Review on the AlpWeek Intermezzo - Tomorrow in the Alps
Gallery: 20 Pictures
© Mateja Mazgan

Review on the AlpWeek Intermezzo - Tomorrow in the Alps

The future of the Alps begins now and here.

What will the Alps of Tomorrow look like? This question was the focus of the "AlpWeek Intermezzo" on 3 and 4 April 2019 in Innsbruck/Austria. Within this framework, political demands were drafted which will be discussed at the XV. Alpine Conference.

The Alpine Week is jointly organised every four years by Alpine organisations committed to regional and sustainable development. As a milestone, an "AlpenWoche Intermezzo" took place in Innsbruck, at the same time as the XV Alpine Conference and the conclusion of the Austrian Presidency of the Alpine Convention. On the first day, about 60 participants developed political demands within the framework of a closed event, which were presented to the environment ministers of the Alpine countries on 4 April 2019. They deal with the three topics of land and landscape, climate change and mobility.

Regional to Alpine-wide

"Land and landscape are valuable assets - take care of them," is the first postulation. Clear boundaries are needed to preserve the unique natural environment of the Alps and criteria for identifying areas worthy of protection. Demand two deals with climate change, which needs to be tackled at all levels. Climate protection and adaptation takes place at local level, so communities need better support both financially and organisationally. It was also emphasised that regional and alpine-wide initiatives must be linked better in order to make better use of existing knowledge.
The third demand to the Alpine Convention states: "Implement efficient mobility solutions throughout the Alpine region". The high traffic load of the Alpine valleys requires intelligent measures to promote a switch to public transport and alternative mobility solutions. The participants' ideas ranged from a better-timed and cheaper public transport service to mobile ticketing and the expansion of combined transport systems.

Critical view of the Alps
In the public part of the "AlpenWoche Intermezzo" on the second day, Tyrolean photographer Lois Hechenblaikner took a critical look at current developments in Alpine tourism in his photo presentation. Natael Fautrat from Chambéry sketched out a vision for the future of the Alps from the perspective of young people.
The rest of the day was dedicated to good ideas: Presentations and market stalls invited the participants to discuss initiatives from the Alpine region that are already being implemented. At the end, cabaret artist Markus Koschuh summed up the conference in an entertaining and provocative poetry slam: "We never want more! Because the tears of the Alps are the mudflows and avalanches, so it needs hardly any roads, but rails. Happiness in the Alps: no step forward, one step back."


Alpine Week Intermezzo
Like its bigger sister, the quadrennial AlpWeek, Alpweek Intermezzo is an international event on sustainable development and related Alpine issues, jointly organised by key Alpine organisations. For 2019 the event was conceived as a lunch-to-lunch conference which will bring the main Alpine stakeholders together to meet and exchange views on the topic “Tomorrow in the Alps”.

Alliance in the Alps" network of municipalities; Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention; Interreg Alpine Space Programme; Alpine Town of the Year Association; CIPRA International; Club Arc Alpin; Austrian Alpine Association; International Scientific Committee for Alpine Research ISCAR; WWF; Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research IGF (ÖAW)

Financial support
Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Austria

Live videos and impressions of the conference: