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Implementing knowledge, supporting communities, building networks

Mar 14, 2008 / CIPRA Internationale Alpenschutzkommission
The objective of Future in the Alps was not just to collect and communicate know-how, but also to promote utilisation of that know-how. The winners of the competition were given continuous support, and measures were taken to ensure that the prize money was put to the agreed use.
Image caption:
Die Alchemilla Gemeinschaft bringt Wertschöpfung in der Region © Biosphärenpark Großes Walsertal
Community Centre in Blons
Image caption:
The Community Centre in Blons (2005 Wood Construction Award) is a fine example of sustainable construction plus support for the regional economy. Bruno Klomfar
Future in the Alps also generated two major independent projects that address the topics and findings of the project: DYNALP², a support programme for local authorities, and NENA, an Interreg project for the development of a network of companies.

DYNALP²: in support of sustainable development in the municipalities of the Alps
The objective of DYNALP², which runs from April 2006 to June 2009, is to support local authorities wishing to implement sustainable projects in the framework of the six main topics of Future in the Alps. A total of 36 projects have been co-financed with a total of about 500,000 euros. DYNALP² activities also include thematic workshops, which start with a brief theoretical introduction and enable representatives of the Alpine communities to learn from the experiences of others and see the results for themselves during the accompanying excursions. The discussions also give them an opportunity to assess the applicability of what they hear and see to their own communities. The events and offers of project funding have met with a keen response and generated widespread participation among the Alpine communities.
DYNALP² is run by the Alliance in the Alps network of municipalities and funded by the Swiss MAVA Foundation for Nature.
Info: (en, de, fr, it, sl)

NENA: the creation of an enterprise network
January 2008 saw the official foundation of the NENA enterprise network. The membership comprises companies and industry federations with a focus on innovation and sustainability. The idea for the network was developed in the framework of Future in the Alps in recognition of the fact that sustainable development can only be successfully implemented with the participation of trade and industry. NENA offers companies an opportunity to look beyond their respective national borders. The network is seen as an effective way of supporting the efforts of trade and industry for more sustainability and allow enterprises and their umbrella organisations to exchange experiences and to share knowledge as well as to carry out long term co-operation on specific topics and projects within the Alps. Furthermore NENA helps alpine enterprises to raise their innovation potential and their competitiveness, and to increase the contribution of alpine enterprises their umbrella organisations to sustainable development in the Alps.
Infos: (en)

A practical example
One of the prize-winners in the Future in the Alps competition and also a NENA project partner is Qualitätsgemeinschaft Holzbau-Kunst Vorarlberg (Quality Control in Wood Construction in Vorarlberg). The Future in the Alps award and involvement in the NENA project have stimulated further progress in the field of wood construction in the Austrian region of Vorarlberg. The Vorarlberg Wood Construction Prize, which combines aspects of architecture, craftsmanship and ecology, has been modified to take account of the energy balance, passive house construction and healthy living as additional criteria for the award. The project has enabled the Vorarlberg to further consolidate its position as a model region for wood construction.