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Biodiversity needs bold policy and stringent implementation

(c) Frank Schultze/Zeitenspiegel

Biodiversity is a foundation for human wellbeing. However, strategies for its protection are not implemented effectively and projects often do not have the desired effect. The partners of the international project greenAlps present a series of recommendations for better implementation of existing policies in Alpine countries.

Numerous investigations have shown the immense richness and benefits of biodiversity in the Alps, and what could be done to safeguard it. However, it is a long and stony path from scientific findings to the adoption and full implementation of policies. The greenAlps project, which is carried out by eight partners coming from the Alpine countries, has looked at the biodiversity policy landscape in the EU, and in Alpine countries. It has surveyed experts from different sectors on the relevance and implementation gaps of these policies. It has also screened the results of other EU projects and assessed their relevance for current and future nature conservation strategies in the Alpine Space. It has further drawn on the experiences gathered from local stakeholders in pilot areas National Park Berchtesgaden/D, National Parks Kalkalpen and Gesäuse/A, National Parks of Triglav/SI and the Julian Prealps Nature Parc/I to reveal opportunities for, and also obstacles to, an effective strategy for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources in the Alpine Space. The International Commission for the Protection of the Alps, CIPRA, is responsible for public relations within the project.

The Alpine countries and European Union must act


greenAlps recommends that in order to protect biodiversity decision makers develop and implement an integrated, cross-sectoral landscape vision for the Alps, with concrete targets and implementation steps. “The active implementation of biodiversity conservation is a key challenge for all of us”, stresses Silvia Reppe from the German Ministry of Environment, which currently holds the presidency of the Alpine Convention. The Ministry of Environment is therefore particularly involved in the Alpine Convention on this subject and carries the findings of the greenAlps project to all Alpine countries from France to Slovenia.
The greenAlps project partners have developed different proposals on how European funding programs could better meet the stakeholder’s needs in the regions as well. "Cooperation works best at a local and regional level. This requires more resources being available”, suggests Michael Vogel, Director of the National Park Berchtesgaden in Germany and President of the Alpine Network of Protected Areas ALPARC, which acts as the lead partner of the project.

Targeted Results

The project results were discussed with about 100 conference participants at the final conference in Chambéry/F from 13-15 October 2014. The results are now available in a series of publications aimed at different target groups, including political decision makers, contributors to other projects, and programme authorities. All project publications are available at the project website www.greenalps-project.eu.

This release and print-ready photographs are now available for downloading: http://www.greenalps-project.eu/download/.
For further questions please contact:
Aurelia Ullrich-Schneider, Project manager Biodiversity and Landscape, CIPRA International
+423, 237 53 08, aurelia.ullrich@cipra.org

greenAlps – connecting mountains, people, nature

The project ran from September 2013 to November 2014. It was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Alpine Space Programme. It has been implemented by eight partners from six Alpine countries. The International Commission for the Protection of the Alps, CIPRA, has been responsible for public relations within the project.

Publications:

  • Staking a claim for nature – Policy recommendations for the Alpine Space (available in 5 languages, printed and online)
  • Connecting mountains, people, nature – Shaping the framework for an efficient European biodiversity policy for the Alps (English, printed and online)
  • The EU Biodiversity Policy Landscape (English, printed and online)
  • Biodiversity Stakeholder Networks in the Alpine Space (English, online)
  • Common Strategic Framework 2014-2020 & Biodiversity (English, online)
  • Ten recommendations to the Alpine Space Programme (English, online)

www.greenalps-project.eu/download