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Aug 31, 2023
Soils are among the most important resources we have. CIPRA's new Ground:breaking project shows why desealing land benefits everyone and what is needed at political, legal and local level in the Alpine region to achieve this.
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Water-permeable, climate-friendly and cost-saving: desealing roads or parking lots brings many advantages. (c) atelier OLGa

Desealing can restore the natural functions of the soil in the long term. These are a prerequisite for adapting to the climate crisis and for safeguarding the water balance and food production. However, desealing projects often conflict with other land use interests, especially in urban areas. Since soil consumption goes on, desealing practices are necessary in any case to achieve a net-zero. This is where Ground:breaking comes in: It addresses the issue of desealing and the improvement of site-typical soil functions and biodiversity on several levels and shows how desealing succeeds and what it serves us for.

Complete project name

Ground:breaking - Improving soil, climate and biodiversity through desealing in urban and peri-urban areas of the Alps.


  • Strengthening the topic of desealing and soil upgrading at the political level.
  • To make visible how desealing and/or upgrading of soils can be implemented in concrete terms.

Dialogue- and target groups

  • Working groups of the Alpine Convention and the Macro-regional Strategy for the Alps of the EU (Eusalp)
  • Experts in the administration
  • Municipalities
  • Planners
  • Political decision makers
  • Businesses
  • Civil society organizations


  • Accompanying and advising four model municipalities in Slovenia, Italy, Germany and Austria in the preparation and implementation of planned desealing measures.
  • Transnational webinar series explaining existing international strategies and their relation to soil (e.g. EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and EU Soil Monitoring Law, EU Nature Restoration Law, Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework).
  • National webinars in the respective national language that focus on the prevailing soil policies, compare them with the objectives of the international strategies and identify possible courses of action.
  • Communication measures and educational work on the topic. A central element is an Alpine-wide competition: here, municipalities, political decision-makers, companies and civil society can submit their biodiversity-promoting desealing and soil protection measures.


May 2023 - March 2026

Project partners

  • CIPRA International Association (project management)
  • CIPRA Italy
  • CIPRA Slovenia
  • CIPRA Austria
  • CIPRA Germany
  • CIPRA France - associated partner, funded by the French Ministry of the Environment (Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion).

Project languages

English and the respective national languages (German, Italian, Slovenian)


Marion Ebster-Kreuzer, [email protected]


The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

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CIPRA France's contribution to the project is funded by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion.

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Marion Ebster-Kreuzer
CIPRA International


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Further Information