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Guido Meeus, Environmental education service, Parc national de la Vanoise

 "I was there in Gap in October 1995 when ALPARC was created. If I had to summarise what has happened over the past 15 years, I would say that despite the language barriers, we have really seen people opening their eyes to new possibilities and engaging in in-depth discussions. I would say that ALPARC is a catalyst."

"I have found various events organised by ALPARC incredibly beneficial […]. The events have been crucial in expanding my understanding of conservation and have allowed me to move from thinking in terms of French national parks to thinking about Alpine protected areas. For example, I feel that I have more in common with nature reserves in Austria than a marine park in Brittany. The Alpine factor is the key: we all live in the same mountains, whether in France or in Slovenia […] I feel truly Alpine."
"For me, it’s an everyday thing now to work with other Alpine parks. For example, I met Cristina Del Corso, from the Gran Paradiso National Park (Italy) on an ALPARC training course. We now work together on a number of projects. So when Cristina called me about setting up a twinning arrangement between her park in Italy and my French park, I agreed straight away."

ALPARC offers "exchanges and cultural references [that enable] us to do our work better".

"As I see it, ALPARC is an absolutely essential organisation. It has helped me to evolve, to improve my knowledge of the Alps as a whole, and really opened my mind. For example, when I was ordering an educational tool (about Hector, a dead tree), it seemed logical to get it in both French and Italian, so that it could be used on both sides of the border: by Italian teachers in French schools and their French counterparts teaching Italian pupils. ALPARC is an instrument that really does help to create a European perspective."

Guido Meeus