ALPS KNOW HOW: Navigation & Contents



The Future in the Alps project is aimed at promoting sustainable development in the Alpine region. The objective of the project is to encourage people, businesses and institutions to network in order to share and implement know-how and information and thus stimulate sustainable development in the Alps. For this reason, CIPRA has identified and collected a vast array of documents and information on the sustainable development of the Alps.

Six key issues provide the theme-related foundations of "Future in the Alps". These issues were identified and defined jointly with experts and players from the Alpine regions as part of a preliminary project. Within this framework, about 40 experts from all the countries of the Alps spent several months collecting and processing the latest findings from research and other publications, and the results of practical experience gained with model projects for each of the six key issues.

Main Topics

The condensed and easy to read results of these six key issues have been put together in the main topics of this curriculum "Alps Know How". Short, self explaining tutorials give an overview on these six key issues. For those who want to have more than just an overview, hundreds of further reading documents and links are conveniently placed just a click away within the tutorials. Two additional main topics "Development Trends in the Alps" and "Change Management" have been compiled additionally as main topics for this curriculum.

The Main Topics are:

Political Framework in the Alps

Written by Eva Favry, this tutorial is based on the Future in the Alps report by Alexandre et al. (2006). The tutorial aims to answer questions such as: What sort of impact do policies and instruments have on future regional development? How should these policies and instruments be adapted to contribute more effectively to sustainable development? How can policy assessment and research processes be improved to help reduce the gap between recommendations and practical implementation? Besides answers, several best practice example are presented.

Development Trends in the Alps

The Alps have undergone significant change in the past years. Wolfgang Pfefferkorn used the same data sources as quoted in CIPRA's 3rd Report on the State of the Alps (CIPRA (Ed.) 2007) and presents an overview of the development trends in the Alps in the last decades. The tutorial examines trends regarding population, economy, construction and agriculture in the Alps and highlights their consequences.

Change Management

The management of Alpine development processes is a trans-sectoral task, requiring the different stakeholders to all work together. To avoid conflicts and to find new ways of managing landscapes resources, an early involvement of all relevant interest groups is crucial. In this tutorial, Johannes Heeb explains how a participative planning process unlike in conventional processes offers the possibility to find "win-win" instead of "win-loose" solutions for all interest groups, as compromises are aspired to from the beginning.

Regional Value Added

Deploring the exodus of the population and the proliferation of tourism, and doing nothing about it, is one approach; the other, far more constructive solution is to show how money can be earned, and secure jobs created, using the resources available locally. This tutorial, compiled by Sandra Eichenberger from the Future in the Alps report by LARDELLI et al. (2006) tries to answer the question how endogenous potential can be used successfully for creating product and service chains with a high regional value added.

Governance Capacity

The state is stepping back and social structures are weakening: Citizens must take their affairs into their own hands and organise themselves to bring about decisions locally. Based on the Future in the Alps report by DEBARBIEUX et al. (2006), Wolfgang Pfefferkorn examines in this tutorial what prompts people to stay or to move to the Alps and how the governance capacity of individuals and communities can be consolidated.

Protected Areas & Sustainable Regional Development

Protected areas are often perceived as benefiting only nature and biodiversity. Their effects on regional development are frequently neglected. Katharina Conradin compiled the most important facts from the Future in the Alps Report by JUNGMEIER et al. (2006) that focuses on researching the relationship between protected areas, biodiversity and regional development.

Mobility Management

How are mobility and the development of regional structures connected? What solutions are there to fast growing leisure, tourism and commuter mobility? Helmut Hiess, based on the Future in the Alps Report by ACKERMANN et al. (2006), analyses the connection between transport system, mobility and the development of regional structure and gives best practice examples.

New Forms of Decision Making

The importance of public or citizens' participation and governance issues has increased in the last years. Based on the Future in the Alps Report by PFEFFERKORN et al.(2006), Wolfgang Pfefferkorn analyses in this tutorial which new forms of decision-making are the most promising with regard to sustainable development when it comes to negotiating regional planning demands.

Background Topics

To enrich the understanding of the Alpine context, renowned experts have contributed short tutorials relevant for the sustainable development of the Alps:

Mountain Agriculture

Flavio Ruffini and Thomas Streifeneder explain why agriculture in the Alps is a challenge for Europe and society.

Mountain Forests

Peter Brang describes the multiple services that Alpine forests provide and highlights the greatest future challenges for the effective management of this resource.

Alps and Tourism

Fabrizio Bartaletti gives an overview of the stages of development of tourism in the Alpine area and analyses the importance and key issues for the sustainable development of tourism in the Alps.

Energy in the Alps

Helmut Haberl identifies the Alps' energy demand and which endogenous energy resources can be utilised to achieve a sustainable development.

Alps and Climate

Martine Rebetez and Isabelle Morier summarise the characteristics of the Alpine climate and its impact on human activity.

Landscape Development in the Alps

Wolfgang Pfefferkorn analyses the importance of the landscape issue not only in regard to biodiversity, but also as a resource and location factor for regional economic development and a key element of regional identity in the Alps.

Biodiversity Hotspot Alps

Despite being the most intensely used mountain region of the world, Yann Kohler highlights that the Alps are one of the most important source and refuge of the European biodiversity.

Developments in Non-Alpine Mountainous Areas

Challenges faced across mountainous areas in the world are often similar, but sometimes completely different. Hermann Kreutzmann describes the challenges and development trends of High Asia and whether the Human Development Index is a suitable means to measure development as such.

Towns and Rural Areas in the Alps

Both towns and rural areas in the Alps have undergone significant changes in the last decades. Serena Rauzi explains the functions and relationships of urban and rural areas in the Alps.

Future in the Alps Workshops

Workshop Material

What is the secret of success of the Polo Poschiavo that has made an ITC centre out of a remote Alpine village? How can public services in mountainous areas be maintained and further developed? And what can we learn from successful traffic and visitor management projects in protected areas?
By means of an international workshop series from October 2006 until the end of 2007, "Future in the Alps" wants to support regional players in learning from the positive experiences of others, and wants to help them to make use of these experiences in their own context. The workshop topics are the results of intensive research that has been carried out within the "Future in the Alps" project. You can find these results on by selecting "alpsknowhow knowledge base". The presentations that were held and the papers that were submitted at the respective workshops can be accessed on this CD.

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