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The challenge: disseminating knowledge

Mar 14, 2008 / CIPRA Internationale Alpenschutzkommission
Establishing the knowledge base was an important first step. It formed the foundation for the transfer of knowledge in the central phase of Future in the Alps. Numerous activities were launched with the objective of communicating the know-how collected to as many actors as possible throughout the region of the Alps.
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The total value of the awards made was 150,000 euros. © CIPRA International
Workshop Slovenien
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Visits to successful projects were a part of all the workshops. © CIPRA Slovenja
Tagung BH
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The conference on climate change in Bad Hindelang, September 2006. © CIPRA International
Ausbildung Tutzing
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The global knowledge transfer group from Asian mountain regions. © CIPRA International
The competition
Five hundred and seventy projects, activities and initiatives were entered for the Future in the Alps competition in the hope of winning one of the 25,000 euro prizes. Eight projects were selected to receive an award, with prize-money totalling 150,000 euros. The keen response to the competition showed that there is no shortage of good ideas for sustainable development in the Alps, and that there is a trend that needs to be supported and reinforced.

The international workshops
From October 2006 to April 2008 a series of thirteen international workshops were organised, with one to three workshops held in every country of the Alps with simultaneous translation in at least two languages. That gave some 800 people an opportunity to share their knowledge and learn from others and make new contacts.
Workshop documents are on-line in the respective languages of each Workshop available:

We Alps! People shaping the Future
CIPRA's 3rd Alpine Report is the most important product of Future in the Alps. The examples of best practice, the final reports on the six topics, and data for the whole of the Alps formed the basis for the fifteen exposés, the seven background reports and the data supplement. The book tells of people with a commitment to solutions, people who are creative, innovative and successful. "It is a positive book about the new heroes of the mountains …," says the "Süddeutsche Zeitung". The texts, photographs and design are the result of co-operation between CIPRA and the professionals of the German Zeitenspiegel agency.

The content generated in the framework of Future in the Alps was also used to produce a CD offering a full range of teaching materials. The CD includes tutorials in English on the six main subjects of the project plus backgrounders compiled by a team of international experts. There is also a collection of materials for further work in the form of pdf files in various languages. The CD is an effective teaching tool offering a wide overview of the central topics confronting the Alps. It will be soon available for use by research workers and students, for university and college courses, and for continuous education programmes in the field of sustainable development in the Alps.

Maintaining a public presence
Throughout the project, a strong public presence was maintained in order to reach out to as many people in the Alps as possible. In particular, CIPRA produced a number of publications such as the 3rd Alpine Report, CIPRA Info Special no. 82 and the proceedings of two international CIPRA conferences, namely "Alpine Town, Alpine Country" and "Climate - Change - Alps". External publications during the project period included six books and volumes of conference proceedings with chapters devoted to the project and its results as well as about forty articles published throughout the Alpine region in journals and on various websites. Future in the Alps was regularly represented at relevant events; members of the core team and groups of experts made presentations and distributed project literature at about forty conferences. Some forty websites of relevance for sustainable development and the Alps offered links to our project website. CIPRA announced all project milestones in the form of press releases in five languages.

Global knowledge transfer
Future in the Alps organised a further training programme in collaboration with the Inwent development organisation. Twenty-five individuals from Asian mountain regions made use of the opportunity to access the know-how and experience available in the Alps for subsequent transfer and application in their respective countries on completion of the twelve-month course.
Global knowledge transfer was also the objective of two workshops held in Budapest and the Ukraine, in which a main focus was placed on the findings of Future in the Alps.