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CIPRA: in pursuit of harmony on diversity

Landscapes have many functions: They can be the location of homes, industry, farms and groundwater reservoirs, recreational areas and habitats for the flora and fauna. © Frank Schultze, Zeitenspiegel

Animals and plants have to migrate in order to reproduce. That involves crossing land that is also used by human beings. In its 2014 Annual Report, CIPRA shows how animals, plants and people all benefit from networking within the natural environment.

Roads, homes and industrial and commercial buildings – more and more green spaces are being lost to human infrastructures. The losers are the animals and plants that are dependent on open spaces and corridors. Biodiversity suffers. But so do human beings, as the green spaces are also groundwater reservoirs, recreational areas or extensive farming land.

Less tangible than infrastructures but equally disruptive are the differences in legislation to be found in the countries of the Alps: Authority for spatial planning – a key sector – can be located at the local, regional or national level; on one side of the border there may be binding structure plans and on the other side vague ideas. That makes communication and the creation of cross-border corridors difficult.

Landscape diversity as a solution for all

Those of some of the central findings made by the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) in its long years of experience in the field of environmental protection and the context of ongoing projects like greenAlps. For many years, CIPRA has been working with its its parters to build an ecological network for the flora and fauna. In its 2014 Annual Report, CIPRA International shows why broad-based involvement is important for the protection and preservation of the rich biodiversity of the Alps and how human beings stand to benefit.

The importance of ecosystems is now recognised by more than the ecologists. Erica Zangrando, representative of the Italian Veneto Region and partner in the recharge.green project, says: “In the mountain regions, the quality of life depends on the quality of the natural resources. It is important that people should be aware of the functions of our ecosystems.”

Seven Alpine countries with similar challenges

CIPRA works at many levels. It enjoys an Alpine view: With its seven national organisations in all the countries of the Alps plus a regional office, CIPRA knows what is important for the Slovenes and what annoys the French. The contributors to the Annual Report offer a variety of perspectives; they speak of the new optimism in the valleys of the Italian Alps, the work being done to protect the landscape in Germany and South Tyrol, and road traffic as a never-ending story in Slovenia and Liechtenstein.

Please address any queries you may have to:

Claire Simon, Executive Director of CIPRA International, +423 237 53 53,

Barbara Wülser, Communications Manager at CIPRA International, +423 237 53 11,

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