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CIPRA presents pioneers of sustainable living

participants at the CIPRA annual conference discussing living well in the Alps. © Antoine Berger

Lifestyles and economies that use fewer resources require new thinking and action that go beyond narrow limits and consumerism. This is the conclusion of the CIPRA annual conference held in Annecy, France.

Changing to a more sensitive use of the precious resources in the Alps is possible in all areas of life, as demonstrated by CIPRA at its annual conference, held from 13 to 15 November 2014 – under the motto “Living well in the Alps!” – in Annecy, France. From new economic concepts such as the “sharing economy”, which emphasises social innovation rather than the traditional model of unlimited growth, to the role of spatial planning in the design of places that are fit for the future, the aim is the development and implementation of new social values.

Such profound changes may often appear too complex to people. Clear examples are needed to illustrate the opportunities of a new, community-oriented lifestyle. The conference therefore presented pioneers who identified alternatives and thus encouraged others to embrace change. One of these pioneers is the hotelier Michil Costa from South Tyrol in Italy, who runs his business according to the principles of the “collaborative economy”. His credo: “We have to learn to think like the mountains – for the long term”. For him, this means business based on co-operation, democratic participation and fairness, with respect for the boundaries of nature. The success of an enterprise should not merely be measured in numbers, but also against a regularly drawn up balance sheet detailing the company’s social and environmental impact.

The numerous ideas for a sustainable future in the Alps developed by the around 150 participants at the conference will serve as markers and inspiration for further work on this topic.

Further information: http://www.cipra.org/de/cipra/ueber-uns/jahresfachtagungen/cipra-jahresfachtagung-2014 (de/fr/it/sl)

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