all over the Alps and the Carpathians to share a collective experience in the mountains


Back to Nature in the Mountains

When was the last time you watched the stars in an unpolluted sky, lying on the grass of a mountain valley or summit, with the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and of a river flowing?

A lot of young people may have no answer to this question, because they have never had such an experience. Nowadays, young people are overwhelmed by the need for technologies in a fast-paced society and they hardly ever have the chance to live an authentic experience in a natural environment. Their relationship with nature and the mountains, which is important for their personal growth and fulfilment, is being weakened.  The mountains need young people to be preserved as much as young people need the mountains to rebuild or strengthen that connection with nature.

The international project Youth at the Top aims at improving the connection between young people and nature by bringing them to the mountains to spend a day together and sleep there overnight. For this reason, Youth at the Top is a unique opportunity for young people to experience close contact with the mountain environment, rediscover the power of being a group and the values of active citizenship and solidarity on a common annual date. Youth at the Top is a collective activity with a strong symbolic and imaginative approach. 



Youth at the Top 2017

The 3rd edition of Youth at the Top will be held on Tuesday 11th July 2017 – Wednesday 12th July 2017. We have received registration forms for more than 50 events that will take place simultaneously in different locations. These local events will be set up by protected areas, youth workers, associations, refuges, communities and other mountain actors with the participation of local professionals.


Transnational, cross-border and unifying

The events planned will take place in 6 countries in the Alps (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland) and 3 countries in the Carpathians (Poland, Romania, Slovakia) in a common framework that still leaves plenty of room for local partners to develop their own initiative and creativity. The simultaneity of the events and the common framework will help to create in the young participants not only a sense of belonging to the mountains, but also a sense of being part of a large community with no borders.

Innovation: The Alps in my backpack

As we are constantly looking for innovation this year all the partners involved in the initiative will receive the “The Alps in my backpack” teaching tool. The tool has been designed and developed by the ALPARC Educational Working group on “Mountain-Oriented Education”. For the educators it will be a powerful tool to further promote the international approach of the initiative, foster the sense of community and raise awareness of the natural and cultural Alpine heritage. 


Continuity with Youth at the Top 2016

In 2016 many young people experienced authentic contact with nature by taking part in the 2nd edition of “Youth at the Top”. For the occasion protected areas, associations, mountain actors and other organizations set up more than 40 events in 8 different countries in the Alps and the Carpathians. Their effort in the field of education and in engaging young generations was rewarded with the participation of more than 500 young people who enjoyed different activities in the mountains such as fauna & flora observation, rock painting, land art, writing, wood carving, light painting, storytelling, treasure hunting, stargazing, climbing, solidarity actions and meetings with mountain players.

Young participants from Youth at the Top 2016 are the best testimonials to prove that striking up or renewing the relationship of youngsters with nature is not just necessary and possible, but it is also great fun

For this reason, we invite you to check out the video of YAT 2016 to have a taste of what the previous edition was for them!

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Have a look at the postcards collection to have an overview of their impressions. 


YOUTH AT THE TOP is a project led by ALPARC, in partnership with Educ’Alpes for France. For this activity ALPARC has the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Principality of Monaco.

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Thursday, 27 April 2017 14:25

GaYA: Governance and Youth in the Alps



Promoting youth participation for the future of Alpine communities: GaYA


Young people (14-25 years old) tend to leave peripheral Alpine regions due to the lack of personal and professional fulfilment, in particular regarding education and job opportunities as well as social integration. The majority of decision and policy-makers lack awareness on the needs of young people and on tools to integrate them more in local communities.

 In cooperation with eight partners, the Alpine Space project GaYA (Governance and youth in the Alps) aims at increasing the quality of democracy in the Alps while enhancing the capacity of decision and policy-makers to involve citizens, in particular young people as future leaders in local democratic systems. GaYA will test and provide innovative methods and tools for participation and decision-making processes in local communities and create a common framework. This will enable local communities to meet the challenges of social cohesion and regional development in the long run.

 In GaYA, the ALPARC operational unit is work package leader in the pilot action stage (work package 3). The network is in charge of coordinating the implementation of participatory democracy processes in selected pilot sites via the local action plans. Throughout the project, ALPARC provides furthermore support for data collection and analysis on democracy and participatory processes, facilitates knowledge exchange and promotes youth participation in democracy especially in French pilot sites.

 GaYA runs from November 2016 to February 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 1.092.748 € -  928.836€ ERDF grant).


Project aims

  • To strengthen innovative and participatory democracy
  • To involve youth in decision-making processes
  • To increase national and transnational governance
  • To familiarise youth with complex policies


Main activities

  • Comparative Analysis: Democratic Innovation and Participation
  • Training and Workshops : policy-makers and Youth in Action: mutual learning
  • Local Action Plans of Participation
  • Youth Film Contest



1. A comparative report
2. Participatory toolkit
3. Policy Recommendation


Project partners 

•    Agenzia di Sviluppo GAL Genovese – Developement Agency GAL Genovese
•    CIPRA International Lab
•    Jugendinformationszentrum Vorarlberg aha –  Youth information centre Vorarlberg aha -Tipps & Infos
•    EURAC – European Academy of Bolzano
•    ALPARC – The Alpine Network of Protected Area
•    Parc naturel régional du Massif des Bauges – Bauges Massif Regional Nature Park
•    Muncipality of Idrija
•    Alpine Town of the Year Association - Association Ville des Alpes de l‘année


For further information, please visit the GaYA website.




Published in GaYA

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 Project Summary 

Among young generation there is little awareness of the values and opportunities offered by the natural and cultural heritage of the Alps. There is an urgent need to better inform youth and make them more aware of the Alpine heritage, which has a lot to offer also in terms of economic and social opportunities. 

The project YOUrALPS - Educating youth for the Alps: (re)connecting Youth and Mountain heritage for an inspiring future in the Alps, take up the challenge to reconcile young people with the Alps. Twelve project partners from five alpine countries work together to give structure to the field of mountain oriented education and incorporate the values and knowledge of mountains and the Alps more fully in practices also in educational curricula. Thanks to exchanges, training, workshops and trials in pilot sites the project partner will create an "Alpine school model". The project will create new opportunities for youth and increase their empowerment and engagement in the Alpine territory, to better shape their future.

ALPARC is project leader for YOUrALPS. The Netwrok is responsible for technical and financial management and coordination of project partners activities. ALPARC is also responsible for the project communication activities.

YOUrALPS lasts from November 2016 to October 2019 and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme (Total budget: 2.001.017,40 € - ERDF grant: 1.615.864,77 EUR ).


Project main outputs

  • A transnational cooperation structure dedicated to Mountain oriented education, gathering schools and universities together with specialist from non-formal education and youth. The network will be based on a participatory web-platform and database providing resources, educational offers, contacts from the educational field at alpine level.
  • A comparative report on innovative practices and mountain oriented strategies in the educational field.
  • An Alpine School Model. The project will develop a joint international methodological approach based on a charter, a label, shared pedagogical tools and resources adapted to different educational level. Recommendations will support decision-makers in transferring and applying the model.


Project specific objectives

  • Fostering and strengthening the Alpine mountain-oriented education sector via the settlement of a network of formal and non-formal education actors. Network’s participants will share knowledge in a web platform dedicated to Mountain Oriented Education.
  • Providing youth with opportunities to develop their knowledge and sensibility on the Alpine natural and cultural heritage. Partners’ students will be involved in the model development, actively participating in the project actions and transalpine workshops. Pupils and students from pilot-schools will benefit from testing the “Alpine school” educational model.
  • Strengthening the inclusion of mountain-oriented education in the educational curricula in the school system, fostering a transnational alpine cultural identity via the development, test and validation of A common alps-wide operational model : the “Alpine School Model”.


For further info:

Contact: Veronika Widmann veronika.widmann[@]


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Published in YOUrALPS

The Association Interpret Europe propose an International Certified Interpretative Guide Course in France. The course will take place from the 8th to the 12th of May 2017 . The venue of the course is the South of France on the Ferme sur le Parc, in Venasque, Vaucluse.

Certified -Interpretive Guide course is intended for guides and heritage professionals who would like to improve the quality of their performance using heritage interpretation. Heritage interpretation can be an extremely useful tool to engage with an audience and make heritage more meaningful to people. The  course venue  is surrounded by natural and cultural heritage, orchards, vineyards and ancient stone huts, an atmosphere which guarantees inspiration.  The training uses a tested learning methodology heavily weighted to practical exercises, conducted individually and in groups, which allows you to develop your talents day by day.  The course is endorsed by Interpret Europe and delivered by a certified trainer, Sandy Colvine.

To register, please fill the online form here.
For further info please download the document attached.

Published in News from the Alps