Annual meeting of the Commission for nature protection and alpine spatial planning
From 11 to 13 April, at the invitation of the DAV, the CAA Nature Conservation Commission met at the Centre for Environment and Culture (ZUK) in Benediktbeuern. In addition to an extensive exchange of information and experience on current focuses and projects in the associations, the main topics on the agenda this time were "big predators" and "common tools". For example, the Commission decided to adapt an already published folder of the Alpine Association South Tyrol with tips for mountain hikers for an encounter with bears to become a common tool for all CAA associations. In addition, DAV and SAC presented implementation examples of the CAA climate strategy and the CAA reported on current events in the context of the Alpine Convention. On the last morning, an excursion to the moor area near the Benediktbeuern monastery rounded off the meeting.
Alpine Conference and the Alpweek-Intermezzo, 2.-4.4.2019, in Innsbruck
From 2 until 4 April 2019, the delegations of the alpine states, the ministers and observers met for the Permanent Committee (PC 67) and the 15th Alpine Conference in Innsbruck. Main topics were climate change and soil preservation. Additonally, as a stage to the next Alpweek, the "Alpweek Intermezzo" took place, at the same time as Alpine Conference and the conclusion of the Austrian Presidency of the Alpine Convention. Now France took over the Presidency for the next two years. The CAA was one of the "Intermezzo"- partners, also the ÖAV was involved, presenting the campaign “Unsere Alpen” of DAV, ÖAV + AVS.
The Alpine Conference approved a political declaration concerning climate change and, a bit more concrete, the so called climate target system, which was developed by the “Alpine climate advisory board” during the last two years The next step is to develop concrete measures from the objectives.
Regarding the topic soil preservation the Alpine Conference approved the report of the Compliance Committee with its rather ambitious and far-reaching recommendations developed during the last three years. The states now are asked “to take all necessary steps to implement the recommendations, and to ensure the dissemination of recommendations to municipalities and regional planning levels”. They have to report about the implementation in April 2024 (to the Compliance Committee).
Additionally the Alpine Conference adopted a work plan until the next Alpine Conference, coordinated and related to the MAP (multiannual work programme). This includes the results of the reorganization of the WGs and platforms, with which the PC dealt extensively last year. The number of WGs and PFs has been reduced and aligned with the MAP, the multiannual work programme.
Some observer organisations, including the CAA, had formulated urgent "concerns to strengthen the Alpine Convention" to the ministers in advance, with which they urged a faster and more concrete implementation of the Alpine Convention. The concerns were noted by the conference and will hopefully be taken up and discussed at the next meetings of the Permanent Committee.
The term of office of General Secretary of the Alpine Convention, Markus Reiterer, ends in June. The Alpine Conference now nominated Mrs Alenka Smerkolj, former Slovene Minister responsible for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion and Minister of Finance. She’s also professor for French and Spanish at the University of Ljubljana.
In parallel in Innsbruck: Alpweek –Intermezzo 2019 “Tomorrow in the Alps”
On Wednesday, 3.4., about 60 participants developed political demands within the framework of a closed event, which were presented to the environment ministers of the Alpine countries on 4 April 2019. They dealt with the three topics of land and landscape, climate change and mobility:
"Value the landscape - don’t sell it cheap!" was the first postulation. Clear boundaries are needed to preserve the unique natural environment of the Alps and criteria for identifying areas worthy of protection. Demand two dealt with climate change, which needs to be tackled at all levels. Climate protection and adaptation takes place at local level, so communities need better support both financially and organisationally. It was also emphasised that regional and alpine-wide initiatives must be better networked in order to make better use of existing knowledge.
The third demand to the Alpine Convention stated: "Implement efficient mobility solutions throughout the Alpine region". The high traffic load of the Alpine valleys requires intelligent measures to promote a switch to public transport and alternative mobility solutions. The participants' ideas ranged from a better-timed and cheaper public transport service to mobile ticketing and the expansion of combined transport systems.
In the public part of the "Alpweek Intermezzo" on Thursday, 4.4., the Tyrolean photographer Lois Hechenblaikner took a critical look at current developments in Alpine tourism in his photo presentation. Natael Fautrat from Chambéry sketched out a vision for the future of the Alps from the perspective of young people.
The rest of the day was dedicated to good ideas: Presentations and market stands invited the participants to discuss initiatives from the Alpine region that are already being implemented. In the end, cabaret artist Markus Koschuh summed up the conference in an entertaining and provocative poetry slam: "We never want more! Because the tears of the Alps are the mudflows and avalanches, so it hardly takes roads, but rails. Happiness in the Alps: no step forward, one step back."
The event was rather successful with engaged discussions and good feedback. A documentation will be available in the near term on the website www.alpweek.org.
The CAA (Club Arc Alpin) invites you to the
Tomorrow in the Alps
on 3-4 April 2019 in Innsbruck, Austria
Like its bigger sister, the quadrennial AlpWeek, Alpweek Intermezzo is an international event on sustainable development and related Alpine issues, jointly organised by key Alpine organisations. The 2019 edition of the event is conceived as a lunch to lunch conference which will bring the main Alpine stakeholders together to meet and exchange views on the topic “Tomorrow in the Alps”.
AlpWeek Intermezzo will start on 3 April 2019 with a political discussion (on invitation only) on relevant topics for the future of the Alpine Region. The outcomes of this exchange will be brought to the attention of the Alpine Conference the next day. On 4 April, we invite you to a project showcase featuring inspiring stories on the topic “Tomorrow in the Alps”, followed by interactive market stands.
Organisers: Alliance in the Alps; Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention; Interreg Alpine Space programme; Alpine town of the year association; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin; Österreichischer Alpenverein; ISCAR; WWF
Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Austria
Check out the programme and register here:
Please register by 15 March 2019.
Accommodation: We have reserved contingents in some hotels in Innsbruck. These can be accessed via the following link: https://www.innsbruck.info/en/congress/alpweek-intermezzo.html
The hotels in Innsbruck are very busy at this time. Please book your room as early as possible!
Greening: AlpWeek Intermezzo has been certified as “Green Event Tirol”. The organisers are actively working on minimising its environmental impact. More information: www.alpweek.org
We look forward to welcoming you in Innsbruck!
CAA General assembly in Turin
On 8 September, at the invitation of the CAI, the presidents or vice-presidents and managing directors of the CAA member associations met at this year's general meeting in the "Museo Nazionale della montagna" on the Kapuzinerberg in Turin. The day before, the Alpine Convention and the role of the CAA as its observer had already been the subject of a lively discussion. The CAA had previously questioned its member associations about this in detail and had now presented the results. A work programme is now to be developed from the proposals contained therein.
The representatives of the member associations also adopted new, joint recommendations "Safe Bouldering Indoor" as well as updates to the recommendations on safe ski touring, alpine tours, via ferratas and mountain hiking proposed by the Mountaineering Commission. The political climate demands and the climate change strategy of the CAA were revised and adopted. After 8 years, Franco Capraro's second term of office on the CAA's Executive Board ended: he was discharged with warm thanks. His successor was Antonio Zambon, long-serving mayor of Budoia, who in 1997 was a founding member of the Alliance in the Alps network of municipalities for the implementation of the Alpine Convention at municipal level. The two auditors Gislar Sulzenbacher (AVS) and Alois Schnider (LAV) were elected for a second term of office.
CAA commission of huts and trails: Annual meeting at the Schlernhaus on June, 18+19
As the last of the three CAA commissions, the Commission held this year's annual meeting as a guest of the CAI on 18 + 19 June at the Schlernhaus in South Tyrol. As always, the focus was on the exchange of information and experience, especially on the topics of "mountain biking on paths" and "huts and paths as part of the tourist infrastructure". In addition, the current status of the CEN standard for material ropeways, the online reservation system and the implementation of the "Energy efficiency in huts" project were reported. Also an exchange about a possible common hut data base took place again. The new Chairman Miro Erzen also suggested, among other things, that an additional meeting of the Commission be held in the autumn of each year in order to speed up the progress of joint projects. This is the aim now, even though the Commissioners' time resources are very limited.
Annual Meeting of the mountaineering commission on June 7+8 in Malbun/Liechtenstein
In addition to the exchange of representatives of the member associations about their respective current main focuses of work and projects, this time one focus of the meeting was on the discussion and partial revision of the recommendations on various mountain sports adopted in recent years. New joint recommendations have also been developed for bouldering. Other topics included a poster "Safe indoor climbing" and the cooperation with MountainSafety.info.
Annual meeting of the CAA Nature Conservation Commission in Berne
From 26-28 April 2018, the CAA Commission for Nature Protection and Alpine Spatial Planning (KONSAR) met in Bern at the invitation of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC).
This year, the exchange on current activities of CAA member associations in the field of nature conservation was at the centre of the agenda: topics such as the increasing pressure to develop through tourism and energy, motorised leisure traffic, but also the designation of quiet game zones as well as the handling of wild animals or projects for the protection of biodiversity concern most of the Alpine associations. The Commission also discussed updating the common positions on climate change. Information was also provided on the current self-reflection process at the Alpine Convention. On Saturday morning, the group went on a guided excursion with specialist forestry information in the Gantrisch Nature Park.
CAA General assembly 2017 in Malbun/Liechtenstein
On September 16th the presidents and directors of the CAA member associations met for the General assembly 2017 in Malbun/Liechtenstein, following the invitation of the Alpine Club Liechtenstein.
Following the agenda the delegates approved different papers:
- 10 recommendations "Safe climbing (Indoor)", prepared by the CAA commission of mountaineering, training and safety.
- Revisions of the positions concerning Via ferratas and the value of landscape, updated on initiative of the commission of nature protection and alpine spatial planning.
- A new position concerning Pedelecs/E-Bikes, which was developed jointly by the three CAA commissions.
Furthermore was decided about the cost sharing for the development of a CEN standard for material ropeways with limited passenger transportation which is in preparation by an international commission under participation of the German Alpine Club (DAV).
Regarding the online reservation system, for which the CAA made a start-up financing, the current state of the project was reported. The extended system is successfully in use in about 200 SAC, DAV, ÖAV and AVS huts. CAI and PZS are interested in the system, too.
The issues Alpine Convention and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps (EUSAlP) this time were discussed rather shortly, but the importance of the CAA as observer of the Alpine Convention was stressed. But it was also critically noted that not only the NGOs, but also the Alpine Convention has little influence in the framework of EUSALP.
Since already on the day before was discussed comprehensively about the future of the CAA after the planned foundation of the european mountaineering association EUMA, during the General assembly was made only a summary of this discussion. The CAA in the short term should further exist as indipendent organisation and concentrate on the Alpine Convention and the commissions.
As usual the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved.
Oskar Wörz (ÖAV), CAA-Vicepresident, stepped down from his office for personal reasons. Georg Simeoni (AVS), longstanding chairman of the CAA commission of huts and trails, was elected for the board. Before, Miro Erzen (PZS), dismissed from the board after three years, because he took over the chairmanship of the commission of huts and trails. Wörz was discharged by the delegates with hearty thanks.
Annual meeting of the CAA commissions of Mountaineering and Huts and trails
The CAA commission of mountaineering met on June, 8+9, on invitation of the SAC in Berne (CH). Under the chair of Michael Larcher (ÖAV) it developed 10 recommendations for Climbing (indoor). Besides the commission focused on the intensive exchange about activities and projects of the associations and discussed about an emergency hotline as well as with the topic "short rope".
Furthermore the commission spoke about the draft of the position "Pedelecs/E-bikes" and sent it afterwards with comments to the hut commission. The hut commission met on June, 19+20, on the Höllentalanger hut (D).
The changed and adapted draft now -after a further editing- will be sent to the board and the General assembly. In this case for the first time a position has been developed by all the three expert commissions.
The hut commission additionally had an exchange about the current state of the Online reservation system for huts, about the usage of the tool of the project "Energy efficiency on mountain huts" and about the state concerning a CEN standard for material ropeways. About the presentation of barrierfree accessability in tour portals was discussed, too. A successor for the - after two terms of office - leaving chairman Georg Simeoni still wasn't found, this will be organised within the next weeks.
Annual meeting of the CAA commission of nature protection and alpine spatial planning in Bolzano
On invitation of AVS the commission of nature protection and alpine spatial planning (KONSAR) met in Bolzano on April, 21-23.
Under the chair of Marie-Laure Tanon (FFCAM) the comission discussed in detail about updates of the common positions on climate change, the value of landscape and via ferratas. The latter will be finished in the follow-up. Furthermore the commission dealt with the draft of a position concerning mountainbiking with pedelecs which will be dicussed afterwards also by the other two CAA commissions. Besides, as always the exchange about the numerous nature protection activities of the CAA associations was an important agenda point, as well as the information about the current news of the Alpine Convention and EUSALP and the planned foundation of the european mountaineering association EUMA.
The programme of the meeting concluded on sunday morning with an excursion to the lakes of Montiggl with expert explanations about the special mixed forest.
AlpWeek 2016 report, video + cooperation video now available!
Held under the slogan “Alps & People”, the fourth edition of AlpWeek was dedicated to the many aspects of the connections between the Alps and the people who live, work and spend their spare time there.
We are pleased to inform you that the AlpWeek report is now available on the event website www.alpweek.org. This report includes a short summary on the outcomes of the event for each of the three topics: demography, culture and quality of life.
It also opens perspectives for the next AlpWeek.
As developed in the conclusions, ambitious political strategies must be developed, to find convincing solutions to the challenges faced by the Alpine society. These can be developed from the initiatives of civil society and of local and regional administrative bodies, then further promoted through co-operation and networking. This will require a political and social dialogue, as sought by various alpine stakeholders, amongst which the Alpine Convention, the Alpine Space programme and numerous civil society organisations. With its open character and highly differing exchange opportunities, the AlpWeek offered a chance for such a dialogue.
Here the link to the video which illustrates the special atmosphere of the AlpWeek. .
Thank you all for having contributed to the success of AlpWeek 2016!
AlpWeek was jointly organised by:
Alliance in the Alps; Alpine Convention; Alpine Space programme; Association Alpine Town of the Year; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin (CAA); ISCAR Alpine Research; Ökomodell Achental.
Please find here the cooperation videohttps://vimeo.com/spreadfilms/review/209907575/6fc026f8b5.
With the financial support of:
German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety;
Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection.
CAA General Assembly 2016 in Innsbruck
On September 17th the delegates of the CAA’s member associations – presidents and directors – met for the General assembly 2016 in Innsbruck, following the invitation of the Austrian Alpine Club.
The delegates approved a recommendation concerning belay devices for sport climbing, which the commission for mountaineering had prepared before, as well as a common position concerning artificial snow making, developed by the commission for nature protection and alpine spatial planning.
Regarding the online reservation system, for which the CAA made a start-up financing, the current state of the project was reported. The extended system is ready for operation since July 2016 and already in use in numerous SAC, DAV and ÖAV huts. The development of an e-payment solution is progressing. At the moment the system is in possession of SAC, DAV, ÖAV and AVS. Further associations can take it over and adapt it later.
For the use of the tool developed in the framework of the CAA project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts” a training course for persons responsible for huts was already held, in order to ensure a practical application of the tool, which allows an assessment of building and restoration measures.
The issues Alpine Convention, Alpweek 2016 and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps (EUSLAP) were discussed in the presence of the General Secretary of the Alpine Convention, who stressed the importance of the alpine associations and the CAA as observer of the Alpine Convention. He presented the programme of the forthcoming Alpine Conference in Grassau/Bavaria and gave a preview of the plans of the following Austrian Presidency 2017/18.
The longstanding treasurer in the CAA board, Gianna Rauch, stepped down from the office on her own request and was discharged by the delegates with hearty thanks. She was succeeded by Heinz Frei, member of the SAC’s central board, who was elected unanimously.
On the day before the delegates had discussed separately about the current challenges of the alpine associations in the CAA which was intended as contribution to an exchange of experiences and to understand each other better.
Furthermore, the General Assembly discussed in detail the foundation of a European Mountaineering Association, which most of the participants consider necessary. However, there are still different ideas about the shape of such an association.
As usual the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved.
Join us at
AlpWeek: Alps & People,
on 11-15 October 2016, in Grassau (Germany)!
Over 25 sessions and 20 market stands as well as 4 excursions await you as an opportunity to learn about current challenges and find common solutions in the fields of culture, demography, and quality of life in the Alps!
AlpWeek is an international event dedicated to new and promising prospects of sustainable development in the Alps. Organised jointly by the main alpine organisations engaged in regional and sustainable development, it is held every four years. AlpWeek 2016 is being organised under the German Presidency of the Alpine Convention.
On Oktober, 12th, the Austrian Alpine Club will present its main topic "Mountain Sports & Health" in a session.
Information and registration: www.alpweek.org.
Alliance in the Alps; Alpine Convention; Interreg Alpine Space Programme; Association Alpine Town of the Year; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin (CAA); ISCAR Alpine Research; Ökomodell Achental.
German ministry for environment, for nature protection, building and nuclear security, and Bavarian ministry for environment and consumer protection
Alpen & Menschen
Des Alpes & des gens
Le Alpi & la gente
Alpe & ljudje
Alps & People
CAA General Assembly 2015 in Brixen /Bressanone
On September 12 the delegates of the CAA’s member associations – presidents and directors - met for the General assembly 2015 in Brixen/Bressanone, following the invitation of the Alpine Club of South Tyrol.
In the series of recommendations regarding the alpine disciplines the delegates approved 10 recommendations for safety on ski tours which the commission for mountaineering had prepared before, as well as the final version of the recommendations for alpine tours.
Regarding the online reservation system, for which the CAA made a start-up financing, the current state of the project was reported. According to the report the system, in the beginning developed under the aegis of the SAC which is already using it successfully, will be at the disposal for the huts of DAV, ÖAV and AVS in Summer 2016. It will simplify the administration of the sleeping places for hut keepers.
The CAA-project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts” is now completely finished. Its results will help sections and technical experts responsible for huts to evaluate with a matrix to which degree single constructions or restoration measures really are energy-efficient.
Furthermore the issues Alpine Convention and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps (EUSALP) were discussed with which the CAA as alpine-wide umbrella organisation and official observer of the Alpine Convention deals intensively. In October 2016 the CAA will be one of the organizing partners of the Alpweek in Grassau/Chiemgau (Bavaria), a colourful festival related to alpine issues in connection with the Alpine conference of the ministers for the environment, which will conclude the German Presidency of the Alpine Convention.
On the day before the delegates had discussed already separately about the future tasks and main focuses of the CAA. Greater attention should be directed towards internal communication and the exchange of experience in the future. Structural changes were not considered necessary.
As usual, the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved. At last, Klaus-Jürgen Gran (DAV) was unanimously re-elected for a second term of office as CAA President.
Annual meetings of the Commissions for mountaineering, training and safety and huts and trails
During its meeting in June 2015 on the Pass Pordoi, the CAA commission for mountaineering, training and safety has developed common recommendations for ski tours, which shall be approved by the CAA General Assembly in September. Furthermore, a draft for a position paper regarding belay devices was discussed, which the commission will deal with more intensively.
At the annual meeting of the commission for huts and trails on the Gafadura hut in Liechtenstein, the main focus was–besides the completion of the project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts”–the online reservation system for huts, for which the CAA provided a start-up financing. The first huts will test it in the next winter, from summer 2016 on it shall be used by all interested huts of DAV, ÖAV and AVS.
Annual meeting 2015 of the Commission for nature protection and alpine spacial planning
On its annual meeting, held on 24-26 April in Schaan /Liechtenstein the Commission focused on the issue of mountain biking and environment. The framework conditions in the alpine states are different regarding the legal situation, and the integration of mountain biking in the training standards of the alpine associations differ considerably. However, the in the meantime often high percentage of active bikers in the member structure is similar – often one third – and partly the problems with erosion and above all conflicts between hikers and bikers are similar as well. The Commission agreed that a common position paper doesn’t make sense due to the big differences, but that a collection of “best practice” examples with focus on environmental aspects will be developed.
Besides, the Commission discussed further alpine-wide policy papers: the Commission intends to work out a common position of the alpine associations regarding artificial snowmaking. Furthermore the Commission will propose again Jörg Ruckriegel (DAV), chairman for the last four years, for another four-year-period as chairman of the Commission. Like every year the meeting served also for important exchanges of experience and information about the current activities of the associations in the area of nature protection and for the information of the Commission members about the current main focuses of the CAA board.
The next meeting will be hosted by FFCAM in the French Alps in April 2016.
CAA General Assembly 2014 in Paris
Following an invitation of the French Alpine Association FFCAM the CAA General Assembly (GA) took place in Paris this year on September 13th.
In the series of recommendations regarding the alpine disciplines the delegates approved 10 recommendations for safety on alpine tours which the commission for mountaineering had prepared before. Furthermore the position paper regarding wind power plants of 2006 was updated and approved.
The GA resolved a new paper regarding the significance of landscape. It’s exactly the landscape which fascinates mountaineers and other guests, and which determinates the identity of the population, and which also comes increasingly under pressure.
With the start-up financing of an online reservation system for overnight stays on huts the CAA pursues a really practical project, which will make the reservations – also across borders – easier for the users and will facilitate the administration for hut keepers.
Not yet completely but almost finished is the CAA project “Energy efficiency on mountain huts,” the results of which will help hut keepers and sections to evaluate with a matrix to which degree energy-efficient single construction or restoration measures really are.
Furthermore the issues Alpine Convention and Macro-regional strategy for the Alps with were discussed which the CAA as alpine-wide umbrella organisation deals intensively. The member associations were asked again to participate in the public consultation for the EUALP (see below), directly or with the CAA if they want.
As usual the reports and annual plannings of the board and the commissions as well as annual accounts and budget were approved. At last, CAA President Gran said goodbye with warm words and with applause of the General Assembly to the longstanding CAA Vice President Danilo Skerbinek who, after two terms of office, couldn’t run for office anymore. Afterwards the General assembly elected Miro Erzen (PZS) for the board. Oskar Wörz (OeAV) will be the new Vice President and Franco Capraro (CAI) was elected for a second term of office, too.
Public consultation for the EU-strategy for the alpine region (EUSALP)
On July 16th the public consultation of the EU commisison for the macro-regional strategy for the Alps (EUSALP) started. Until October 15th all interested persons and organisations can answer a questionnaire with several open questions to the principles of the planned strategy which are explained by an accompanying text. Good proposals and ideas are welcome!
The principles were developed by three working groups and the steering committee in spring 2014. They are grouped around the three pilars of the "Grenoble Document", in short: 1. sustainable growth and innovation, 2. territorial development, transport, 3. natural and cultural ressources, energy. The civil society - which also includes the alpine associations - was represented only in the working groups, and only by a person sent by CIPRA as representative of an "Alpine Network", consisting in observers of the Alpine Convention. In the “Steering Committee” representatives of the “Civil Society” were and are still not admitted, the Alpine Convention and the Alpine Space Programme are admitted as observers. It is therefore all the more important that those who work for the protection of the Alps participate in the consultation.
The CAA will participate in the consultation and remains at your disposal for any further information.
More Information also on the CIPRA website.
CAA panel discussion "The role of the Alps – the heart of Europe or outback of the metropolitan cities"? in the Munich Alpine Museum
Does a "macro-regional alpine strategy" offer additional value with respect to the Alpine Convention and if so, what value? Which problems of the Alps are dealt with in the numerous national and international bodies and institutions? Does this promote sustainable development, the goal shared by all? These and many broader questions were discussed on the evening of 26th March by well-known experts and administrative officers at the framework programme of the DAV exhibition "Alps under pressure", under the dedicated and knowledgeable moderation of Alpine journalist Axel Klemmer.
In his introduction, CAA president Klaus-Jürgen Gran put forward the question of whether the planned inclusion of approximately 66 million inhabitants in the area of the macro-regional strategy would lead to a considerably more complex range of interests than those, even within the perimeter of the Alpine Convention with its approximately 15 million inhabitants, that we have not yet been able to fully satisfy or not.
Alpine researcher Werner Bätzing determined the neo-liberal trend, orientate regions towards cities, and so making the actual Alps with its inhabitants on the outskirts. Peter Eggensberger from the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment, on the other hand, sees many new opportunities for cooperation and balancing of interests, he hopes for an integrated, coordinated Alpine policy. Christian Baumgartner from CIPRA international does not believe in the threat of external influences, as even within the Alps there are very strong regions. Eva Nussmüller from the EU, expert for the Danube macro-region, stressed that the EU is deliberately restraining itself, i.e. the regions themselves ought to form the strategy. The Danube region is said to be much more heterogenous than the Alps. Christian Salletmaier from the "Alpine Space Programme" noted that some problems should be solved better locally, whereas others, such as biodiversity or the use of natural resources, can only be properly managed on a cross-border basis, which also occurs through the project funding of its programme. Markus Reiterer, general secretary of the Alpine Convention, gave the project "Mountaineering villages" as a positive example for the advancement of locally-sourced added-value and wishes to maintain the Alps as an area worth living in and not reduce them to terms such as "Europe’s battery". Franz Ferdinand Türtscher, mayor of the municipality of Sonntag in the Great Walser valley, explains that promotion of the Vorarlberg state is succeeding rather than wealthy communities, such as Lech, supporting poorer areas.
In the recently begun work of the working groups on the development of the macro-regional strategy, up until now Baumgartner has missed visionary goals such as quality of life or sufficiency and sees the sectoral approach, sorted by e.g. transport, economy, environment, as rather unsuitable. Bätzing is likewise calling for an "inclusive orientation". He appealed for "functional interrelations" between the Alps and foreland areas to be handled "at eye-level", and pointed out that the "mental and linguistic rifts" within the Alps and between the Alps and the foreland areas are very deep. Eggensberger invited the representatives of the "civil society", including the CAA and its member associations, to bring their ideas to the process. Reiterer also sees the macro-regional strategy as an opportunity to bring the Alpine Convention to life and to make the Alps more visible in Brussels.
"Surely nobody expected all of the fog to be cleared at the end of the evening", joked CAA President Gran in his closing words after the long, at times challenging discussion. However, he announced that the CAA will continue to play a part in the process, "in order to help design the idea of the macro-region Alps and to bring out the best possible for the Alpine region, without compromising the achievements of the Alpine Conventions."
Panel discussion: The role of the Alps – centre of Europe or hinterland of the metropolitan areas?
In line with the decision of the European Council from December 2013 that a macro-regional strategy for the Alps is to be developed, the CAA on March 26th organizes a panel discussion with renowned experts in the framework programme of the DAV exhibition “Alps under pressure” at the Munich Alpine Museum.
In the light of the EU decision the Alpine Convention has to fight for a strong position. Which impulses can the Alpine Convention set to have a strong role in the sustainable development of the Alps? Which will be the main focuses of the German Presidency in 2015/16? Which chances will a macro-regional strategy offer to the Alps? What does it mean for the lives of the population of the Alps? Which role do metropolises like Milan or Munich play? And what could the civil society do to accompany the process actively?
The experts will face these and other questions and try to illustrate the abstract topic.
Date: 26 March 2014, 7.30 p.m., Alpine Museum, Munich
Klaus-Jürgen Gran, President of Club Arc Alpin: Address of welcome and introduction
• Professor Werner Bätzing, Cultural geographer, University of Erlangen
• Markus Reiterer, Secretary general of the Alpine Convention
• Dr. Christian Salletmaier, Alpine Space Programme manager
• Eva Nussmüller, EU Commission, Directorate-General for Regional Policy
• Dr. Peter Eggensberger, Bavarian ministry of the environment and consumer protection
• Dr. Christian Baumgartner, Vice president CIPRA international
• Franz Ferdinand Türtscher, Mayor in "Großes Walsertal", Austria
Moderator: Axel Klemmer, Geographer and Journalist