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Climate Change is threatening our planet. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s ‘Special Report’, if global temperatures rise above 1.5 °C (above pre-industrial levels) we will face extreme climate events, a substantial increase in biodiversity loss, and difficulties gathering fresh water.

 

Climate Change in the Alps
The situation in the Alpine region is even more alarming, with rising temperatures about “twice as large as the global trend” (Brunetti et al., 2009). Furthermore, climate change’s effects are three time stronger in the Alps than the world’s average (OECD, 2007) and gathering fresh water is becoming an increasingly urgent issue. Over 90 percent of glacier volume in the Alps could be lost by 2100. Ice melting has become a symbol of climate change in the Alps, since it is the most visible and easily measured effect of climate change and due to the glaciers’ high importance for the region’s landscapes, ecosystems and economy. ‘The Cryosphere’ review envisages two alarming scenarios in which, depending on the increase in global temperatures, Alpine glaciers may or may not survive. 
Alpine States are committed to climate change action and have adopted the Alpine Convention’s ‘Declaration on Climate Change’ (2006) and ‘Action Plan on Climate Change in the Alps’ (2009).   Since 2011, “taking action on climate change” has been one of the priorities set during the ‘Multi-Annual Work Programme of the Alpine Conference’. This brought about the establishment of the Alpine Climate Board in 2016, which coordinates all climate change-related activities.

 

Concrete actions in Alpine protected areas

Several Alpine protected areas are carrying out concrete actions to deal with the effects of climate change which mainly consist in monitoring and research, adaptation and mitigation measures, promotion, educational activities and dissemination of relevant information to the general public.


In France, the project Alpages sentinelles, started in 2000, studies and measures the effects of climate change on 31 Alpine pastures. The project’s goal is to develop adaptation measures to preserve the traditional pastoral activity in the Alps. It involves the Ecrins National Park, Vanoise National Park, Mercantour National Park, Chartreuse Nature Regional Park, Vercors Nature Regional Park, and Luberon Nature Regional Park. The partners of Alpage sentinelles met last March to analyse the results of 2018 - the warmest year ever recorded since the launch of the project. They agreed that the most effective measure is to manage the Alpine pastures in a way that avoids further stress on the grasslands. Indeed, pastures are already feeling the effects of increasing temperatures, resulting in the depletion of vegetation.
In the same direction, the National Park of Ecrins and the National Park Gran Paradiso launched the LIFE project PastorAlp. Based on a consistent activity of transboundary research, the final output of the project consists of developing a platform of tools to facilitate the adoption of climate change adaptation strategies in the two parks.

 

3pnv006188 Renoncule des glaciers. Au 2e plan les Roches Blanches au fd. de g. à dr. Col des Léchours Pointe des Léchours Col du Pelvo Roux e

 

The Interreg Alcotra CClimaTT project involves transborder protected areas from France and Italy. The objectives of the project include:  gathering more knowledge and understanding of climate change effects; involving and informing the general public; and influencing people’s behaviour toward greater environmental responsibility. Within this framework, the Ente Aree Protette Alpi Marittime and National Park of Ecrins, offered 40,000 euros to eight projects, selected by a jury of experts, that promote a resilient and climate-smart future under the motto “If climate changes… we change as well!”. The winners will implement activities for the mitigation and adaptation to climate change in Alpine areas.


The Festival scientifique “Avec ou sans Glace” is an example of a series of activities held to inform the general public on the effect of climate change in the Alps with specific reference to glaciers melting. The conference organised by the National Park of Vanoise (France) included a ‘geological hike’ to discover the impact of the melting glaciers and a conference where climate change experts interacted with the public.

Apart from informing the general public, protected areas play a key role in carrying out educational activities on climate change effects. For example, the Natural Park of Adamello (Italy), together with a local high school, organised outdoor activities dedicated to pupils under the Interreg project YOUrALPS: The trees in the Alps as a signal of climate change. Students were guided by experts to discover the effects of climate change on forests to better understand the changing ecosystem. In Austria, still under the YOUrALPS project, educational activities were carried out in the Nature Park Geschriebenstein where high school students were confronted with the issue of extreme weather events caused by climate change. During on-field activities, they experimented with climate change adaptation and mitigation measures against floods.

In Slovenia, the Triglav National Park is part of the Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve. This initiative is an intergovernmental research programme that establishes a global network of biosphere reserves. This network strives to uphold the balance between people and nature, biodiversity and sustainable development and upkeep of cultural values. This is a great example of the enhancement of an active ‘sink’ of GHGs, which is a strong mitigation measure against climate change.

Moreover, the Berchtesgaden National Park, in Bavaria, is involved in different climate monitoring activities. One of these activities is the Klimamessnetz (Climate monitoring network).  It relies on the National park service and the German weather service to track the changes in Alpine climate in the long run and in a large area. Moreover, the National Park is one of GLORIA-EUROPE research sites whose goal is to understand future scenarios we will have to face due to climate change.

Climate Change is producing severe effects on the Alps, but protected areas are fighting to resist.


Protected areas actions:


Alpages sentinelles


Pastoralp LIFE Project


Festival scientifique “Avec ou sans Glace”


Triglav National Park, the Julian Alps Biosphere Reserve


Klimamessnetz


If climate changes… We change as well!


The trees in the Alps as a signal of climate change


“Draußen unterrichten“– Biodiversity Strategies


We are Alps


Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments

 

Bibliography

Brunetti et al., 2009, ‘Climate variability and change in the Greater Alpine Region over the last two centuries based on multi-variable analysis’, in International Journal of Climatology

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2018, ‘Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 ºC’, as seen in https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/, 25-04-2019

NASA, 2019, ‘Responding to Climate Change’ as seen in https://climate.nasa.gov/solutions/adaptation-mitigation/, 26-04-2019

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2007, ‘Climate Change in the European Alps: Adapting Winter Tourism and Natural Hazards Management’, ed. Shardul Agrawala

Zekollari et al., 2019, ‘Modelling the future evolution of glaciers in the European Alps under the EURO-CORDEX RCM ensemble’, in The Cryosphere, volume 13, pp. 1125-1146

Published in News from the Alps

On Thursday April 11th, 2019, the new regional platform of the Alpine network ALPARC CENTR’ALPS was officially founded in Balderschwang, Nagelfluhkette Nature Park (DE).  Directly linked by contract to the ALPARC network, the new platform has an association status based on German law. 

The creation of a regional platform is based on the decisions of ALPARC’s last three General Assemblies, who decided to put in place a decentralized structure of ALPARC to guarantee concrete work on the ground, a closer proximity towards the managers of the protected areas and local initiatives. ALPARC CENTR’ALPS shares the same objectives and working axes of its “mother organization” and represents a concrete possibility for smaller protected areas and local managers of biodiversity and natural sites to join the network.  Thanks to ALPARC CENTR’ALPS there will be an opportunity to gain access to more of the EU’s funding for the central region. 

The 10 founding members include protected areas from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Swiss Park Network, the Federation of the Austrian Nature Park and the interactive natural museum Inatura located in Dornbin, Germany. The presidency of ALPARC CENTR’ALPS is assured by Peter Oggier, the current president of ALPARC and director of the Nature Park Pfyn-Finges

To insure a regional presence of the Alpine network with regional contact points and to guarantee the proximity to the protected areas, ALPARC is planning to create a second regional platform in the south-eastern Alps (East of Italy or Slovenia). This will strengthen the network’s activities.

List of the 10 founding members of the ALPARC CENTR'ALPS:

 

The 25th Edition of the Danilo Re Memorial – the trophy of the Alpine Protected Areas, will take place on January 16th-19th 2020 in Mittersill, HoheTauern National Park, Salzburg ,Austria. 

The event will host, as usual, the ALPARC General Assembly. It will be held on January 17th, 2020. All the ALPARC members are invited to participate.

Further information will be available in autumn on the Memorial Danilo Re website and on Facebook

Published in Events of ALPARC
Monday, 11 February 2019 10:39

ALPARC 2019 General Assembly

The ALPARC General Assembly was held in Les Contamines Montjoies France on 25th January 2019 traditionally within the context of the yearly Memorial Danilo Re (24th edition) which took place in the Contamines Natural Reserve (ASTERS, France). The Memorial and General Assembly coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Natural Reserve.
 
The General Assembly was held in the presence of the Ambassador and General Secretary of the Alpine Convention, Markus Reiterer, the representative of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Simone Remund and the representative of the CGET Philipphe Matheron. Moreover, the representatives of the of the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Region, Genevieve Borodine and the representative of the Sud Region Robert Gentili were also present.
The members of all the protected areas and of every category were well represented and this enabled the Assembly to validate the reports of the president, the treasurer and the director , the activity programme 2018- 2019 as well as the budget for 2019

Other important issues debated at the General Assembly concerned the new Alpine Space projects presented for the 4th Call of the Programme and the ongoing activities of the current European projects: ALPBIONET2030 , YOUrALPS and GaYA. The perspectives and futures of ALPARC’s actions were discussed. In this frame, the members approved the elaboration of three-year programme from 2020 and voted for a larger consultation of the members via workshops for the elaboration of the new programme. The role of ALPARC within the Alpine Convention and the Alpine Macro-regional Strategy was confirmed

The members also approved the concept of an event for the 25th anniversary of ALPARC, as a tour in the Alps bringing a common message and to link in to the IUCN Word Conference in Marseille. The members also validated the establishment of the ALPARC regional platform in the central Alps (Bavaria) with a legal entity directly linked to the ALPARC network in order to get access to new support and members on a regional and transboundary level.

A big thank you to ASTERS for holding a very constructive General Assembly whose decisions clearly show that ALPARC is open to the reinforcement of a shared cooperation between the alpine protected areas.

Thursday, 20 December 2018 14:24

A new Director for the Swiss National Park

The Federal National Park Commission has appointed Ruedi Haller as the new director of the Swiss National Park. On 1 October 2019, he will succeed Prof. Heinrich Haller who wishes to retire.
The Director is responsible for the operational management of the Swiss National Park. He heads the Park and its 3 divisions: Operations and Monitoring, Research and Geographic Information Systems, Communication and Public Relations. 45 employees share 27 full-time positions. The management and administration of the Park is centralized in Zernez, where the Visitor Centre was built 10 years ago. The Federal National Park Commission (FNTC), appointed by the Federal Council, is the strategic body of the Swiss National Park.
Ruedi Haller will be the seventh director to assume operational management of the oldest national park in the Alps since its foundation in 1914.
We offer our congratulations to Ruedi Haller and wish him all the best as director.

Source: http://www.nationalpark.ch/de/about/mediencorner/medienmitteilungen/medienmitteilungen-2018/der-neue-direktor-des-schweizerischen-nationalparks-heisst-ruedi-haller/


The successful two-year WeWild project ("We respect Alpine Wildlife") on ecologically friendly mountain sports has officially been completed. On November 7th, the final event of the project was officially held at the Alpine Museum of the Alpine Club in Munich. Once again, the project mobilized a large number of German and international stakeholders from protected area managements, Alpine clubs, authorities and nature conservation organisations, who used this day to exchange their experiences. The lively group discussions in the afternoon revealed current problems such as the growing influence of social media and online communities on the number of visits to sensitive natural areas. Options for action were discussed. The final event showed that all actors in the fields of nature conservation and (sustainable) nature sports in the Alps should take a stand on "overtourism" and "overmountaineering" and should jointly develop solutions.


Through the WeWild project and for the Alpine protected areas, ALPARC was able to launch a joint communication and cooperation initiative on human-nature conflicts in nature and mountain sports: "Be Part of the Mountain" (BPM). In the future, this initiative should promote the exchange of sustainable solutions, increase the reach of regional and local initiatives and develop joint awareness-raising tools and messages for nature conservation in mountain sports.
With the first snow that has arrived these days in the Alps, the number of members of “Be Part of the Mountain” has already risen to nine. Most recently, the Massif des Bauges Nature Park in France and the Dobratsch Nature Park in Austria were officially added as members. Members of BPM are officially committed to and promote the vision and common values of the initiative for ecologically friendly mountain sports that does not neglect nature conservation. They are involved - some of them already very successfully - at their level - in area management, visitor guidance and awareness-raising communication.


The following organisations are members of the initiative "Be Part of the Mountain" at the end of 2018:


•    The Ossola Protected Areas, Italy
•    CIPRA Italia, Italy
•    The UNESCO Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site, Switzerland
•    The Vercors Regional Natural Park, France
•    The Mont Avic Natural Park, Italy
•     The Nagelfluhkette Natural Park, Germany
•     The Dobratsch Natural Park, Austria
•    The Regional Natural Massif des Bauges Park, France


For more information see: www.bepartofthemountain.org

ALPARC is currently carrying out the Destination Parks project, which aims to promote the exchange of Alpine park destinations on sustainable tourism and to develop a common positioning of these regions in Alpine tourism. In October and December, regional exchanges took place in three best practise regions: the Queyras Nature Park in the Southern French Alps, the Gesäuse National- and Nature Park Region in Styria and the Dobratsch Nature Park in Carinthia.
In France, in the Queyras, the participants exchanged notably on the development of sustainable products for park tourism and their marketing (target groups, nature-oriented activities and packages). The marketed tourism products are tightly linked to the natural and cultural heritage of the Queyras valley. The visits to the regions in Carinthia and Styria were successfully organized by ALPARC as a study trip: In the Gesäuse region, the exchange focused primarily on regional branding and cooperation (for whom, how and what). The presentation of the successful development of the "Gesäuse" brand by the regional tourism organisation made the exchange very concrete and the discussions highlighted important success factors. At the Dobratsch, Villach's local mountain in Carinthia, the participants were then given a lively demonstration of what the future of low altitude ski resorts in the Alps could look like. Since 2002, the local stakeholders have positioned the Nature Park as a sustainable nature showplace (NaturSchauPlatz) for everyone, whereby the tourism strategy is coupled with a holistic visitor guidance concept. As part of the "Magische Momente" (Magic Moments) campaign, nature-based tourism offers are cross-marketed in Carinthia's nature parks.
The exchanges in the three regions have provided the participants with many good examples of a more sustainable Alpine tourism. In all three regions, success factors for the cooperation between tourism organisations and protected area managements as well as for the development of partner programmes also came to light. The partner programmes in particular are extremely important for sustainable tourism and the valorisation of regional production, as they can promote ownership of the protected area idea among locals and visitors alike.
The project is carried out with support of the Federal Office for the Environment (BAFU, Switzerland).

Thursday, 20 September 2018 15:02

New Biosphere Reserves in the Alps

Last July 2018 two new areas were recognised as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Italy: the Valle Camonica – Alto Sebino Biosphere Reserve and the Ticino, Val Grande Verbano Biosphere Reserve, which has been extended. This is an important step towards the promotion of solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.


The Valle Camonica – Alto Sebino Biosphere Reserve is located in Lombardy and includes also some territory of the Parco dell’ Adamello. The area is characterized by typical Alpine and pre-Alpine valleys, ranging from valley bottom landscapes to the highest peaks of Europe and the Adamello Glacier, and ending in Lake Iseo, one of Italy’s largest basins.
The Val Ticino Biosphere was created in 2002. Last July it was extended to include the Val Grande Verbano area. The area is located in the north of Italy, at the meeting point of the culturally rich regions of Lombardy and Piedmont. The enlarged Biosphere also includes territories of the Val Grande National Park, areas close to Lake Maggiore and its municipalities as far as the Swiss border. The reserve functions as an important ecological corridor within the urbanized and industrialized Po plain.
The main role of the UNESCO Biosphere reserves is to harmonize conservation of biological and cultural diversity and economic and social development through partnerships between people and nature.  In general, the UNESCO Biosphere reserves play a key role in the transition to green development, in particular for sustainable tourism.

For further information: http://www.parcovalgrande.it/novdettaglio.php?id=49123
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/biosphere-reserves/

 

 

 


http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/biosphere-reserves/

Thursday, 05 July 2018 15:28

New edition of eco.mont journal available

The new edition of eco.mont - Journal of protected mountain areas research is now available!

The journal is aimed at scientists, managers of protected areas and interested individuals on research and management issues related to protected areas in the Alps and other protected mountain areas. It is on its 10th anniversary and was founded as a joint initiative by the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC), the International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps (ISCAR), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and the University of Innsbruck.

eco.mont is published twice a year as a collaboration of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Press and Innsbruck University Press

Foto 01 low

 

Below you will find the documentation of the ALPARC conference "Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones) in protected areas: opportunities and threats" that was held the 27th and 28th of March 2018 in Dobbiaco.

See the programme of the conference here

Published in Resources