CIPRA – Life in the Alps
Since 1952 the “Commission Internationale pour la Protection des Alpes” (CIPRA) has been working in support of sustainable development in the Alps. This commitment is worthwhile: the Alpine arc, which is 1100 kilometres long and passes through eight different countries, is home to about 13 million people. It is in this diverse living space that CIPRA is active, searching for ways and means to reconcile the calls of the natural environment, the business community and social issues.
CIPRA is a modern multilingual information platform for the expert and non-expert alike, both in and outside of the Alps. With its alpMedia Newsletter, CIPRA communicates news, publications and events from and for all the countries of the Alps. In addition CIPRA publishes in-depth information in its magazine "AlpsInsight", “Alpine Reports”, information bulletins, numerous dossiers and much else besides. Most publications are available in four languages, namely French, German, Italian and Slovene, and some are also in English.
CIPRA bridges the gap between research and practice: “Disseminating knowledge, networking people” – that is the motto of all CIPRA projects. In this sense, CIPRA presently focuses on the topic of climate change, which strongly impacts the Alps, more than certain other areas in Europe. With climate-projects like Alpstar, mounteEE, C3-alps and cc.alps, CIPRA wishes to contribute to bringing climate mitigation and adaptation measures in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
Putting this knowledge into practice is another challenge that CIPRA is responding to in various projects and initiatives. For example, CIPRA is one of the initiators of the Alliance in the Alps local authority network, in which over 300 communities from all the countries of the Alps are now working together to achieve sustainable development at the local level.
With its focus on sustainable development, CIPRA’s objective is to use the potential of the Alpine space at many levels and to preserve its cultural and natural diversity. In 1952, the year of the organisation’s foundation, CIPRA accordingly called for the creation of an international agreement for a broad protection of the Alpine space in the form of the Alpine Convention. After almost forty years and much hard work on the part of CIPRA, this goal was achieved in 1991 when the Ministers of the Environment of the countries of the Alps met in Salzburg to sign the Alpine Convention. Today CIPRA is supporting and monitoring implementation of the Alpine Convention. The organisation has official observer status within the Alpine Convention process, attends the Alpine Conferences and is active in a number of working groups.
CIPRA is pursuing a double strategy: on the one hand a top-down approach with the Alpine Convention, and on the other a bottom-up approach involving various projects, initiatives and networks. “Disseminating knowledge – networking people” so that life in the Alps will continue to be worth living in the future, too!
Outside point of views