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Where's the know-how? Now we know!

Mar 14, 2008 / CIPRA Internationale Alpenschutzkommission
At the beginning of the project there was the general conviction that the know-how was there and some good examples, too, but those who stood to benefit from them did not know where to find them. Forty experts from the Alps spent the first year collecting the available know-how on six main topics.
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© CIPRA International
Right from the start the focus was placed on those subjects that are of central importance for the future of the Alps: regional value-added, governance capacity, protected areas and biodiversity, mobility, forms of decision making, and policies and instruments. As the result of their work the experts were able to present 160 successful examples plus 240 excerpts from the literature as a theoretical basis. Six reports were written in English to explain the results plus a final report designed to place the topics in a new shared context. In order to make this knowledge available to all as input for new activities and good projects, a dedicated website was created at The site offers free access to the data base with the projects and bibliographical references, news and information on events, and useful documents for downloading.
As a further meaningful product of this more theoretical phase of the project, CIPRA employed the research results to formulate its demands of policy-makers and administrators in the "Schaan Memorandum for the Future in the Alps".
Collaboration between experts from the various countries of the Alps generated new contacts and networks at the level of the individual actors, and their countries and disciplines so that people who did not know one another before are now actively collaborating on new projects. Johannes Heeb, Wolfgang Pfefferkorn and Luis Fidlschuster, for example, are working for Netzwerkstelle Wissensmanagement Regionalentwicklung Schweiz (Swiss Network Office for Knowledge Management in Regional Development) - a co-operatiion that would not have been possible without Future in the Alps!