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Alpine Convention's implementation monitoring inadequate

Oct 20, 2005 / alpMedia
This year for the first time (and every four years thereafter) the Contracting Parties to the Alpine Convention are to give an account as to whether and to what extent they have met their obligations under the terms of the Convention and its Implementing Protocols.
Several Contracting Parties have failed to submit their reports on time or in all the Convention's languages. At the meeting of the Board of Review held in Vienna/A from 17 to 19 October, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) criticised that serious preparations for the meeting had been hampered as a result. The Principality of Monaco has so far dispensed entirely with submitting a report, even though the deadline expired as far back as the end of August.
According to a resolution of the Ministers of the Environment the reports are to be made public, yet so far this has not been done either, although this is to be rectified soon. Given the abundance of paperwork and the short preparation time it was not possible to discuss the details of the reports at the Vienna meeting. What did emerge, however, is that there were relatively few problems involved in completing the extensive questionnaires. Only Austria and Slovenia called in a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to draw up the report, with several states indicating that they had given NGOs the opportunity to participate in principle.
In CIPRA's view, reporting on the observance of Alpine Convention commitments gives the alpine states and the EU the opportunity every four years to show what they have achieved. At the same time any shortcomings in the implementation are to be discussed as openly as possible and ways of remedying them are to be examined. Such shortcomings are seen for instance in the fact that only Austria and Slovenia are known to have had court rulings and decisions taken by the authorities founded explicitly on the Alpine Convention and its Protocols.
The reports are to be discussed in detail at a further meeting in mid-December, with the Alpine Convention's Permanent Secretariat taking charge of the preliminary work.
Source: CIPRA-International