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New alliance for European mountain regions

Dec 02, 2021 / Michael Gams, CIPRA International
Three umbrella organizations committed to mountaineering and sustainability in European mountain regions decided, at the end of November 2021, to join forces: the Club Arc Alpin (CAA), the European Union of Mountaineering Associations (EUMA) and the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA).
Image caption:
Together at the Regitzer Spitz/CH (from left to right): Bianca Elzenbaumer (Co-President CIPRA International), Ingrid Hayek (Vice-President EUMA) and Heinz Frei (Vice-President CAA). (c) CIPRA International, Isabella Helmschrott

The European mountain regions – and in particular the Alps – are places where millions of people live or long for, year after year. While these regions may differ greatly, the pressures they face are similar: the climate crisis and ever new forms of exploitation by humans threaten biodiversity and lead to overloading of tourist hotspots or even entire terrains and landscapes. To meet these challenges, three of the most important umbrella organizations in the areas of mountain sports and sustainability decided at the end of November to intensify their cooperation in line with the Alpine Convention: these are the CAA as the umbrella organization of the Alpine clubs of seven Alpine countries, the EUMA as the umbrella organization of 25 mountaineering organizations from all over Europe and CIPRA, the umbrella organization of more than 100 environmental and sustainability NGOs from the entire Alpine region.

Joint hike – joint perspectives

After working out the central concerns to be jointly pursued and obtaining approval from the boards of the three partner organizations, their leaders sealed the project with a joint autumn hike, to the Regitzer Spitz above the Rhine Valley, where the Alpine countries of Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland meet – with Germany also in sight. Bianca Elzenbaumer, Co-President of CIPRA International: “By bringing together our different perspectives on the Alps, we want to work boldly and inventively for a careful, communal approach to this space for living and adventure.” Following this symbolic joint tour by their leadership bodies, the first meetings will be held in 2022 to develop joint activities.