You are here:News»News from the Alps»Displaying items by tag: Education

The 3rd “Mountain Environment Education in the Alpine Protected Areas” international Workshop was held from 21st to 23rd October 2014, jointly organised by ALPARC and REEMA (the French Network of Alpine Mountain Education) with the Berchtesgaden (D) National Park. Andrea Heiss and her team from the Environment Education department welcomed delegates in their education centre and in the new “Haus der Berge” information centre.

The working group assembled around 20 people responsible for environment education from various Alpine protected areas, coming from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland. The delegates, many of whom have known each other for a long time in this group, were happy to meet again to exchange on their practices and experiences, and to work towards the development of common actions and projects between the protected areas. Among the latter :  the creation of a common field teaching tool  , the development of a collective protected areas event to bring young people to the mountains as well as other projects for the coming years. 

Days of work and discovery, in particular a guided tour of the new “Haus der Berge” information centre (the “Mountain House”, inaugurated in 2013) and of the park education centre: a welcoming, ecological space (a passive building), adapted to take groups and classes and for the organisation of teaching activities aimed especially at younger children and based on the notion of discovery and learning through experience. Moreover, the delegates were able to try out some workshops usually reserved for children! The activities offered in the education centre are more than complemented by outdoor activities.

Throughout the workshop, the importance and necessity of strengthening the links between young people and the mountains, as well as the key role played by the protected areas in making young people aware of the need to protect nature, were indeed highlighted.  
One session of the Workshop was dedicated to sharing experiences concerning the activities aimed at the young people and children living in the Alps, either in the parks or in areas bordering on them, and who, paradoxically, often do not really know the mountains and “their” park. 

Finally, it was also the opportunity to present the joint online working space “ALPARC extranet”, which, by the end of the year, will offer a platform given over entirely to the work of the Education group. This online tool, created to promote remote working on common projects and the exchange of ideas, resources and good practices, will later be also made available to groups working on other themes within ALPARC.


3 logos organisateurs

In 2009 large parts of the Dolomites across 5 Provinces were recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Among the World Heritage objectives are sensitization and awareness building. With this in mind, the Nature Parks Office of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano has completed a new 250 m² permanent exhibition in the Nature Park House in Toblach.
The exhibition was created by the State Office for Nature Parks together with the State Office for Hochbau Ost. The exhibition concept was drawn up by a working group consisting of architect and project manager Bruno Rubner from Bruneck, geologist Emiliano Oddone from the firm Dolomiti Project from Feltre and members of staff from the Nature Parks Office, among whom Maria Margareth Pallhuber and Artur Kammerer.

unesco 021

Opening Times:
From 2nd May to 31st October 2014 and from 30th December 2014 to 28th March 2015, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 2.30 pm to 6 pm.
In July and August also open all day Sundays and Thursdays from 6 pm to 10 pm.

Admission free

Naturparkhaus Drei Zinnen,
Kulturzentrum Grand Hotel Toblach
Dolomitenstr. 1 39034 Toblach
Tel. 0474 973017  Fax 0474 973974


 Logo Naturparke Suedtirol       Logo APB Suedtirol


The second Alparc workshop on the topic "Mountain Environmental Education: how to reinforce the relation between young people and Alpine mountain?" took place from 17th to19th October 2012 in Mallnitz, in the Hohe Tauern National Park .
It was co-organised with the Hohe Tauern National Park - Carinthia and with the REEMA (Alpine Network for Mountain Environmental Education). The participants of this ALPARC working group are mainly staff in charge of environmental education in the Alpine protected areas.

Published in ALPARC Events Gallery

The next meeting of the ALPARC working group “Mountain environmental education”  will take place on  21st and 22nd October 2014  at the brand new visitors center (Haus der Berge) of the Berchtesgaden National Park in the Bavarian Alps.

Are you dealing with education topics in your protected area? Are you a member of the Working group “education” of ALPARC or do you wish to network at alpine level in this field? Register now at the ALPARC Workshop, some places are still available !

Find the program, the registration form and practical information for download here.

The workshop aims to exchange experiences and new ideas between members of protected area in charge of education activities coming from France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Slovenia. 

During the workshop the group will mainly focus on ongoing activities and projects:  development and production of a common pedagogical tool for activities on the field,  the development of a common alpine event project to bring young people into the mountain and the  development of a larger common alpine project for the 2015 calls.

The main aim of each ALPARC working group is the sharing of competence, tools and experiences for the development of common creations, afterward at the disposal of all the protected area in the ALPARC network.

If you are in charge of environment education in an Alpine protected area and interested in the activities of this group open to all, please do not hesitate to contact us!

3 logos organisateurs




"Cette journée passée à Grenoble a été vraiment motivante pour moi. Je ne me rendais pas compte que des structures existaient pour nous donner la parole au niveau alpin. Mais surtout, rencontrer d'autres jeunes avec les mêmes préoccupations et avec la volonté de faire bouger la situation m'a vraiment donné envie de me plonger à fond dans ce projet. J'espère que notre travail donnera à d'autres jeunes la motivation pour s'investir et même mettre en application leurs propres idées ! "

Rémy, jeune participant

Le projet Youth Alpine Dialogue est un projet en réseau qui participe au processus de définition de l’avenir des Alpes. Le projet est coordonné par CIPRA International, et en France, il est relayé par CIPRA France, le REEMA et ALPARC. Il doit permettre aux jeunes de participer à la politique au niveau international et local, de s'engager activement sur les questions de développement durable et de présenter leurs propres réflexions au sein d’organismes internationaux. A moyen terme, le projet fournira les bases d’un réseau pour la participation des jeunes et pour l’éducation à la montagne dans l’arc alpin.


Environ 30 jeunes issus de 6 pays alpins (Autriche, France, Italie, Liechtenstein, Slovénie, Suisse) participent actuellement à ce projet, qui a pour but princiapl de fournir un cadre pour une participation à long terme de la jeunesse à la vie des Alpes.

Vendredi 30 mai 2014, venus de toutes les Alpes françaises, les jeunes (4 jeunes de 15 à 19 ans et 2 jeunes adultes encadrants, de 20 à 30 ans) se sont retrouvés à Grenoble pour leur première rencontre. L'occasion de faire connaissance et de s'approprier le premier thème choisi au niveau international "La mobilité dans les Alpes".

Pour illustrer le sujet, Frédi Meignan, président de Mountain Wilderness, est venu présenter l'opération Mobilité douce. Il a aussi discuté avec les jeunes de la mobilisation citoyenne des acteurs de la montagne aujourd'hui. Les deux jeunes « coachs », qui revenaient tout juste d'une formation internationale au Liechtenstein, ont ensuite animé le groupe afin de choisir une problématique commune pour les Alpes françaises. Ce sera "La mobilité locale en montagne : l'accès aux biens et services des habitants d'une vallée ou d'un massif". La motivation des jeunes présents, leur participation active à l'animation et aux discussions et la qualité des échanges sont des signes très encourageants pour la suite du projet !

Les prochaines actions ? Des interviews par les jeunes 15-19 ans (personnalité politique, représentant de la société civile, autres jeunes, etc.), la production de courtes vidéos et des propositions concrètes pour développer la mobilité locale en montagne. Rendez-vous cet automne pour découvrir les productions des jeunes!



The first Alparc workshop on the topic "Mountain Environmental Education in Alpine Protected Areas" took place on 19th and 20th October 2010 in Zernez, in the Swiss National Park.
It was co-organised with the Swiss National Park and with the REEMA (Alpine Network for Mountain Environmental Education). The participants of this ALPARC working group are mainly staff in charge of environmental education in the Alpine protected areas.

Published in ALPARC Events Gallery

In the course of the collaboration between ALPARC and REEMA (Alpine Mountain Environment Education Network, which covers the French Alps), we realised that we needed a better understanding of the practices and programmes associated with education about the mountain environment in other Alpine protected areas.

 In 2008, we began the first review of all such programmes, focussing primarily on innovation. We identified around 40-odd heads of unit responsible for this area to whom we sent a short, 10-point questionnaire. We have received around 20 responses so far from five Alpine countries.

The compendium is made up of summary factsheets: currently all the documents are available in French and English and some are also available in the relevant national language. Each factsheet includes a contact name and website.

For example, you can learn what a park school is, or find out about mixed-age walks, junior rangers, climate education or the game "following the tracks of the wolf". The compendium is available online at (under Our actions, Environmental education and awareness-raising ). 

 Of course, the aim is to promote discussion of different experiences within the network. So this is just the beginning: the members of REEMA have already found the results useful and work will continue in 2009 so as to keep on adding to the compendium.

In 2010 we plan to hold the first meeting of environmental education officers.

We would be delighted to hear about your experiences. Contact Marie Stoeckel for more information or to request a copy of the 10-point questionnaire (available in all four Alpine languages). 

In response to global warming, the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria has decided to lead by example. Working together with political decision-makers, the Park's Mittersill visitor centre (Salzburg) is expanding its environmental education programme. The National Park Climate Change School project is designed to teach children and young people how to respect the natural world.

Building on the environmental education formula of experience + knowledge = informed action, young people are shown a wheel of time that indicates how the climate has changed over the last few thousand of years and its impact on the Pasterze glacier. The commentary also refers to the large block of ice housed in the visitor centre. Schoolchildren who visit the National Park are taught about a wide range of climate issues in the purpose-built Science Centre . The Science Centre has its own weather station which can be used to compare meteorological date and thereby demonstrate the realities of global warming. With the aid of a thermometer, pupils observe the difference in temperature gains when sun shines into a clean or CO2-rich atmosphere.

Many schoolteachers who have brought their students to Hohe Tauern National Park confirm that this educational format is very effective. Around 25,000 schoolchildren from Austria, Germany and Switzerland have taken part in the National Park's environmental education programme. Hopefully, given the scale of the audience, future generations will have a more sustainable view of the natural world.

Source: summary of a Hohe Tauern National Park press release

“The first time I took part in exchanges with the REEMA was at the workshop organised in Zernez during the Alparc meeting. I saw men and women responsible for education on the environment in the protected areas of the Alpine massif. They were gathered around a table and on that table, in pride of place, was an egg.

They spoke about how we need to overcome the fears and apprehensions related to nature by drawing on knowledge and positive feelings; at that point the shell began to crack. Despite language barriers they showed their desire to share their experiences and, as they opened their arms, the bird spread its wings and began to fly. Disregarding borders, it started its journey through the Alpine range, towards that which unites men and shapes the Alpine identity. If you see that bird in the Alpine skies, tell yourself that its journey has hardly begun and that each of us has the choice of deciding whether to follow it or not”...

Frank Miramand, ASTERS - Conservatory of Natural Areas of Haute-Savoie. 

A Motivating First Meeting 

 Several people responsible for education about the environment in the various protected areas in the Alps had the opportunity of meeting for the first time for a workshop dedicated to the theme of their work on 19 and 20 October 2010 alongside the ALPARC General Assembly in the Swiss National Park .

Inscriptions poured in – proof of how important and topical this theme is- and unfortunately some delegates had to be refused (except for protected areas).

Finally 26 people looked into their profession and the possibilities for cooperation on an Alpine scale. The meeting was co-organised with the Reema (Alpine Network for Education about the Mountain Environment), which brings together those responsible for environmental education in the French Alpine protected areas. The other Alpine countries were equally well-represented so that 1/3 of the participants were French, 1/3 Italian and 1/3 German-speaking (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Most importantly, they were all very motivated!  

The Prospects for the Group

 Apart from the primary objective of meeting opposite numbers from other Alpine parks or reserves in order to exchange thoughts about their profession and their experiences, the aim of the meeting was to define together ideas on common actions and projects. The working group thus constituted confirmed its wish to begin collaboration on this theme on an Alpine scale within the framework of ALPARC.

The meeting made it possible to list various working directions and several ideas for actions or more developed projects: participation in the Phénoclim programme , setting up of common teaching tools, pooling of resources, think tanks on educational values ( Alpine identities, mountain culture …), work on the assessment of educational initiatives but also on the recognition of the educational mission inside the parks, etc…

It now remains to define priorities and a working schedule for the group who are notably going to use a collaboration space online which is in the process of being set up. 

Education about the Mountain Environment, an Essential Mission of the Alpine Protected Areas

These exchanges revealed the feeling that there is a lack of consideration for the educational mission inside the protected areas (in most of the countries represented) in comparison with other missions such as research or scientific monitoring. This is often expressed by a lack of human and financial means.

It has become apparent, however, that education about the mountain environment is one of the essential missions of the Alpine protected areas. This is because enabling their inhabitants and visitors, young and old, to discover, feel and experience the mountains and Alpine nature (“educating through the heart and emotions”), is a vital first step towards the respect of this environment! The delegates therefore wished to give a reminder that environment education is a real tool in the protection of nature.

To Join the Working Group

If you are responsible for environmental education in an Alpine protected area, but were not present at this meeting, you can of course join the working group for the continuation of the work: contact

Monday, 13 December 2010 01:00

"Change is the only constant"

That is the opening line of the pocket-sized brochure produced for the new educational trail through the glacier foreland in the Lötschental (Switzerland), but applies equally to the recently opened Wilde John educational walking trail in the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria. Both trails are designed to educate visitors about changes in the landscape, both naturally occurring and those caused by human activity, with the information being conveyed in very different ways and targeting different age groups.

The "Wilde John " path is aimed at young visitors; it teaches through a tale the history of the ‘Johnsbach’. In this tale the mountain stream ‘Johnsbach’ is represented by the Giant John. Visitors follow the stream from its wild and untrammelled youth through being straightened out and tamed between 1950 and 1975, then returned to its natural course as part of a LIFE project and freed from its restraints. The various interactive stations along the course of the stream allow children for example to discover what John is thinking and also provide information about other story-based LIFE project venues in Austria.

The 23 information points on the thematic educational trail on climate and glacier areas explain how the glacier forelands around the Lang Glacier have developed and teach visitors about how glaciers shape the landscape. There are an accompanying free leaflet and booklet available. Each information station includes a QR code that can be used in conjunction with certain mobile phones to view the website which contains information about each station.

The walking trail therefore provides both scientific and recreational information. There are a number of routes to choose from: it takes around 5 hours to visit all 23 information stations. For summer 2011, the edition of a scientific book as well as some worksheets for secondary and high school classes are planned.

Link(s) :

Published in uncategorised