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New dual leadership for CIPRA

Jul 14, 2021 / Caroline Begle, CIPRA International
Bianca Elzenbaumer and Serena Arduino are the new Co-Presidents of CIPRA International. They succeed Katharina Conradin, who has been in office for almost seven years.
Image caption:
Bianca Elzenbaumer and Serena Arduino replace Katharina Conradin as President of CIPRA International (from left to right). © CIPRA International

At CIPRA’s Assembly of Delegates, held on 1 July 2021, Bianca Elzenbaumer and Serena Arduino – both Italian – were unanimously elected. For the first time since its foundation in 1952, there are now two women at the helm of CIPRA International.

Serena Arduino, who served on the Board of CIPRA Italy from 1999 to 2005 and has been on the Board of CIPRA International since 2016, has a master’s degree in environmental planning and a degree in natural sciences. She participates in the Alpine Convention’s thematic working groups and is concerned with large-scale ecosystems and broad-based conservation processes. “I see synergies everywhere and love to address the importance of governance in transnational nature conservation. I want to make the way in which the Alps contribute to global priorities more visible”, she says.

Bianca Elzenbaumer grew up and lives in the Italian Alps. She has a degree in Mediation and International Peacebuilding and a PhD in Design Research. She has been co-director of the cultural association Brave New Alps since 2005 and a member of the CIPRA Sounding Board since 2019. Her expertise in participatory processes and design thinking, as well as her love of the Alps, biodiversity and cultural exchange, all motivate her to stand up for the protection of the Alps with CIPRA. “I want to get young people excited about CIPRA’s work”, says Elzenbaumer. “The Alps are a good starting point to strengthen ecological initiatives that can spread ideas for an ecologically and socially just future throughout Europe.”

CIPRA as a hub for change

The two take over from Katharina Conradin, under whose presidency CIPRA has continued to develop from an environmental organisation into one of the leading organisations for sustainable development in the Alpine region. “Raising awareness is the beginning of any change. Without becoming aware of the problems and challenges of this time, no change will happen – neither socially, nor politically, nor economically”, according to Conradin. CIPRA, she said, is a “switchboard” for this change – and much more than that. “Bringing together people from all over the Alpine arc makes a major contribution to ensuring that these ideas are also implemented in reality.”

The Board of CIPRA International has another new face: Stefan Witty replaces Erwin Rothgang as Advisory Board member. Witty has been associated with CIPRA for 30 years and was Executive Director of CIPRA Germany between 2011 and 2018.

Filed under: CIPRA, alpMedia 4/2021