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Climate Pact for the Alps - criteria for innovation

Jun 19, 2008 / alpMedia
Some 350 attendees came to Argentière-la-Bessée/F for this year's AlpWeek from 11 - 14 June to discuss the question of innovation in and for the Alps under the title of "Innovating (in) the Alps".
Image caption:
Argentière is the gate to the core area of the Ecrins National Park. © CIPRA International
With the Climate Pact for the Alps launched in Argentière, the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) is pursuing a targeted approach to sustainable and innovative action in the Alpine region.
This second edition of AlpWeek brought together the big networks for Alpine research (ISCAR), the Alpine municipalities (Alliance in the Alps), the NGOs (CIPRA), the protected areas of the Alps (ALPARC) and the Alpine Clubs (Club Arc Alpin). The debate opened with the question whether innovations are per something positive or whether they must always be subjected to critical scrutiny in terms of sustainability and their ecological footprint. Or, as one speaker put it, "Yesterday's innovations are today's problems." In addition to such fundamental considerations, there were also presentations on concrete projects from the whole of the Alpine region, such as Ecomodel Achental/D, in which the various municipalities are pooling their efforts for a sustainable future, and forward-looking ideas like the Alpine Transit Exchange.
A number of presentations and excursions were devoted to innovation at the local level. Argentière, for example, used to be largely dependent on the aluminium industry and had to adopt a completely new orientation following the demise of the industry in the 1980s. Today the town is a popular centre for ice and rock climbing, walking, canoeing and other outdoor sports. On the fringe of AlpWeek, CIPRA launched the Climate Pact for the Alps and called upon organisations, institutions and networks to sign the pact so as to bring pressure to bear on the countries of the Alps with the aim of transforming the Alps into a model region for climate protection on the basis of a meaningful plan of action developed in the framework of the Alpine Convention. For this purpose, CIPRA delivered specific proposals for the government action needed to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences.
Information and Climate Pact download: (de/fr/it/sl/en)