ALPS KNOW HOW: Introduction


The Future Belongs to Those Who Shape It

In the Alps, there are countless organisations and groups with several thousand active members working to shape the future. But many of them are not aware that somewhere there is someone addressing exactly the same problems as they are. This is where Future in the Alps, a project run by the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) comes in. The objective is to collect and systematise the experiences and know-how available throughout the Alps and make it available to those who need it.


With its Future in the Alps project, CIPRA launched one of the most ambitious projects in the more than fifty years of its existence. The goal was to put the key questions relating to the future of the Alpine space on the agenda and deliver precise answers. This was done, not by embarking on new research, but by evaluating the results of existing research and counselling services. The findings are of use to anyone involved in any way with nature protection in the Alps and the central issues of regional development. For that purpose, a number of workshops and conferences have been held in various countries, and the "Alliance in the Alps" network of municipalities has established a project of its own to ensure implementation of the results of Future in the Alps. In addition, the findings offer CIPRA and partner organisations a firm base on which to build their policies and develop future projects.

Thanks to the generous support provided by the MAVA Foundation in Montricher, Switzerland, and a lot of hard work done by some of the best known experts in the field, we now have an impressive collection of results and answers. The findings have also been published in visually appealing form in CIPRA's 3rd Report on the State of the Alps, which appeared at the end of 2007 in German, French, Italian and Slovenian language under the title "We Alps! People Shaping the Future". This CD is targeted at everyone whose work in the Alps or elsewhere involves information and data in such fields as regional development, nature protection, transport, participation and much else besides. The results of the project are presented in combination with a wealth of documents, references, links and sources, which are just a mouse-click away for the user. We hope that lots of actors and interested parties will find this a useful tool; it will be updated on a regular basis. In the meantime CIPRA's work continues, and we have already turned to further projects relating to knowledge management for sustainability in the Alps. We are not resting on our laurels, and we accordingly look forward to plenty of feedback on this CD and our work in general.

All 1,000 copies of the CD have been sent out; therefore its content is available here for free.

Andreas Götz, Executive Director CIPRA International

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