Political Framework in the Alps


Territory- and Landscape-Based Policies

Generally speaking, the application of these policies is based on regulation, limits and zoning, and on the appropriation of landscape elements for a specific function (e.g. protection from landslides). This is also the domain with the most highly developed contractual measures (e.g. between a land owner and a nature protection authority). Three main types of tools can be distinguished:

Spatial Planning

There are very few specific procedures for mountain areas, like the "Alpenplan" which classifies the Bavarian Alpine area into a development zone, a transition zone and a protection zone, or the French UTN appraisal system for tourism resorts (unités touristiques nouvelles).
Further Readings & Links

A short report about new touristic infrastructure and tourism policies in France.

New policies for rural development are needed that are based on regulation, limits and zoning (Source: CIPRA).

Risk Management

The related policy measures, e.g. the integration of risk assessment and zoning into planning are likely to be particularly beneficial for mountain areas.

Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection

There are several categories of protected areas; while none of these policies are explicitly aimed at mountain areas, a significant proportion of the most highly protected areas are located within them. (see T6: Protected Areas and Sustainable Regional Development).

Policy evaluations (NORDREGIO 2004, REGALP 2005) point out that nature and the countryside in the Alps are nowadays better protected than they used to be. However not all the players realise the economic potential protected areas actually have. Conflicts between nature conservation interests and the demands of economic regional development have therefore remained unsolved.

Best Practice: Protected Area Management, Germany

Allgäu High Alps Protected Area Management – "Green" Jobs in Nature

The 21,000 hectare Allgäu High Alps Nature Reserve is one of Germany's most attractive holiday regions. At the same time the high-altitude mountain range and its diversity of species provides a retreat for many endangered species of animals and plant varieties. Four years ago the Land Association for the Protection of Birds first turned to the EU's Social Fund for funding for "green" jobs in the environmental sector. Since then, 25 new jobs have been created for environmental educators and nature conservation officers. Excursions to the realm of the golden eagle are one of the park’s highlights. For children there are courses on wild flowers and "creepy-crawlies". After initial scepticism most of the local inhabitants are proud of their park, with many working as volunteers to keep the eagle observatory, the "touch-and-feel boxes" and the information boards up to date. The park's latest sponsor is Deutsche Bahn, which is helping to draw in visitors with a package offer that includes rail travel, bus ticket, overnight accommodation, and as a special hit a golden eagle excursion.
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Deutscher Sportbund (2001)
A guideline on how Natura 2000 and sportive activities can be reconciled.

WERTH (2007)
Activity report 2006 of the area management for the Allgäu High Alps.