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Tuesday, 21 February 2017 09:23

"Youth at the Top"… with you?

Take part in the 3rd edition on 11th July 2017!

Putting young people back in contact with mountains and the Alps

The prior aim of the project is to make mountains accessible to all and the youngsters come from the local valleys or from cities.For them, it’s the opportunity to have a singular experience (often the first!) of night at high altitude, as a group; to re-engage with mountains through their emotion, observation, play, encounters, imagination, dreams or expression.This collective adventure, occurring simultaneously in different countries, also awakens the feeling of belonging to a common mountain range, to the Alps or to the Carpathians.To this end, the project draws on values common to education and mountains.

Taking part is…
For the organiser: "It brings three-fold satisfaction:1/ revealing this mountain nature to young people on an original occasion (a night walk with sunrise)  2/ the pleasure of hearing them talking about the experience; their feedback is a gift  3/ the pleasure of sharing this experience with them!"- Fug'en Cimes, Christophe Delahaye, 2016

For the youngsters: "it’s great!", "… a really awesome way to discover the Alps", "… a magnificent experience", "… a different way of getting out in the mountains", etc.
The 2016 edition brought together more than 500 young people and 150 adults in various countries.

•  Read the 2016 press release • Watch the 2016 mini-video  • Discover the details of the 2016 events

RYAT E COUL1egister !

The projects are (co-) run by the Alpine protected areas, youth workers, associations, refuges, communities, young independent adults, etc., with the participation of local professionals.Registration is open for the 11th to 12th July edition in the Alps and in the Carpathians.

Simply fill in the online form at:  before 12th April 2017.

Filling in the form does not commit you in any way; it simply says you are motivated to take part in the 2017 edition. Participation is free of charge; some expenses may be covered (subject to certain conditions). Don’t hesitate to contact the organisers for details and support.

New in 2017

For the 2017 edition all the organisers of the “Youth at the Top” event will be given a free copy of the “The Alps in my Backpack” teaching tool. Please ask for this when you register on line (terms of availability and distribution in the form).

See the detailed project-sheet :

For any further information, please contact : or

This project is supported by the German Ministry of Environment and the Principality of Monaco.

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"The Alps in my backpack” a multifunctional pedagogical tool for activities linked to the Alps, mountain heritage and protected alpine areas is available for you! 

“The Alps in my backpack” is a big sheet, measuring 240 x 150 cm and printed on a durable fabric. It shows the map of the Alps and all their principal protected nature reserves. Moreover, it presents the diversity of Alpine landscapes, emblematic species, the creation of the Alps, cultural and linguistic diversity, and current issues in the Alpine territory.
The tool has been created collectively by members of the “Mountain environmental education in Alpine protected areas” working group, which had long wanted to benefit from a simple and practical shared tool during their activities, for addressing alpine issues in their global dimension, beyond the usual boundaries.

As part of the 2017 edition of “Youth at the top”, rangers, animators and educators will be invited to use(s) the “Alps in my backpack” tool.

Please notice that 3 copies of the “Alps in my backpack"  tool are available for free for all the ALPARC members.

To obtain one or more copies of this tool, please contact info [at]

Coordination: ALPARC
Concept and content: ALPARC and  Mountain Environmental Education working group
Cartographic data: SIG ALPARC 2016
Graphic design: Régis Ferré

Co-financed by the German Ministry for the Environment and the Principality of Monaco

A shared observation: there is a lack of contact between young people and the Alps

Worldwide, specialists diagnose a lack of contact from young people to their living space. Among Alpine youth, it leads also to the dying out of Alpine identity and mountain-related know-how. The young people of the Alps, among whom there is little awareness of the values and opportunities offered by the natural and cultural heritage of the Alps, are finding it difficult to settle in mountain areas on a long-term basis.
There is therefore unquestionably an urgent need for young people to be better informed and made more aware of their Alpine heritage, including of what it can offer them in terms of economic and social opportunities.

YOUrALPS tackles the challenge to raise Youth awareness on Alpine heritage

The aims of the INTERREG Alpine Space YOUrALPS project (2016-2019) are to give structure to the field of mountain education throughout the Alps and incorporate the values and knowledge of mountains and the Alps more fully in practices but also in educational curricula and syllabuses.
YOUrALPS includes several actions. It’s about identifying, interconnecting and involving the various players scattered over the Alpine territory in a transalpine network which will promote exchanges, synergies and cooperation in this field. A participative webplatform will be one of the tools of this network.
An analysis of the experiences and good practices in mountain environment education throughout the Alps, (including an in-depth study of the political strategies of each country in this field) will be presented in a comparative report. It will include recommendations and will be distributed among the decision-makers of each country. Thanks to exchanges, training, workshops and trials in pilot sites it will be possible to create an "Alpine school model". The model will also be completed by a toolbox of teaching resources linked to Alpine heritage.

The project has direct and long-term impacts

The Alpine School model will directly benefit the students, educators and decision-makers involved, as well as the future generations of pupils. Decision makers will have at their disposal a transferable model. YOUrALPS will create new opportunities for youth and increase their empowerment and engagement in the Alpine territory, to better shape their future.

January 2017 – The project is launched

On 18th and 19th January, the kick-off meeting brought together in Chambéry (Fr) 41 participants, coming from 6 Alpine countries (13 project partners, 25 observers and the representatives of the Alpine Space programme).
Thanks to this meeting the partners were able to get to know each other better and to appropriate the general context of the YOUrALPS project and the Alpine Space programme. A workshop was held on this occasion to build common references on mountain education. Two other working periods resulted in the laying down of the basis for a future international network and the webplatform associated with it. The atmosphere was warm and constructive, a good foundation for this ambitious 3-year project.
The next Project  Steering Committee meeting is planned for July in Slovenia.


The YOUrALPS Project is financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)  Interreg – Alpine Space programme  

ASP programme logo positive CMYK with ERDF


The 13 project partners

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The YOUrALPS project has been recently approved in the frame of the 2nd call of the INTERREG Alpine Space Programme (2014- 2020). 

The main aim of the project is to raise youth awareness on the entire Alpine natural and cultural heritage, by supporting youth environmental educational process via interconnected formal and non-formal education considering the Alps as natural, cultural, living and work space beyond borders.

The Lead Partner (LP), ALPARC - the Alpine Network of Protected Areas, launches a tender for management support for all tasks of financial management and smooth support for project administrative co-ordination.Participation is open to all legal persons who are established in a Member State of the European Union or in a country or territory of the regions covered and/or authorized by the specific instruments applicable to the programme under which the contract is financed.

Find the procurements, the terms of reference and all other relevant documents below

Deadline for tender submissions is the 15th of January 2017.



Monday, 28 November 2016 10:51

The Alps in my Backpack

Logo estampille Backpack low   

Welcome to the page dedicated to a joint Alpine pedagogical tool developed by rangers, educators and staff in charge of education in Alpine protected areas:

The Alps in my Backpack!

A picnic tablecloth, a nap blanket, a parasol or umbrella, a folding-screen?

The tool "The Alps in my backpack " is certainly multifunctional, but it is first and foremost a cross-country teaching support to be taken in the backpack for animations on the field, in connection with the Alps, the mountain heritage and the alpine protected areas!

Measuring 240 x 150 cms and printed on a resistant fabric, it presents the map of the Alps and their main protected areas:


(to view the layout more in details, you can download a PDF version below)

It was created in a collective way by members of the Working Group “Mountain Environmental Education in Alpine Protected Areas”, who wished for a long time to benefit from a common, simple and practical tool, allowing to approach the alpine issues on their global dimension, beyond the usual borders, during their animations.

aperçu du rendu marquage SAC

It will be completed step by step by various pedagogical resources and thematic fact sheets, which will be available for free download on this webpage.

The layout is also available for free for the ALPARC members (only) as high definition file ready for print. Beside the fabric versions provided by ALPARC, this allow also the members to print "The Alps in my backpack" on further materials, as large paper posters, wooden boards or large panels for exhibits or visitor centres, etc...

For any question, please contact info [at]

Production: ALPARC 2016
Developed in collaboration with members of the Working groups “Mountain Environmental Education in Alpine Protected Areas” of ALPARC and Educ’Alpes
Graphic design & Illustrations:
With the financial support of the German Ministry for the Environment and the Principality of Monaco

Logo BMUB             Logo Monaco











Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:02

YOUrALPS Kick-off Meeting

YOUrALPS Kick-off Meeting will take place the 18th and 19th January 2017 in Chambéry (France), gathering Partners and Observers.

Published in Events of ALPARC
Tuesday, 11 July 2017 17:52

Youth At the Top 2017!

The event Youth At the Top 2017 will take place on  11th of July 2017 all over the Alps & the Carpathians

For further information visit the project web page at:

Published in Events of ALPARC

Latest news from the initiative Youth at the top: a photographic retrospective 2016, compilation of texts and drawings that young participant(s) have sent to us through postcards, and finally the dates of 2017 and 2018 editions revealed !

Video clips and photos to be discovered

A short video clip expressing the atmosphere of the 2nd Edition of Youth at Top event has been released during the Alpweek and the Alpine Conference in Grassau (Germany), in October. See the video

The video -best of-  invites you to discover all the others videos produced by the young participants or by their guides available on the ALPARC YouTube Channel. Furthermore, you are invited to see the numerous pictures taken by the participants during their experience: funny, touching, happy or contemplative. These pictures will certainly encourage you to take part in the adventure in 2017!

The photo galleries are available at
and in each « event » sheet on the official website .

Compilation of postcards sent by young participants

This year an ALPARC postcard dedicated to the initiative was created and served as a support to the expression of groups of young participants about their experiences: messages in any language, stories, impressions and sketches are compiled in this document online we invite you to read:

2017 and 2018 editions

The dates of the next two editions in 2017 and 2018 has been validated during the workshop of the International Working Group "Education for the mountain environment" in late October.
It is now:

•    11th July 2017
•    12th July 2018

A call for participation for the 2017 edition will be open in February 2017.

The initiative is supported by the German Ministry for the Environment and German Presidency of the Alpine Convention, and is coordinated by ALPARC, in partnership with Educ’Alpes in France.

Alpine convention logo German presidency  Bundesministerium für Umwelt Naturschutz Bau und Reaktorsicherheit Logo.svgGOUV PRINCIER Logo QUADRI


LOGO ALPARC high        EDUCALPES LOGO quadri ok

Take about thirty people in charge of mountain environment education in the Alpine protected areas and draw them deep into an Alpine valley for 3 days, at an altitude of 1,800 m, in a refuge with neither Internet connection nor telephone network. Once there, encourage them to exchange and collaborate in a Workshop about their day-to-day work; sprinkle with curiosity, good humour and work in the open. What will result?

An explosive force, made up of creativity, a willingness to share skills and experiences, a desire to establish links, to face up to the challenges and priorities of mountain environment education, to valorise one’s experiences and learn from each other.

Such was the experience shared by about thirty participants from the 6 Alpine countries during the 4th “Mountain Environmental Education in the Alpine Protected Areas” International Workshop, which was held in the Refuge de Bayasse in the Mercantour National Park (France) from 18th to 20th October 2016.

The participants, most of whom are long-term members of the “Mountain Environmental Education” Working Group, had the opportunity for exchanging and sharing , but also for working together on various themes (e.g. “biophilia”, visitor centres, educational messages and the attitudes of young people towards parks…) and on collective projects currently in progress. Notably, one main event was devoted to the “Youth at the Top” initiative which originated from this group: the assessment of the 2016 edition was followed by reflection about improving and perpetuating the operation and preparing the editions to follow. Throughout the meeting the participants helped to finalise the “The Alps in my Backpack” teaching tool (a large format map of the Alps printed on fabric) which will have its first outings in the field in 2017.


A Common Quest: How to (re) establish Links between Young People and Nature

One of the guiding principles of some of the informal debates and workshops was the question as to how the link youth-nature can be (re) established .This question was approached from several angles: from the role played by the mountain environment educator and from the message they can carry, to the role of teachers and the structure of school curricula. “This subject has been a topic of discussion in the French education group for several years,” declared Isabelle Roux, the Head of the Educ’Alpes Network.  “For our network, mountain education rests on 3 pillars: encouraging youngsters to enjoy contact with nature, favouring games and free times, and creating experiences from mountain slope”. A vision which ALPARC shares entirely.


Nature Interpretation

Thus the workshop was the opportunity for discovering and trying out innovative approaches in non-formal education. This was the case during the field workshop devoted to interpretation and led by Markus Blank of the Gesäuse National Park (Austria), representing  the Interpret Europe association. Heritage interpretation is an approach where the goal is to provide a different way of seeing and a deeper understanding through first-hand experience of sites, objects or events linked to a particular heritage. It is very widespread in the United States and has been growing popular in Europe over the past few years.  

The Results

The results of the meetings: a report, PowerPoints, shared resources, photos, etc. are being made available progressively as they become available on the ALPARC extranet, in the workspace devoted to this working group.

A big thank you to those who took part, to all who helped to make the workshops so lively and notably the Mercantour National Park for their enthusiastic hosting!

The Workshop was organised by ALPARC in partnership with Educ’Alpes and the Mercantour National Park and was funded by the Principality of Monaco.

These meetings are held every two years: rendezvous in autumn 2018 in Italy or Slovenia!

Further information:

With the support of the Principality of Monaco:



 frise logos workshop pnm






Wednesday, 12 October 2016 09:32

Youth at the Top 2016: video clip retrospective

A short video clip expressing the atmosphere of the 2nd Edition of Youth at Top event is released this week during the Alpweek and the Alpine Conference in Grassau (Germany). See the video

The video invites you to discover all the others videos produced by the young participants or by their guides available on the ALPARC YouTube Channel. Furthermore, you are invited to see the numerous pictures taken by the participants during their experience: funny, touching, happy or contemplative. These pictures will certainly encourage you to take part in the adventure in 2017!

The photo galleries are available at and in each « event » sheet on the official website .

This summer 40 Youth at the Top events enabled more than 550 young people and about 150 adults to experience a night and to share moments in the mountain along 6 Alpine countries and in 4 Carpathians countries.
Read the complete press release of the 2016 Edition.

The dates for the 2017 and the 2018 edition will be communicated in November.

The initiative is supported by the German Ministry for the Environment and German Presidency of the Alpine Convention, and is coordinated by ALPARC, in partnership with Educ’Alpes in France.

Logo BMUB.PngAlpine convention logo German presidency


Logo Alparc EducAlpes